Our Astronomical Column


    Calendar Reform.—The Scientific American for June contains an article by G. Eastman strongly advocating the adoption of a year of thirteen months with 28 days in each, and an extra day at the end, not to reckon as a weekday; in leap year there would be a second extra day, which would be placed at the end of the sixth month; each month would always begin with a Sunday. There is no question that such a calendar would be convenient to such astronomers as have occasion frequently to reckon the interval in days between given dates; the want of system in the lengths of our present months, and the position of the leap day at the end of the second month, instead of the end of the year, are serious drawbacks. But the interruption of the regular sequence of weeks, which have now been running without a break for some three thousand years, excites the antagonism of a number of people. Some of these (the Jews, and also many Christians) accept the week as of divine institution, with which it is unlawful to tamper; others, without these scruples, still feel that it is useful to maintain a time-unit that, unlike all others, has proceeded in an absolutely invariable manner since what may be called the dawn of history. This view found strong support at the meeting of the International Astronomical Union at Rome in 1922; and it is unlikely that there will be, at least in the near future, sufficient consensus of opinion to enable the scheme described above to be carried through.

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    Our Astronomical Column. Nature 127, 869 (1931). https://doi.org/10.1038/127869a0

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