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By James S. Li
1st Millennium: 1-1000
2nd Millennium: 1001-2000
3rd Millennium: 2001-3000
The time is getting close, and the Y2K Millennium bug can be dangerous when the date 12-31-99 turns to 0 1 -0 1 -00, causing the world to be plunged into total darkness at night, and chaos throughout the world. The world is spending over $5,000,000,000 to fix this before time runs out. "There is even controversy about when the next millennium starts. The calendar went from I BC to I AD, and there was no year 0. Therefore, the actual millennium officially begins on January I st, 200 1" (National Geographic) The year 2000 ends the 20th Century (1901-2000) and 2nd Millennium (1001-2000). And the year 2001 starts the 21st Century (2001-2100) and 3rd Millennium (2001-3000). "Many people say, we should hold our big celebrations, until the arrival of January I st, 200 1. But most of the world will be up on December 3 1 st, 1999 at the New Year's Eve parties, and watch the countdown and the digital clocks spin to all those zeros and declare the arrival of the new millennium. Many places like Seattle's Space Needle, Wait Disney World Orlando, NYC's Rainbow Room have been booked since 1995!" (National Geographic) Some places around the world are just starting to sell tickets for 12-3 1-1999! New York City, the largest city in the world has planned Millennium events that will start at the stroke of midnight on December 3 1 st, 1999 and last through the end of the year 200 1! Times Square 2000 is an event that will take place on December 31st, 19" at 7am NYC Time, when the year 2000 arrives in the South Pacific. For the next 24 hours until January Ist, 2000 7am NYC Time, live televisions screens will broadcast images from each of the 24 time zones' people and cultures as the year 2000 travels around tile globe. The celebration will continue until all 24 time zones observe the start of January 1st 2000. Calendars have been invented by people to keep track with time. But many attempts in the past have been made to keep the calendar as accurate as possible. Without the calendar, there would be no events, holidays, anniversaries, etc. of any kind. Our present day calendar took several steps to be created, and to this date is still not yet entirely accurate. Therefore more changes still have to be made in future millenniums to keep it more accurate.
The Julian Calendar
A tropical yea is the actual time it takes the Earth to circle the sun with respect to the seasons, and the equinoxes. It actually lasts 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds = 365.242199074074 days. If this value were exactly 365 days and 6 hours=365.25 days, a leap year every 4 years would make our calendar come out even and perfect. But due to the actual time, we could NOT have a leap year every 4 years, and therefore, we would have to drop out some leap years in each millennium to make the calendar more accurate. A sideral year lasts 365 days
and 6 hours = 365.25 days, with respect to the stars we see at night. Therefore, a tropical year runs I I minutes and 14 seconds z 0.00780092593 days FASTER than a sideral year. The Julian Calendar was introduced in 45BC by Julius Caesar, had a common year of 365 days. Every year divisible by 4 WOULD BE a leap year. (Examples of leap years: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, etc.) This gives the average year:
1(3*365)+(1*366)1/4 = 365.250000000, which is a good approximation to the length of a tropical year, but is not exactly accurate. Because a tropical year runs 11 minutes and 14 seconds = 0.00780092593 days FASTER than the Julian Calendar (365.25 days), This surplus time leaves a margin of error of I day in approximately 128.189910912 years, or an error of 3 days in approximately 384.569732737 years. By the year 1582 AD, the Vernal Equinox had already moved all the way from March 2 1 st, where it should be to March I Ith, leaving an error of 10 days.
The Gregorian Calendar
Pope Gregory VIII formed a committee to rectify this error. He then introduced the Gregorian Calendar in 1582 to correct this error, by compensating for a difference of 3 days, every 4 centuries (400 years), by declaring that henceforth, century years WOULD NO LONGER BE leap years, UNLESS divisible by 400. (Examples of century leap years: 1600, 2000, 2400, 2800, etc.) Under this rule, in a period of 400 years (quadricentury), there would only, be 97 leap years instead of 100 leap years. This gives the average year: 1(303*365)+(97*366)1/400
365.242500000, which is an excellent approximation to the length of a tropical year, but is still not exactly accurate.
In addition, to move the Vernal Equinox back to March 21st where it belongs, Pope Gregory Vill cut 10 days off the Julian Calendar. People went to sleep on the night of October 4th, 1582 and woke up to find it was October 15th, 1582, which was I I days later. Therefore the days between October 4th, 1582 and October l5th, 1582 disappeared. Great Britain and it's colonies didn't adopt these changes until the year 1752. In that year, I I days were dropped out from the month of September. The day after September 2nd, 1752 became September 14th, 1752.
The Gregorian Calendar to this day is still not yet entirely accurate. It runs 26 seconds= 0.00030092593 days FAST a year, leaving a margin of error of I day in approximately 3323.07687809 years.
