Dual Sun Time

Daylight saving time (DST) can be seen as an attempt to somehow "rectify" the unnatural mean solar time (MST) that generally doesn't coincide with sunrise or sunset. Apart from astronomical science, MST was used during the age of discoveries by navigators of the seafaring nations for computing geographical longitude. The railway age made the differences between various local times all too obvious, e.g. when clocks on trains from the east were always "ahead" by a constant number of minutes when they arrived in the west (longitude difference minus travel time) and vice versa.

The global communication of the 20th century sychronized the clocks all over the world within nanoseconds. Now relativistic effects are used for global satellite navigation (GPS, global positioning system).

Having attained much, technologically, the natural time systems become interesting again for various reasons. We have the technology to support a dual time standard, consisting of MST and local solar time. Local solar time is a quality of place (geographical position).

If demanded by customers, this system of connecting personal local time with global time could be incorporated into personal digital clocks. Electronic radio-controlled clocks that show exact MST and moon phase already (1998) exist. The functionality of these clocks could be extended so that a geographical position entered produced local time (relative to sunrise and sunset, or noon).

It is not too difficult to extend the functionality of present hand-held GPS receivers to give the local position of the sun relative to the horizon, plus sunrise, sunset, twilight times, and solar meridian transit (noon).

I imagine a hand-held device (i.e. a dedicated clock with everything inside, not a laptop with attached gadget). A palmtop with integrated GPS receiver and the desired functionality would qualify, too.
If you know of a hand-held device that gives local solar time, moon phase, and MST please send me an email (an URL where to obtain it would be best). Thank you!

In connection with variable hour schemes like in the Seven Space calendar, and a flexible work schedule more calendric freedom for the individual or organisation so inclined is possible.


© Copyright 1998, Mario Hilgemeier, email: contact
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