Customer Discussions > Science forum

Mars Time Units


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 25, 2010 10:08:16 AM PDT
In the book The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must, Dr Zubrin makes the case for a new Martian time system, since Mars' orbit takes about 2 years.

What is the necessity to do this? The earth system is synchronized with the orbit of the earth, but this is done for the sake of agriculture. Agriculture on Mars will be done in a controlled environment, so planting and harvesting can be done anytime. Even if agriculture was to be done based on the Martian orbital cycle, it is certain that they would be able to calculate planting and harvest dates by simple hand held calculators. Our calendar is nothing more than an artifact of our primitive agricultural past.

Future Martian colonist should thus just keep the current Earth calendar.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2010 11:06:52 AM PDT
barbW says:
I agree, I think. We've sprung from planet earth, so we should retain Earth years no matter where out there we explore and settle, but the length of day on Mars will give our body cycles a problem, over the longer run. Maybe this should convince us to try to remain on Earth time..

On another planet with a very different rotation rate and 100 light years from Earth, I assume it will be even more crucial to retain of OUR rhythms of 'natural' daily life.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2010 11:26:56 AM PDT
A martian day is 24.6 hours. Maybe it is tool long for humans to adjust.
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/07.15/bioclock24.html

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2010 7:14:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 25, 2010 7:17:07 PM PDT
SAL: "A martian day is 24.6 hours. Maybe it is tool long for humans to adjust.
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/07.15/bioclock24.html "

But that article is about the free-running case. The question for Mars is one of entrainment: can humans be entrained to anything but a 24 hour cycle?

According to the Wikipedia article on free-running sleep, "In recent studies funded by the U.S. space industry, it has been shown that most humans can be entrained to a 23.5 hour day and to a 24.65 hour day."

Presumably the relevance of the funding source is its implication of pressure on the researchers: if the result had been that humans could not be entrained to a Martian day they'd have to call off plans to colonize Mars.

I guess the moral is that if you want your science to be taken seriously, don't get your funding from people who stand to benefit from your results. Bit of a catch-22 when they're the only ones motivated to fund you even when your research is sound.

In any event 24.6 hour entrainment doesn't seem implausible when you consider that global travelers have to put up with much more ridiculous sleep cycles. When I was a grad student working flat out my day was around 25 hours long and I'd go to bed and get up an hour later every day.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2010 1:55:33 PM PDT
Uueerdo says:
There is also always the possibility using candidates like me, with non-standard internal clocks, who actually semi-seriously consider moving to a 28 hour day on Earth.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2010 3:20:48 PM PDT
We can just steal your mutant 28 hour day genes. :-D

Posted on Sep 29, 2010 7:25:03 PM PDT
I liked in the book Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) that the Martian colonists keep to a 24 hour schedule. What they do is stop all the clocks at midnight for the time difference of 39 and half minutes, and then they continue with 12:01am. It reminded me of what the trains here in the USA do when changing from daylight savings time to standard time in the fall. The trains all stop at 2am for an hour until the time catches back up.

Oh, and some folks party like crazy during that free 'timeslip' as they call it.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2012 3:01:30 PM PST
Charlie T. says:
Posted on Sep 29, 2010 7:25:03 PM PDT
CivWar64 (Bob) says:
I liked in the book Red Mars (Mars Trilogy) that the Martian colonists keep to a 24 hour schedule. What they do is stop all the clocks at midnight for the time difference of 39 and half minutes, and then they continue with 12:01am. It reminded me of what the trains here in the USA do when changing from daylight savings time to standard time in the fall. The trains all stop at 2am for an hour until the time catches back up.

What do the trains do when the clocks change the other way?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 5:52:01 AM PST
Re OP: There would be reasons to use both calendars. Earth calendar would be useful for tracking communications (including spacecraft) between earth and Mars; a Martian calendar would be useful for tracking the seasons there. Even if agriculture were kept independent of such seasons, there would still be usefulness in knowing whether it was Martian summer or winter.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 6:12:30 AM PST
Are there plans to colonize Mars?

I mean other than in the wishful thinking of people like Dr. Zubrin?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 26, 2012 7:21:31 AM PST
there are international standards for time used by space agencies

you would be silly not to use the same units and synchronise your clocks to it
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Sep 25, 2010
Latest post:  Dec 26, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.

Search Customer Discussions