• The QS Calender for Mars
The QS Calender is a 20-month calender for Mars. QS is short for QuintSol. A Quint is the Martian month equivalent and a Sol is a Martian day. Together they describe a Martian year. Quint means five in latin. The name was selected because in it's initial stages the calender was called the SQS Calender, standing for SeasonQuintSol, where every season was divisible by 5 quints. A Season is 90 degrees of the total orbit so a quint is 18 degrees. Because the elliptic orbit of Mars not every quint has the same amount of sols [see table 1].
Quint Length Quint Length
Number Name Abbr. Q01 Qalfa [Qα] Q02 Qbeta [Qβ] Q03 Qgamma [Qγ] Q04 Qdelta [Qδ] Q05 Qepsilon [Qε] Q06 Qzeta [Qζ] Q07 Qeta [Qη] Q08 Qtheta [Qθ] Q09 Qiota [Qι] Q10 Qkappa [Qκ]
Degrees Sols Ls = 0-18 37 Ls = 19-36 38 Ls = 37-54 39 Ls = 55-72 40 Ls = 73-90 40 Ls = 91-108 39 Ls = 109-126 38 Ls = 127-144 36 Ls = 145-162 34 Ls = 163-180 31
Number Name Abbr. Q11 Qlabda [Qλ] Q12 Qmu [Qμ] Q13 Qnu [Qν] Q14 Qxi [Qξ] Q15 Qomnikron [Qο] Q16 Qpi [Qπ] Q17 Qrho [Qρ] Q18 Qsigma [Qσ] Q19 Qtau [Qτ] Q20 Qupsilon [Qυ]
Degrees Sols Ls = 181-198 31 Ls = 199-216 29 Ls = 217-234 28 Ls = 235-252 28 Ls = 253-270 27 Ls = 271-188 28 Ls = 189-306 30 Ls = 307-324 30 Ls = 325-342 32 Ls = 343-360 34
Legend Northern Spring Northern Summer Northern Autumn Northern Winter
Table 1: Quint description
The QS Calender uses sols as the Martian day unit. One sol is ~88775 Earth seconds long, ~2375 Earth seconds longer than the Earth day. The sol uses the 24x60x60 system so Mars hours, minutes and seconds are longer than the Earth counterparts. This is usefull for every day life on Mars, but it makes it complicated for a scientist to compare Earth and Mars data. Technology is used to solve this problem. All devices on Mars which somehow use time can be programmed for Mars or Earth time and can easily convert between them.
The start of a new year at Ls = 0 during the Northern Spring Equinox [NSE] is selected because during the NSE both hemispheres are in a transitional phase between, for the North, Winter and Summer, and for the South, Summer and Winter. During the equinox both hemisphere receive the same amount of solar energy.
The QS Calender doesn’t use weeks. Instead it uses a simple QuintSol abbreviation system. For example the 11th sol of quint 04 can be abbreviated to Q04S11. If you use the greekalfabet system you can abbreviate that same 11th of Qdelta to 11 Qδ. Although the QS Calender doesn't use weeks they can still be very easily implemented into the calender. Every community of colonists has to decide for themselves if they want to use weeks [for a religious reason for example]. The QS Calender however is the standard for Mars and has to be used to avoid communication conflicts.
The Martian year is 668.5906 sols long. The QS Calender uses 669 sols in a year so leap years have to be devised, because to much time is used. The time accounted too much is 0.4094, which means that after a year the QS Calender is out of phase with the orbit of Mars of 0.4096 sols. We split this number into 0.4 and 0.0094. The first number is used for the 100 year leap year cycle, the small one for the 10000 year leap year cycle.
The number 0.4 means that every 100 years 40 sols need to be deducted. The same applies to every 10000 years where 94 sols need to be deducted. The 10000 year cycle is something of the future, we only need to speak about the 100 year cycle here.
The QS Calender doesn’t use fixed leap years, like say every five years. It deletes a day only when needed. For example take Qalfa with 37 sols. The exact Ls = 18-19 transition takes place that 37th sol. Well, because of the 0.4094 sols accounted too much every year the exact [668.5906 sols] year falls behind the 669 sols year. This would eventually cause the Ls = 18-19 transition taking place during the 36th sol. When this occurs the 37th sol is cancelled.
The QS Calender officially started the moment 'The First' touched down on the 29th of September 2023 when John Howard took his first steps on another planet saying his famous words "Jesus, it's cold out here!". Some quints before however, the actual Mars year had started. When 'The First' landed the QS Calender was already at Q09S07.
Like on Earth Mars is devided into longitudinal and latitudinal degrees. The longitudinal prime meridian of Mars is located in the center of a crater called Airy-0. Exactly on the opposite side of this location, the first sol of Myear 1 started.
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