TIME: Understanding Time (Telling Time)

What is Time? How time is measured? Amazing facts about Time

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Our sense of time is connected to biology and astronomy the patterns of nature and the patterns of the universe.

Living things react to natural cycles.

Animals migrate and breed, tides rise and fall, plants bloom and from early on, people have noticed the correlation of those events with the movement of the sun, moon, and stars.

The technology developed to organize time, however, is as much about the future as it is about the present and past.

It gives individuals and societies the ability to anticipate when important events are likely to occur and to decide when certain things should happen in response.

Knowing that animals migrate when it turns cold is one thing; advance knowledge of when that is likely to occur informs the hunting plan.

Clocks and calendars are the tools that allow this sort of rhythmic planning.

They evolved over thousands of years as people studied patterns in the Earth and sky and began associating changes in the weather or other phenomena with the positions of heavenly bodies.

The basic divisions of our modern calendar remain astronomical: A day is a time it takes Earth to spin on its axis; a year is a time it takes Earth to orbit around the sun;

and a month roughly reflects the time it takes from the moon to pass through its cycle of phases.

The first calendar emerged in Sumeria almost 5000 years ago and used the position of the sun and moon to coordinate agriculture and religious rituals and sacrifices. The Chinese, Maya, Greek, and Roman civilizations all developed calendars suited to their own societies and view of the world.

The Romans, for example, used an eight-day week as the basic unit for reckoning time, a period reflecting the rhythm of their commerce, for every eighth day was market day.

The basis for the modern calendar was developed by Egyptian astronomical observations, which by 1300 B.C. had grown sophisticated enough to chart 43 constellation and planets and to predict eclipses.

The Egyptians, who closely tied such phenomena to their sun-worshipping religion, devised the 365 day year admire in ancient Greece and still in use today.

Clocks are used for the short-term measurement of time. Sundials and hourglass were early tools for tracking the passing of time throughout the day. In China, as early as the 11th century A.D., an oversize water-powered clock tower, designed by polymath Susung, used mechanical means to measure the day.

Today's wristwatches are powered by microchips or the resonance of a quartz crystal, while computers and cell phones are tied into networks that electronically updated internal clocks.

For centuries Europe used the Julian calendar, put in place by Julius Caesar, which gave us the now-familiar names of the months but which was off by about 11 minutes a year. By 1582, after 1600 years, the error had grown to the equivalent of about ten days.

After gathering calculations made by a group of mathematicians and astronomers, Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585) ordered by decree that October 5, 1582, would become October 15, 1582.

The result is the Gregorian calendar that we still use today.

Gregory also refined the leap year by adding one day to February every four years excepting years divisible by 100 (unless also divisible by 400) to correct the calendar and match Earth's actual 365.24199-day annual trip around the sun.

The video above explains the topic in-depth

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