71

You don't need to consider another planet, Earth is sufficient for this question. The real problem is in thinking of time zones as a natural phenomenon. They aren't. Take where I am right now. I'm located somewhat west of the center of my timezeone, so my clock is 20 minutes faster than a sun-based clock. And then there is daylight saving time, which ...


57

Terrain objects I imagine these nomads are following the same paths every year as they perpetually circle the planet. In that case, since there are no seasons or months, each group's time cycle would be based around terrain objects they pass. This is the month of the Blue Woods, next month is the Snow-capped Peaks, next month is Dust Plains, etc. Once ...


43

The primal civilizations evolving in such an environment would likely not develop any form of timekeeping. Without a natural daylight and season cycle there is little reason to. As soon as technology and society develop in ways which makes timekeeping necessary for coordination of actions, some arbitrary fixed unit of time would likely be standardized. In ...


38

Is there a theoretical method of inferring a "universal" time that FTL travellers can use for their clocks to maintain a constant time? Generally, no. There is no universal time, period. Relativity tells us that it is impossible to put a time ordering relationship between spacetime events that are not in their respective light cones, or in other words, ...


36

Please remember that time is an arbitrary concept Without any outside influence, the very first basis of time is the "day" consisting of a period of "light" and a period of "no light" that we Earthers more commonly know as "night." Day = one Light + one No Light According to Space.com, the moons of Mars are so close to Mars that they cannot be seen from ...


35

First of all, I don't think there's any shame in taking our existing holidays as inspiration. Many holidays from different cultures on Earth have similar roots, typically in the meanings of the seasons and other natural phenomena. As religions developed over time, these holidays were imbued with new meanings. For example, a celebration of the winter equinox ...


33

Cosmology and astronomy Calendars will have a strong dependence on the cosmological perspective of the people creating it and their astronomical capabilities, since celestial mechanics determine the day-night cycle, seasons and year length. Obviously they will count the seasons and days without having to look at the sky for a number, but most any culture ...


33

For Months/Seasons: The terrain. Presumably they will be in the same place every nine years, and they know where they are relative to the cycle. You'd get the Month of the Great Salt Lake and so forth. This would divide your "years" into "months" For Days/Hours: Water Clocks or Hourglasses. Even on a moving cart (I'm not sure how fast the people are ...


33

Evaluating the various options for astronomical events: Solar eclipse: This is probably your best bet. Total solar eclipses are brief events, lasting only a few minutes. They're also highly predictable, so you could figure out the timing of a past eclipse with sub-second precision. The problem is going to be figuring out which eclipse you saw: since ...


29

Perhaps one of the best astronomical options for you would be a rare planetary conjunction (e.g. two visible planets exactly intersect with each other, or, say all five visible planets come very close to each other, or adopt some specific arrangement, perhaps also involving the moon). Advantages: Software exists to make these predictions for you (e.g. http:/...


28

Time Telling time is a purely human concept. An animal sleeps when it is tired, hunts/eats when it is hungry, etc. But humanity has come this far by working together, and that requires coordination, and thus a means of agreeing with others when a given event is supposed to happen. (Never-mind that we are painfully aware of our own mortality and thus ...


28

They are intelligent, therefore they can notice that they grow up. Growing up is change, and change can only occur in a dimension called time. You might ignore the concept of "meter" or "yard", but you can still understand that if two positions are different, they differ on something called "distance". By analogy they can start to think about a temporal ...


28

Draw the solar system. Get Alice to understand which planet she's on. Hopefully quite simple. If he can get his hands on an orrery that would be ideal. If she doesn't seem to understand basic astrophysics, she may be too primitive to understand. Follow the orbit of the planet once, and make a tally mark Follow the orbit of the planet again, and make ...


27

The stars. If you picture yourself looking at a map of your solar system showing the plane of your planet's orbit, imagine that "up" on your map is "north". Put a star up there. When your planet is "north" of its sun, that star would be directly overhead at night. 3 months later (on a 12-month calendar), when your planet is "west", that star is barely ...


26

Stars...either a constellation that 'rises and sets' just like the sun would, or a single star that is nearby but still quite a ways away. Remember our sun drowns out much of the star scape to us, a rogue planet would have a very bright star sky. The passage of the milky way across the sky could be one usable example. Life spans. This gets into the 'foot' ...


