Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, January 21, 2019 11:12:18 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The Gregorian calendar

By
01st-Jan-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Brad Plumer :
Back in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that the 10 days following October 4 simply wouldn't exist. The next day would be ... October 15. Thereafter, a new calendar would come into effect that would better align the months with earth's journey around the sun. This would correct a mismatch in the old Roman calendar, first set up by Julius Caesar, that was causing the months to fall steadily out of line with the seasons.
The Gregorian calendar, with its intricate dance of leap days and leap years, seems utterly banal to those of us in the Western world today. But it's worth pausing to reflect on what an odd system it is - and how we actually got here in the first place.
The fundamental problem that anyone making a calendar has to grapple with is the fact that it takes just a shade more than 365 days for earth to make a full trip around the sun. More precisely, it takes 365.24219 days.
So if you construct a calendar with only 365 days, the seasons will fall ever so slowly out of whack with the months, as the video by Joss Fong demonstrates.
This dilemma was grasped early on by astronomers in Alexandria, Egypt, who helped Julius Caesar devise a new calendar in 46 BC. Until that point, the Roman calendar was a messy hodgepodge, with extra days tacked on in February every now and again based on the whims of politicians. Caesar wanted a steadier, more reliable way to mark the dates.
But the new Julian calendar that resulted was still flawed. It had a leap day every four years, which turned out to be an overcorrection. The average year now had 365.25 days in it - just a shade more than 365.24219.
By the 1570s, those slight differences had added up. The calendar was now out of sync with the solar year by about 10 days.
So, in 1577, Pope Gregory XIII appointed a Commission, led by Physician Aloysius Lilius and Astronomer Christopher Clavius, to solve the problem. It took them five years, but they came up with a fix: First, let's just eliminate those extra 10 days and get back on schedule. Gone! Next, let's tweak the system of leap years. We'll have leap years every four years except on centennial years that aren't divisible by 400. So there's a leap year in 2000, but not in 1900 or 1800 or 1700.
This changed the length of the average year to 365.2425 days. Still not perfect, but close enough. Gregory also moved the New Year from March 25 (the Feast of Annunciation) to January 1.
Not everyone adopted the Gregorian calendar right away
The Orthodox faith used the old Julian calendar, in which Christmas 13 days after its more widespread Gregorian calendar counterpart.
Since he was Pope, Gregory was able to persuade Catholic countries like Italy, Spain, and Portugal to adopt the new calendar immediately. But Protestant countries were wary of this new Popish initiative, seeing it as a suspicious intrusion.
Great Britain and the American colonies didn't actually switch over until 1752. (When they finally did, they had to erase 11 days.) Sweden only made the change in 1753. Turkey was split between the Julian and Islamic calendars until 1917.
During the French Revolution, meanwhile, leaders in France decided to purge their calendars of any religious overtones. The new French Republican calendar, adopted in 1792, had 12 identical months of 30 days. Weeks had 10 days in them. And there were five or six extra days at the end of each year for holidays. The calendar also renamed the months, with monikers like Brumaire or Thermidor. That calendar was abandoned in 1805 and only revived briefly by the Paris Commune in 1871.Nowadays, the Gregorian calendar has largely conquered the world, and most countries now follow it for coordination purposes.
But countries don't always follow the Gregorian schedule to celebrate New Year's. That holiday is often based on lunar cycles and doesn't necessarily fall on January 1. The Persian New Year in Iran, for instance, is determined by the Northern Hemisphere's vernal equinox.
Even the current Gregorian calendar isn't perfect. As noted above, the Gregorian calendar is just a tad out of sync with Earth's trip 'round the sun. The difference isn't huge - we'll have an extra day to deal with by 4909 - but it's enough to bother some persnickety calendar mavens.
The Gregorian calendar also has a bunch of oddities. Unlike the French Republican calendar, our months are uneven, some 31 days, some 30, plus the monstrosity that is February. What's more, each year dates fall on different days of the week.
Some reformers have suggested we change the calendar to correct these blemishes. At Johns Hopkins University, Steve Hanke and Richard Henry have proposed the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, which would have 364 days every year plus a "leap week" tacked on every five or six years to adjust for the error. The advantage here, they say, is that the calendar would be the same every year. October 4 would always fall on a Wednesday, for instance. No need for confusing updates to calendars.
But probably we'll just muddle along with the Gregorian calendar. If worst comes to worst, we can always convene again in 4909 and remove that pesky day.Earth's rotation is also troublesome - which is why we have to add leap seconds Tick tock. (Shutterstock) By the way, leap days aren't the only hassle for timekeepers. We also have leap seconds to contend with. It technically takes earth a bit longer than 24 hours to complete a full rotation: 86,400.002 seconds rather than 86,400. So in order to keep our clocks matched up with solar noon, when the sun is highest in the sky, a leap second gets added every few years.
Since the practice began in 1972, 27 out of 44 years have included leap seconds. What makes this tricky is that timekeepers can't just add these on a predictable schedule, because the earth's rotation is constantly speeding up and slowing down in ways that are tough to foresee. Over the long term, tidal friction is gradually lengthening the time it takes earth to make one full rotation. But other factors like glacial melt, wind, storms, and more also affect the length of the day.
-https:/www.vox.com/2016/10/.../434th-gregorian-calendar-anniversary-google-doogl..

