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 Post subject: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 10:25 pm 
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So, I've set Ax's day length to 42 hours, and Crethia's to 38. Though, this does have me wondering: how do I translate time from, say, Earth standard (24 hour days) to Ax's time (42 hour days)? I am not the best of mathematicians: really, I am probably one of the worst. This began with a scene in which a Navy captain wears a wristwatch with two dials: one set to Ax's 42 hour time, and the other set to Standard time, used by humans. He builds timepieces in his spare time, so he built this to keep track of his family's time (42 hours) versus his own time. I'm unable to reconcile the two, though: if it's 5:30pm by Standard time, then what time is it on Ax? I just can't even think of what formula to use.

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 Post subject: Re: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Honestly, if you want something convertible, you should try to replace the 24-hour system with a 21-hour one, so it'd divisible with the 42-hour one. It all has to do with factoring; 42 isn't evenly divisible by 24, so there's remainders that become offsets in the number of hours.


See, if you advance 42 hours on a 24-hour clock, you end up with a day and 18 hours. So if we assumed a month where both clocks were synched to 12AM on the 1st, here's the first five 24-hour times for each midnight on the 42-hour clock:
  • 12AM on the 1st
  • 6PM on the 2nd
  • 12PM on the 4th
  • 6AM on the 6th
  • 12AM on the 8th

So as you can see, any given hour on the 42-hour Ax clock could correspond to a morning/day/evening/night time on the 24-hour Earth system; ultimately making any attempt at conversion on the hour scale arbitrary since it carries no fixed meaning. It does recur every Earth week though (four days of Ax time), so if you really wanted to you could try to synch on a weekly basis (say, matching noons on Sunday).

But if you adopt a 21-hour system (and 42 is evenly divisible by 21), you've got it easier: Then there's just two days for every Ax day. You could model this as a series of alternating days: "light" days (dawn to dusk on Ax) and "dark" days (dusk to dawn). Then any hour on a "light" day corresponds to a single hour on Ax, as does any hour on a "dark" day. Obviously, you'd need to choose a particular spot on Ax to delineate "dawn" and "dusk", but that shouldn't be a problem (any more than GMT being keyed off of Greenwich here on Earth).


As for Crethia...well, your bigger problem is how Ax and Crethia relate to each other. I get the impression that those two are extant planets with referencable planetary cycles, and so can't simply adopt a modified time schedule the way the possibly-non-native humans can. And 38 and 42 certainly aren't even divisible, the greatest common factor between them is 2. Which...well, I'll spare you all the math, but basically every Ax day is a Crethia day and 4 hours; and it will take 798 hours (which is 19 days on Ax, and 21 days on Crethia) for their hourly cycles to return to the same relative state at the same time.

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 Post subject: Re: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 11:34 pm 
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Actually, 21 hours does make sense if you consider humans once owned 30 or so colonies through the Orion Arm of the Milky Way: they may already have adapted to a universal time standard given that Earth's day length would have been slowly increasing thanks to tidal acceleration, a concept with which I am trying to familiarise myself now. So, 21 hours as a standard seems fair, given many of the planets they colonised before they fled had days of 18 hours or a little more. 21 hours could be bureaucratic pandering. Yorhn Glacier could be the spot to delineate, as it's the first spot in the large northern continent to experience the light of both suns at the equinox.

Ax and Crethia are a binary pair who influence one another's species: they throw each other into eclipse at regular intervals, for a short period. On Ax that's how the Aluthar chose their month, since they've several moons, none of which are as important as the huge planet in the sky. They had separate days in a month, each with its own name, rather than weeks. I guess now I can say they adopted mankind's convenient system of weeks. On Crethia, the ue'dilen believed Ax gave them extra night, protection from the suns, because she loved their planet. I suppose I could also adapt the Crethian day.

And the native species of the system are definitely aware humans aren't native. =P

Anyhow, thanks for that reply. I could not possibly have worked any of that out on my own.

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 Post subject: Re: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 3:28 pm 
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I'm very curious as to what criteria you're using to determine these things (length of days, etc.).

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 Post subject: Re: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 9:28 pm 
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What criteria? As in, what exactly caused me to pick the day length of Ax?

Ax is a superterrestrial world where the oceans take up an even more significant percentage of the planet surface than the oceans of Earth. There is a similar approximate land area to Earth, but given the planet is larger, there's much more water to deal with. I'm trying to read up on tidal acceleration now, but from what I gather, if one body orbits the other, then the orbited body's rotation slows as its tidal bulge produces torque, while the orbiting body speeds up, until eventually this causes the orbital period, say of the moon, to be the same as the rotational period, say of the earth. Basically, the moon's significant gravity affects our tides, which in turn speed it up and push it further away from earth as a result. It would end with Earth and Luna tidally locked to one another like Pluto and Charon, except that by the time this happens, Sol would naturally have first vaporised Earth's oceans and then expanded and consumed both bodies, destroying them.

What I -- and I cannot stress that enough, for while I respect scientific method, I cannot say I've better than a schoolboy's education in it -- take this to mean is that the larger the percentage of a planet's mass is water, the greater the effects of tidal acceleration on it. Ax is younger than Earth would have been by several hundred million years, with its life having evolved without the several massive extinction events Earth has suffered through: sapient life appeared sooner, basically. Ax's day length is significant already, though, because of its larger mass in water and the multiple gravities affecting it.

Crethia is larger and heavier than Ax, and features a more significant gravity. Its water percentage is very low, though, with perhaps 40% of the surface covered and, in the northern hemisphere, almost all of that being stored underground. The southern hemisphere is more temperate, and in some microclimates tropical. So its day is a bit shorter than Ax's is. Heck, it probably ought be a bit shorter still, even. All I'm trying to work out is how tidal effects work when the pair orbit a barycentre, rather than one orbiting the other. I'm hoping it doesn't make all the reading I've done about this moot, but if it does, I suppose I've learned something at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Day Length and Translation of Time Standards
PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 6:40 am 
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I guess what I was really wondering is where or how I'd be able to research some of these things for myself. :P

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