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Instructions and Information



Copyright © 2000 1728 Software Systems

INSTRUCTIONS

The above calendar is quite straightforward. Input the month number that you want (1 for January to 12 for December), input the year (anything after 1600), click 'CALCULATE' and then the entire month will be displayed.
You may notice, if you input February for a 'century year' (1700, 1800 etc.) it will not appear to be a leap year. What happened? Read the next section and you will find the answer

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LEAP YEAR INFORMATION

The 'modern' calendar is based upon the amount of time it takes the Earth to go through one seasonal cycle (called a 'Tropical Year' - about 365.25 days). More than 2,000 years ago, the Romans were aware of this and made every fourth year have 366 days which was accurate enough for a timespan of a few centuries. However, the Tropical Year is not exactly 365.25 days - it is slightly less. So, by the 1500's, the calendar was 10 days out of step with the seasons. Most of Europe adjusted their calendars by eliminating 10 days of the calendar in 1582.

Other countries eventually compensated for this and a new calendar rule was adopted. Every 4th year would still be a Leap Year with speacial exceptions for certain "Century Years' (1700 1800, etc). If such a year is divided by 400 and has no remainder, then it will be a leap year as is the case with 2000 and 2400. If there is a remainder, then it will only be a 365 day year as is the case with 1700, 1800, 1900, 2100, etc. You may test this by inputting February for these years.

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JULIAN DAYS

JD, MJD and TJD
JD stands for Julian Day Number which had its starting point at NOON January 1, 4713 BC, making NOON January 2, 4713 BC Julian Day Number 1. Millions of days have passed since then and as of NOON January 1, 2000 the Julian Day Number was 2,451,545. Astronomers use Julian Day Numbers because of the immense time span covered and because each 'day' begins at noon. Since the vast majority of astronomical events and activities occur at night, it is very convenient to have one night's observations not split between 2 days. Also, the Julian Day Number can conveniently incorporate the time as well. For example, January 1, 2000 at 3:00 a.m. is Julian Day Number 2,451,544.625. Well, that's all well and good for astronomy, but rather awkward for everything else. After all, having a day expressed as a 7 digit integer that changes at noontime does not fit in well with most human activities. So, a slightly different JD Numbering system was conceived called:

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Modified Julian Days

Here the 'zero' point is November 17, 1858 at MIDNIGHT. (or expressing it mathematically - Modified Julian Day Number = JD# -2,400,000.5). Now there were fewer digits to deal with and the day changed at midnight just as it does in the civil calendar in common use today.
Still another sytem was introduced called:


Truncated Julian Days
Here the zero point is May 24, 1968 at MIDNIGHT. (Expressed mathematically, TJD = MJD# -40,000 and TJD = JD# -2,440,000.5).

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