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Flat-Earth-Academy: Time

  What is it?
    What do we MEAN by "year"/ "hour"?     How do we measure it?

(Page's URL: time.htm)

One of The Great Parameters of The Universe is TIME.

Our lives have a beginning, a middle and an end.

((Clocks-Abong-lo-res Lp1200894.jpg))

That is "our time on earth"... and perhaps the most precious thing that we have.

But what IS time??

We speak of "time of day". As I write this, it is 10:30 in the morning. Ten and a half hours since it was midnight. Well, since the TIME that everyone around me here has agreed to call "midnight". But what MAKES THAT "midnight"? (It is NOT "midnight" by the definition an astronomer would give you!)

Tonight's midnight will come 24 hours yesterday's midnight... sort of. What what's an hour? Midnight to midnight is "a day". So an hour is 1/24th of "a day"? Sort of. But not exactly. Perhaps we'd be better off with "a day is from yesterday's sunrise to today's sunrise? After all, you can "spot" sunrise... midnight? Not so easy to spot. But wait a minute... days are longer in summer, shorter in winter. Does that matter.

So far, so obvious? But even these questions are starting points, if you really think about them.

Sunrise to sunrise WILL be (nearly) 24 hours.

Mid-day to mid-day is perhaps a better basis for 24 hours... and there is a way to "spot" mid-day. Can you figure it out? BUT EVEN THAT isn't exactly 24 hours every day of the year!!

It goes on and on. I hope you will encourage your brain to play with these ideas, see what you can come up with.

A good story?

I think the following is actual historical fact. (If you can track down confirmation for me, I'll welcome a citation!)

But fact or not, it is plausible.

In England, in the 1500's, a complicated series of prayers were said in monasteries according to a schedule. One was at dawn, another at dusk. And others were spread "evenly" across the night and the day.

But here's the weird thing: Dawn was always at 6am. Dusk at 6pm. HOW CAN THAT BE??? The days are shorter in winter.

Easy... according to what I heard. The monks ADJUSTED THE LENGHT OF THE HOURS, week by week, so that there were always 12 "hours" between dusk and dawn, and between dawn and dusk!

Short day hours/ long night hours in winter, and the reverse in summer.

That's a start

I'll try to come back to this, extend it. If interest is shown, I will be more likely to do that!

Measuring time

The picture at the top of the page shows a clock I made from a kit. It was fun, apart from anything else. It also got me thinking, and was part of the reason for this page about time. I've written a separate page about the clock kit.

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It's both! Flat-Earth-Academy.com is something I started years ago. For a variety of reasons, I can't offer you httpS:// access there. (As you are not asked to input any information, that's moot, but it "worries" search engines.) So I'm moving to my new, all singing, and will do the httpS:// dance site, "WYWTK.com", and Flat-Earth-Academy is gradually acquiring pages there. (Well, HERE, as what you are reading is one of my "wywtk/fea" pages.)

Why "WYWTK"? It comes from "What You Want To Know".

How to email or write this page's editor, Tom Boyd. If you write, please cite page's URL: wywtk.com/ec/sci/astro/time.htm... or at least the last part of that!

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