Sevencyclopaedia - Measurements

This is a greatly expanded entry from the Sevencyclopaedia. By Murray Smith.


On Earth, by the mid-twentieth century, a common measurement of civil time had been agreed: that based on the Gregorian Calendar, introduced in1582 AD by Pope Gregory XIII, being a modified version of the calendar introduced in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, the then ruler of the Roman world. It was based on the solar year, the amount of time the Earth took to orbit its sun. A year was made up of 365 days, a day being the time the Earth took to rotate on its axis. Due to this, a year was 365 days, except on the fourth or leap year, when an extra day was added, making 366 days.

While this part of the calendar was based on scientific principles, other parts of it were based on custom, as well as the decisions of authorities, religious and secular. Each year was divided into 12 months of varying lengths, from 28 (or 29 in a leap year) to 31 days each, and 52 weeks of 7 days each. Each day was divided into 24 hours, each hour containing 60 minutes, and each minute 60 seconds.

In terms of the reckoning of the civil time during the day, an international conference in 1884 AD decided that the Earth would be divided into zones of 15?, time in each zone being reckoned in hours west or east of the prime meridian (O? longitude), which passed through Greenwich, London, United Kingdom. The time at the prime meridian was called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), later Universal Time (UT).

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