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Entertainment »

Munmun, Achol`s movie Ragi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Last week shooting of Mizanur Rahman Mizan directed movie Ragi again started at BFDC in the capital’s Karwanbazar area. In the middle days, its shooting was stopped. This time Achol has been attached with the movie. After Achol’s engagement in Ragi, its shooting got momentum. In the ...

Sports »

Ko, Ji charge to LPGA lead with Henderson one back


New Zealand's Lydia Ko and South Korea's Ji Eun-hee each fired a five-under par 66 to share the lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.Ko and Ji charged into contention by going low on the front side and parring their way home to stand on 13-under ...

Football »

Salah fires Liverpool seven points clear, Arsenal rock Chelsea


Liverpool moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah's double inspired a dramatic 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace, while Arsenal ignited their top-four bid by beating Chelsea on Saturday.With second-placed Manchester City travelling to bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Sunday, Liverpool seized the chance to tighten ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina being greeted by Home Minister, secretary and IGP during her visit to the Home Ministry yesterday.


International »

Trump offers 3-year protection for immigrants in exchange for border wall


The Washington Post :President Donald Trump on Saturday offered Democrats three years of deportation protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, a proposal immediately rejected by Democrats and derided by conservatives as amnesty.Aiming to end the 29-day partial government shutdown, Trump outlined his plan ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers by four wickets in their match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.Chasing Sylhet's fighting total of 194 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs, Rangpur Riders reached the winning target ...

Sports »

Virat Kohli attends Australian Open, posts picture with Roger Federer


The Indian team completed its most successful campaign Down Under as they won the Test and ODI series comfortably. After close to two months of energy-sapping cricket, skipper Virat Kohli along with wife Anushka Sharma looked in a relaxed mood and attended day six of the Australian Open in Melbourne ...

Entertainment »

Alia , Madhuri Nene on the set of Kalank


Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha star together in Kalank. Dharma Productions' next, Kalank, is being directed by Abhishek Varman. The film's shooting is currently on and Varun Dhawan wrapped up shooting for his part of the film just yesterday. However, ...

International »

Afghan Taliban reject talks with US in Pakistan


Reuters, Peshawar :The Afghan Taliban rejected reports in the Pakistani media that they were prepared to resume meetings with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and repeated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government.Pakistani newspapers and television stations reported that a meeting in Islamabad was in prospect ...

Editorial »

Bravery and courage of a Bangladeshi expatriate


FOR bravery and courage, a Bangladeshi expatriate has been honoured as he saved the life of a three-year-old boy in UAE. Bangladeshi expatriate Farouk, who works as a welder in Ajman of UAE, rescued the child thrown from the balcony of a burning apartment by his mother.Bangladeshi community in the ...

City »

Law enforcers stand guard for security measures on the occasion of victory rally of Bangladesh Awami League in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan. The snap was taken from TSC area of Dhaka University on Saturday.


City »

Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud speaking at the extended meeting of Awami League at the party office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Friday.


.

International »

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets


Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Much of the cost of the extra spending or revenue ...

Cricket »

Dhoni, Jadhav power India to ODI series victory


Agency :MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav scored half-centuries as India won the third and final ODI against Australia by seven wickets at Melbourne on Friday to seal the series 2-1.Chasing 231 to win, Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) put together a 121-run partnership to take India home after the bowlers, ...

Entertainment »

Achol returns acting slowly


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular film actress of present time Achol has returned to acting but with the appearance of anger. Her elder sister Moonmoon is attached with the underworld. When she knows the matter she becomes anger. Achol will be seen by this way in Mizanur Rahman Mizan’s movie Ragi. ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news