Leap Seconds on Mars?

From: Tom Van Baak <tvb_at_leapsecond.com>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 17:50:44 -0800

There have been a number of timing related articles
on Mars recently that got me thinking. Here's my
leap second related question:

Does anyone know if Mars is a better timekeeper
than Earth? Earth's liquid core, polar ice caps,
large moon, oceans, and climate all play a part
in our irregular length of day. It seems to me a
"deader" planet like Mars would keep time better
than Earth, right?

Related to that, here's a factoid - if Martians used
a 24:60:60 time system and developed a Cesium
clock the Martian second would be defined as
"9 445 348 708 periods of the ... hyperfine levels
... cesium 133 atom".

Lastly, does anyone know if a continuous clock
is running on, or in orbit around, Mars? Is it MET,
or TAI or UTC? If the latter, ponder this: it will be
an odd moment in the next year or two, when a
clock on Mars has to be updated due to a Earth
leap second...


Here are some Mars time-related topics:

Watchmaker With Time to Lose

What Time Is It on Mars?
The MarsDial: A Sundial for the Red Planet

How Did Navigators Hit Their Precise Landing Target on Mars
"So hitting a precise landing site target that is scientifically
 interesting on Mars is impossible unless the calculations
 of how fast Earth is rotating on its own axis is known to
 the timing of 0.2 milliseconds."
Received on Thu Jan 15 2004 - 17:55:50 PST

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