February 29, 2016

Stardates and Interdigitated Rabbits

Today's Google Doodle animation is in honor of leap year in the Gregorian Calendar. As you can see from the images below, legend has it that rabbit #29 jumps in between rabbits #28 and #1 without disturbing their sleep. Whether any of these cartoon rabbits are related to Inspector #5 is not clear. 

A bit more seriously (but still in the realm of fiction) is the art and science of timekeeping. The leap year, occurring once every four years, is actually a transannual correction on the 365 day year. As it actually takes 365.25 days for the Earth to make a single orbit around the Sun, the Gregorian calendar falls short. In fact, there has yet to be a calendar created that perfectly captures the length of a solar year. This brings us to a potential candidate, the well-known Stardate.

However, despite stardates being the primary mode of timekeeping in a fictional interstellar civilization, they are surprisingly fluid from one part of the galaxy to the next, and from one series to the next. But you can download a more stable version for your own computer, as the concept of a stardate is based on a standard mathematical model.

Regardless of the inconsistencies in  the Stardate system, time travel occurred a number of times in the Star Trek franchise. As this is the 50th anniversary of the first season of Star Trek: TOS, it's a good time to look at instances of time travel in the Trek franchise:

Ex Astris Scientia, Time Travel in the Abramsverse

Memory Alpha Wiki, Temporal mechanics

Time travel tech, Trek style. COURTESY: ArsTechnica and Paramount Pictures.

No comments:

Post a Comment