The Modified Gregorian Calendar
The Modified Gregorian Calendar will correct this error, by compensating for a difference of I day every 4000 by declaring that years which are multiples of 4000 WOULD NO LONGER BE leap years. (Examples of years divisible by 4000: 4000, 8000, 12000, 16000, etc.) Under this rule, in a period of 4000 years (4 millenniums), there would only be 969 leap years instead of 970 leap years. This gives the average year:
1(3031*365)+(969*369)/4000 = 365.242250000, which serves as another excellent approximation to the length of a tropical year. This will keep the calendar accurate to I day in 20000 years, because now a tropical year runs 4.4 seconds= 0.00005092593 days FASTER than the Modified Gregorian Calendar, leaving a margin of error of I day in approximately 19636.3620655 years.
Alternate Changes in Modified Gregorian Calendar I However, there are some other changes that can be made to bring the calendar as close as possible to the length of a tropical year. As mentioned above, a tropical year runs 26 seconds 0.00030092593 days FASTER than the Gregorian Calendar, leaving a margin of error of I day in approximately 3323.07687809 years. This surplus time will leave a margin of error of 24 days in approximately 79753.8450741 years, and the), did not make the change until at the end of a period of 4000 years, which is about 677.92312191 years after the surplus time accumulated to an error of I day. For even more accuracy, INSTEAD OF making the change at years divisible by 4000, this change can be made at years which are multiples of 3200, by making them common years with 365 days, EXCEPT those years divisible by 80000, which will be leap years. Under this rule, any millennium year evenly divisible by 16000 is made a common year with 365 days, EXCEPT when it's divisible by 80000. (Examples of leap years divisible by 3200 & 80000: 80000, 160000, 240000, 320000, 400000, etc.) If this change is made, in a period of 80000 years (80 millenniums), there would only be 19376 leap years, instead of 19400 leap years, making years divisible by 4000, but NOT 16000 except divisible by 80000, leap years. (Examples: 4000, 8000, 12000, 20000, 24000, etc.) The average year will then be: 1(60624*365)+(19376*366)1/80000 365.242200000, which is an excellent approximation to the length of a tropical year, but is still not entirely accurate. Because now, a tropical year runs approximately 0.080000352 seconds= 0.00000092593 days FASTER than 365.2422 days, leaving a margin of error of I day in about 1,079,995.24802 years, or 9 days in about 9,719,957.23218 years when changes are made every 3200 years.
2nd Change to Modified Gregorian n Calendar
Another change can be made at years evenly divisible by 1,000,000, by making them common years with 365 days, EXCEPT those years that are divisible by 10,000,000, but not 20,000,000 which will be leap years. (Examples of leap years divisible by 1,000,000 & 10,000,000: 10,000,000; 30,000,000; etc.) In a period of 10,000,000 years, there would only be 2,421,991 leap years instead of 2,422,000 leap years, if these changes are
made every 1,000.000 years. This change will make the average year as follows:
1(7,578,009*365)+(2,421,991*366)1/10,000,000 = 365.242199100, which is a super approximation to the length of a tropical year, which is still not entirely accurate. Because now, a tropical year runs approximately 0.002240352 seconds = 0.00000002593 days FASTER than 365.2421991 days, leaving a margin of error of I day in about
38,565,368.2993 years when changes are made every 3200 years and 1,000,000 years.
3rd Change to Modified Gregorian Calendar Another change can be made at years which are multiples of 20,000,000, bv making them common years with 365 days, EXCEPT those years that are divisible by 40,000,000, which will be leap years. (Examples of leap years divisible by 20,000,000 & 40,000,000: 40,000,000; 80,000,000; 120,000,000; 160,000,000; 200.000,000; etc.) In a period of 40,000,000 years, there would only be 9,687,963 leap years instead of 9,687,964 leap years, it' these changes are made every 20,000,000 years. The average year will then be: 1(30,312,037*365)+(9,687,963*366)1/40,000,000 = 365.242199075, which serves as an almost perfect approximation to the length of a tropical year. This will keep the calendar accurate to I day in about 1,000.000,000 (I billion: American System) years, because now a tropical year runs about 0.000080352 seconds~ 0.00000000093 days FASTER than 365.242199075 days, leaving a margin of error of I day in approximately 1,075,268,817.2 years. The calendar is now as accurate as possible.
A special thanks to the following people who helped me with all the information. Without any of you, this work would not have been possible. David End, Peter Hung, Steve Kahan, Anita Podrid, Peggy Fallon, Paula Izumi, Harold Kirsh, Saul Weintraub
Revised on October 13, 1999AD By James
@The Light Millennium magazine was created and designed
by Bircan Unver. January 2000, New York