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71 votes
Accepted

How would timezones work on a planet 100 times the size of our Earth

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 ...
Ray Butterworth's user avatar
57 votes
Accepted

How do you tell time on a world with 9-year days?

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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
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54 votes
Accepted

My planet has a long period orbit. How can I make the seasons change faster in order to shorten the length of a calendar year on it?

He was an old man of 90 harvests The seasons on this planet are mild, so ancient people wouldn't care much about how often they went around their suns. Instead, they'd care about when to plant crops ...
Ventifacts and Yardangs's user avatar
41 votes

What reason would an extraterrestrial civilization have to adopt Earth's time measurement units?

Let's see: They don't. You tell the people playing the game that the time units have all been translated for gameplay. They don't. The characters use in-game translation systems that make ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 29.1k
38 votes

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

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 ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,130
37 votes

What can be used as a galaxy-wide time reference?

galaxy-spanning time reference Nothing These kinds of things work on Earth because anyone's relative speed to anyone else does not reach a considerable fraction of the speed of causality ($c$). ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
36 votes

What do Martians use for months and weeks?

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 ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 126k
35 votes
Accepted

Martians want to keep their weeks roughly in sync with Earth. How would they do that?

The solution for this is intercalendary days, like you suggested. This is needed any time something doesn't divide neatly. Our day doesn't divide neatly into our year so the rule is: February 29th ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
33 votes

How do you tell time on a world with 9-year days?

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 ...
amflare's user avatar
  • 1,343
33 votes
Accepted

What's an astronomical event which happened about 10,000 years ago, which humans could have noticed?

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 ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 17.9k
29 votes

What's an astronomical event which happened about 10,000 years ago, which humans could have noticed?

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 ...
Michael MacAskill's user avatar
28 votes

A world without natural time measures

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 ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 291k
28 votes
Accepted

How to tell someone they have travelled in time, by gesturing?

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 ...
JeffUK's user avatar
  • 1,906
26 votes
Accepted

A world without natural time measures

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 ...
Mrkvička's user avatar
  • 2,485
26 votes
Accepted

How can a mechanical clock be powered by wind in a reliable, constant way?

Wind turns windmill, windmill lifts weight, weight powers tower clock. Use two weights to have power when the windmill is lifting one of them. This obviously decouples the strength of the wind from ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91.5k
25 votes
Accepted

Is it plausible for a world without an external universe to develop a year system?

Frame Challenge: Why do you need a year / calendar system? Perhaps your people don't care about time? What are they measuring time for? Aron says that for us: The calendar was invented due to the ...
Malady's user avatar
  • 4,486
24 votes

What reason would an extraterrestrial civilization have to adopt Earth's time measurement units?

Funny Story... I can think of several reasons, but in most stories/games, it's not a big deal. How does GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) come to be the time for the universe? Earth won the lottery that ...
DWKraus's user avatar
  • 63.7k
22 votes

How would an underground society measure time?

Water clocks The most natural way to develop a measurement of time is by a natural phenomenon that divides the passing of non-quantized time1 into quantized time. As someone who has spent a fair ...
Daniel B's user avatar
  • 19.9k
21 votes

How to tell someone they have travelled in time, by gesturing?

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 ...
Daniel Vestøl's user avatar
21 votes

How do you prove the age of a time capsule?

Probably the most reliable way of dating a time capsule, and one that doesn't require the opener to know any science and but little history, is for the capsule to be poured into a concrete building ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
  • 45.9k
20 votes
Accepted

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

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 ...
kingledion's user avatar
  • 85.5k
20 votes
Accepted

Restoring the current date based on ~100yr old sources

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 ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 91.5k
20 votes

What would the current period of history be called in the future?

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 ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
  • 54.1k
20 votes

My planet has a long period orbit. How can I make the seasons change faster in order to shorten the length of a calendar year on it?

One star blocks the heat from the other. If both stars and your planet are all collinear then your planet is getting hit with one stars worth of heat, the other star is occluded by the closer star. ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.2k
20 votes

How do I divide a year into months?

Division with Remainder The year has $1018$ days. If you want twelve months then you divide the year length by twelve. $1018$ divided by $12$ is $84$ remainder $10$. To turn this into a calendar, ...
Daron's user avatar
  • 66.2k
20 votes

Do (supermassive) black holes rotate?

Yes, supermassive black holes can spin, but your proposal for using their rotation as a timekeeping system isn't ideal. First, the rotation period is likely quite small. The angular speed of a ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 102k
18 votes
Accepted

Gregorian Calendar and dates before its implementation - how to correctly place an event before 1582?

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 ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
18 votes

Explanations for a Uniform calendar in most of the world

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 ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 126k
18 votes

Martians want to keep their weeks roughly in sync with Earth. How would they do that?

If it works with your general scenario, they could just have a regular week, but switch the Earth timezone they sync with West every ~2 days. They would drop a day when they cross the date border, but ...
Jann Poppinga's user avatar
18 votes

Is it plausible for a world without an external universe to develop a year system?

You ask if it is plausible to develop the concept of a year. Calendars were made because there's a need to keep track of time due to argicultral, astronomical or religious reasons. As you said in your ...
KC Wong's user avatar
  • 410

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