This document is part of the Martian Time Boneyard. It was originally located at http://www.arih.si/eng/calendar/mars_en.html.
Author: Igor Arih

 

In the new millennium Mars, the closest planet to Earth, will undoubtedly progress from an era of observation to a time of colonisation. Enormous knowledge, work and patience will be needed to re-establish a stable biosphere. The artificial strengthening of what is today a fragile ozone layer will be a long-term process on which generations will work. The ozone layer will protect tender protoplants, create a greenhouse effect and in this way raise and balance the temperature on the planet's surface. Ice from the crust of Mars will melt into water, which will flow again in the already known Martian channels. Clouds will move across the sky and perhaps release a storm. If fertile ground is prepared, seeds will germinate on their own. Life always finds a way. A day will come when everything is ready. Humankind will set foot on Mars with the intention of staying for some time. We will sleep on the red planet. And for those days that we spend on Mars, the terrestrial system of measuring time will no longer help. It will be even less help to those that are going to settle there for ever. The Martian day is more than half an hour longer than the Earth day, and the Martian year nearly twice as long. So we will need a Martian calendar and a Martian clock. It is all just a question of time.

Igor Arih,

Ljubljana, 9 November 1999

P.S. The idea of the Martian calendar came about in a conversation with my friend Ervin Hladnik Milharcic. If it makes me rich one day, I'll buy him a Mercedes.

The Martian year (MY) lasts 59,355,072 seconds. This is 686.98 Earth days or 668.60 Martian days (MD). One year is made of entire days. Balancing out the remaining 0.60 MD requires three (3x) regular years of six hundred and sixty-nine (669) MD and a two (2x) leap year with one day more (669 MD). I divided the regular MY (668 MD) into 18 months of 37 days each, and added a Zero day at the beginning and a Last day at the end of the year. Zero day of year One on Mars should be the last terrestrial day of this millennium, and the first day of January on Earth and the first of the first month on Mars should begin at the same time. Since the Martian day is 0.027491204 longer than the Earth day, from 1 January 2000 days on Mars will shift out of synch from those on Earth. This calendar of Martian year One also includes the Earth year up to 16 November 2001. On that day on Mars we will see out the first Martian calendar year.

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