This document is part of the Martian Time Boneyard. It was originally located at http://archive.earthmarstravel.com.
Author: Jelmer Oosthoek


 • The QS Calender for Mars

 

The QS Calender is a 20-month calender for Mars. QS is short for QuintSol. A Quint is the Martian month equivalent and a Sol is a Martian day. Together they describe a Martian year. Quint means five in latin. The name was selected because in it's initial stages the calender was called the SQS Calender, standing for SeasonQuintSol, where every season was divisible by 5 quints. A Season is 90 degrees of the total orbit so a quint is 18 degrees. Because the elliptic orbit of Mars not every quint has the same amount of sols [see table 1].

Quint
Length
Quint
Length
Number
Name
Abbr.
Q01
Qalfa 
[Qα]
Q02
Qbeta
[Qβ]
Q03
Qgamma
[Qγ]
Q04
Qdelta
[Qδ]
Q05
Qepsilon 
[Qε]
Q06
Qzeta
[Qζ]
Q07
Qeta
[Qη]
Q08
Qtheta
[Qθ]
Q09
Qiota
[Qι]
Q10
Qkappa
[Qκ]
Degrees
Sols
Ls = 0-18
37
Ls = 19-36
38
Ls = 37-54
39
Ls = 55-72
40
Ls = 73-90
40
Ls = 91-108
39
Ls = 109-126
38
Ls = 127-144
36
Ls = 145-162
34
Ls = 163-180
31
Number
Name
Abbr.
Q11
Qlabda
[Qλ]
Q12
Qmu
[Qμ]
Q13
Qnu
[Qν]
Q14
Qxi 
[Qξ]
Q15
Qomnikron
[Qο]
Q16
Qpi
[Qπ]
Q17
Qrho
[Qρ]
Q18
Qsigma
[Qσ]
Q19
Qtau
[Qτ]
Q20
Qupsilon
[Qυ]
Degrees
Sols
Ls = 181-198
31
Ls = 199-216
29
Ls = 217-234
28
Ls = 235-252
28
Ls = 253-270
27
Ls = 271-188
28
Ls = 189-306
30
Ls = 307-324
30
Ls = 325-342
32
Ls = 343-360
34
Legend
   Northern  Spring    Northern  Summer    Northern  Autumn    Northern  Winter


Table 1: Quint description

The QS Calender uses sols as the Martian day unit. One sol is ~88775 Earth seconds long, ~2375 Earth seconds longer than the Earth day. The sol uses the 24x60x60 system so Mars hours, minutes and seconds are longer than the Earth counterparts. This is usefull for every day life on Mars, but it makes it complicated for a scientist to compare Earth and Mars data. Technology is used to solve this problem. All devices on Mars which somehow use time can be programmed for Mars or Earth time and can easily convert between them.

The start of a new year at Ls = 0 during the Northern Spring Equinox [NSE] is selected because during the NSE both hemispheres are in a transitional phase between, for the North, Winter and Summer, and for the South, Summer and Winter. During the equinox both hemisphere receive the same amount of solar energy.

The QS Calender doesn’t use weeks. Instead it uses a simple QuintSol abbreviation system. For example the 11th sol of quint 04 can be abbreviated to Q04S11. If you use the greekalfabet system you can abbreviate that same 11th of Qdelta to 11 Qδ. Although the QS Calender doesn't use weeks they can still be very easily implemented into the calender. Every community of colonists has to decide for themselves if they want to use weeks [for a religious reason for example]. The QS Calender however is the standard for Mars and has to be used to avoid communication conflicts.

Leap years
The Martian year is 668.5906 sols long. The QS Calender uses 669 sols in a year so leap years have to be devised, because to much time is used. The time accounted too much is 0.4094, which means that after a year the QS Calender is out of phase with the orbit of Mars of 0.4096 sols. We split this number into 0.4 and 0.0094. The first number is used for the 100 year leap year cycle, the small one for the 10000 year leap year cycle.

The number 0.4 means that every 100 years 40 sols need to be deducted. The same applies to every 10000 years where 94 sols need to be deducted. The 10000 year cycle is something of the future, we only need to speak about the 100 year cycle here.

The QS Calender doesn’t use fixed leap years, like say every five years. It deletes a day only when needed. For example take Qalfa with 37 sols. The exact Ls = 18-19 transition takes place that 37th sol. Well, because of the 0.4094 sols accounted too much every year the exact [668.5906 sols] year falls behind the 669 sols year. This would eventually cause the Ls = 18-19 transition taking place during the 36th sol. When this occurs the 37th sol is cancelled.

Epoch
The QS Calender officially started the moment 'The First' touched down on the 29th of September 2023 when John Howard took his first steps on another planet saying his famous words "Jesus, it's cold out here!". Some quints before however, the actual Mars year had started. When 'The First' landed the QS Calender was already at Q09S07.

Prime Meridian
Like on Earth Mars is devided into longitudinal and latitudinal degrees. The longitudinal prime meridian of Mars is located in the center of a crater called Airy-0. Exactly on the opposite side of this location, the first sol of Myear 1 started.


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