26

First you need to understand that the concept of time that we have today is only about 200 years old. We didn't have time that was shared with more then a handful of people until the popularity of the train made it a requirement. Until that time, a community would have one "master clock" that everyone else would set their "little" clocks by. Even then, ...


24

They could likely develop both time and technology, but likely very slowly If we postulate that there would be essentially no variations in the nature around them - constant light, constant food supply, constant season - then timekeeping will be difficult, but not impossible. Discovering time Unless everyone is immortal, then one thing they would notice to ...


21

Assuming there are (or were) native Martians, what makes you think their calendar would be any more rational than ours? They too, would have whatever religious/historical/accidental quirks that their cultural development left, which would complicate it just as much as any human calendar. That said, if you're asking about designing a rational calendar ...


21

Work with your history. You do have a history, right? If not, go and write one now, then come back to this answer. While it is true that many holidays are religious - in fact the word derives from "Holy Day" - holidays are also inspired by other events such as military victories or defeats (such as ANZAC Day or Remembrance day), or by important milestones ...


21

In practice it can't be done, but that's no fun. Flowers are highly seasonal and the ones that open or close at different times of day are fairly approximate time keepers. Flower clocks, while they do exist, rarely go beyond having a circular flower bed with a clock mechanism or sundial built in. Such as this one at the botanical gardens (Łódź) However: ...


20

Triangulation from X-ray Pulsars Timing and navigation are inextricably linked. The mechanical clock enabled the first calculation of longitude. GPS navigation depends on comparing arrival times (and thus distances) of different satellite signals. In a FTL future on a galactic scale, ships would want to use a 'GPS' system to determine their location in ...


20

As explained in a comment by the original poster, the assumption is that at some time in the future there will be a break in chronology because people somehow regressed to the stone age or some other reason, and when they become civilized again they will have to search for a method to link their Future Modern Chronology with ours. For example, let's say that ...


20

We already refer to it as the Information Revolution The use of computers has revolutionised not only the way we collect data and how we use it, but how we think and solve problems. I grew up in a time before Google, and actually learned how to break down a problem into constituent elements, look for keywords, then look them up in encyclopedias. This is a ...


18

Sundial Install a large sundial. Plant a species of flowers that will open up in nice flowers only when in shade of that sundial. Sure, it's cheating, but it will be accurate.


18

Trade Even rare trade would have an influence on the way people measure anything. After all, you need to deal with the proverbial pound on one side and kilogram on the other. Traders become experts in conversion and the greatest evangelists of standardized systems. Believe you me, the last thing a trader from Űryk wants to do is arrive on the last day of ...


17

Dates between the years AD 201 and AD 299 in both the Julian and the proleptic Gregorian calendars are the same for the same day. Before 201 Julian dates are a little "later" than the proleptic Gregorian dates for the same day; for a random example 14 August 60 AD Julian is the same as 12 August 60 proleptic Gregorian. After 299 Julian dates are "earlier" ...


17

I would propose "The day of the burning Sun", or "The day of the dim Sun". Basically, either the perihelion or the apohelion could mark a periodic event defining the end of a year and the start of a new one. Your inhabitants would see the Sun going away and going back peridically, which could hold quite an interesting mythology. The cool thing is, they'll ...


16

Let's pretend the whole universe uses Earth years, days, etc., for the sake of this example. However, any universal system would work for this. Before the ship begins to travel, it decides that your destination is 0.5 light-years away. Next, it decides that you'll be traveling at exactly twice the speed of light. For the sake of simplicity, your ship's ...


16

Does/can the planet have a moon? If it had several small fast moons like Mars, then that's a perfect external reference point. For instance, Phobos has an 8 hour orbit, and Deimos has a 30 hour orbit. So on the 9 year planet one orbit of Moon 1 is one time unit (say an hour), and an orbit of Moon 2 is a Day. Or whatever. It would be a little like the hands ...


16

Draw a timeline. Timelines are very easy to understand. It doesn't have to be complicated, and understanding each others number systems is not required either. This does of course require both Daisuke and Alice to know some history regarding dinosaurs, but that could possibly also be substituted for other alternatives. For someone a bit better at drawing ...


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