Date: Sat, 27 Dec 1997 11:28:24
From: Simon Cassidy <scassidy@EARTHLINK.NET>
Subject: Re: Query (Buckley's reply)
> Starting the year on the winter solstice (or the summer solstice) is also
> a good idea. It is a predictable and an observable starting point for
> each year. Even the ancient Myans and Druids could observe the winter
> solstice. This would allow us to "adjust" the length of a year as was
> done several years ago (An extra second was added to Dec. 31). This
> adjustment could work whether a leap year is used or not.
Simon notes: The solstices are "predictable and observable" primarily as spatial stations in the solar cycle. As temporal starting points they lack distinctness (the sun rises and sets at the same optical point on the horizon for a week or more around the solstices). The equinoxes are much more distinct timewise (the rise and setting points of the sun around the equinoxes shift by about one diameter of the sun each day).
As for adjusting "the length of a year as was done several years ago (An extra second was added to Dec. 31)", this is nonsense! What was adjusted was the fit of the new atomic seconds to the real Universal day (of the Earths rotation w.r.t the sun). The adjustment was done at the end of the year as a matter of convenience and had nothing to do with the natural length of that or any other year!
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