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*To*: Erik Rauch <rauch>*Subject*: Re: local units*From*: Chris Handley <CHandley@GANDALF.OTAGO.AC.NZ>*Date*: Thu, 7 Oct 1993 09:48:10 GMT+1200*Organization*: University of Otago*Reply-To*: Chris Handley <CHandley@GANDALF.OTAGO.AC.NZ>*Sender*: Lojban list <LOJBAN%CUVMB.bitnet@YaleVM.YCC.YALE.EDU>

John Cowan: > 1 gigasecond = 31 years 251 days 13 hours 34 minutes 51.52 seconds > ^^? >(assuming all years are 365.2422 days long exactly). The _tropical_year (which is the one we use because it stays in time with the seasons) is measured as 365.24219 (or 365.24220 depending on which reference you choose) is usually _defined_ as 31,556,926 seconds. (In fact, for some time the second was defined as that part of the year 1900, until more modern methods took over). Every so often a leap second is added, to allow for inaccuracies in measurement, changes in the speeds of rotation and revolution, etc. BTW, the current method of specifying leap years (+1/4 -1/100 +1/400 -1/4000) is accurate for about 20,000 years. An alternative would be (+1/4 - 1/128) is accurate for about 400,000 years. Which is 'better'? ====================================================================== Chris Handley chandley@otago.ac.nz Dept of Computer Science Ph (+64) 3-479-8499 University of Otago Fax (+64) 3-479-8577 Dunedin, NZ ______________________________________________________________________ There are three types of Computer Scientist: those who can count and those who can't.

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