Galactic and Universal Time

Num7

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Have you thought of this before? Here on Earth, we have time zones and UTC, so that time can be handled properly and conveniently, regardless of where you are. It works.

Now, what about a civilization that spans the galaxy? What is their absolute time measure?

I’m not even talking about time dilation, let’s not consider it for the moment, for simplicity’s sake.

How do you measure time properly, so that communications and travel throughout your civilization work reliably and adequately?

Would it be possible for an alien race to develop a perfect, absolute, and infinitely precise time-keeping system, based on the universe’s entropy or something? A system they could use empire-wide, that would be reliable and precise? Maybe…

If not, what would be their second-best option?

Would an absolute time such as the Unix Epoch Time (number of seconds since Jan 1st, 1970, or for aliens, since whatever they choose) work as an empire-wide convenient time measurement that gets converted to local time, on a per-planet basis?

I’m not sure what would be best. What are your thoughts?
 

Einstein

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I think absolute time is a nice idea. But it turns out experiments show it does not exist. Every star has a different rate of time flow. So 1 hour here on earth might translate to say 2 hours of elapsed time in another star system. An atomic clock being the most accurate time keeping device has been shown to tick faster at a very high orbit around earth. So far we can't even make a clock to measure absolute time.

Then there is the Doppler shifted star light from distant stars. It is claimed to be evidence that the universe is still expanding. But what if its time that is speeding up instead, as the universe grows older?
 

MODAT7

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Given time dilation problems caused by velocity and gravity, this is an unsolvable problem. If you think planet to planet communications are bad, just wait until you try starship to starship.

Epoch Time is just a convenient choice to start counting at some rate at some event. A new Epoch Time could be started just as easily when some hypernova detonated in the galaxy. From there some method of counting could be started based on a round number of ticks from an atomic clock. For best results, this new "time beacon" for the galaxy should be in deep space away from any gravity wells. There's still the problem that the galaxy is moving through the universe, the arms of the galaxy are spinning in a kind of orbit, the local stars bobbing up and down in the galactic arms, planets are orbiting stars, and planets are rotating (often with moons). Maybe a time beacon out in the void between galaxies would be better.

Ein just mentioned universal expansion. There may need to be more than one time beacon so this movement could be accounted for. A whole bunch of time beacons could be used as a kind of galactic GPS.

This is still of the assumption that FTL communications are possible and practical. The next question is: how fast are those communications? At 2c, that's a 100% increase over our 1c, but it is still painfully slow... even at the solar system level. In Trek terms, subspace communications are near instant... depending on who's doing the writing. If subspace communications really were point to point instant regardless of distance, a time beacon between galaxies would be practical. If subspace communications are significantly FTL but it still takes years to get across the galaxy, then a time beacon would be of limited use.

I've heard some speculate that time travelers might use planetary alignments as a type of clock when time travelling within a solar system. It isn't "to the second" accurate, but it is easy to see when to come back to normal space... at least in theory.
 

Num7

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You guys made great points! I think I have even more questions than earlier!

I also realize that I asked about this on a galactic scale. But what about an Earth-Mars scale considering current technology? Would Mars have a local time + calendar that fits with the planet's rotation and revolution?

Is there any way that such a local time system wouldn't fall apart over long (lightyears) distances?
 

Einstein

Temporal Engineer
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You guys made great points! I think I have even more questions than earlier!

I also realize that I asked about this on a galactic scale. But what about an Earth-Mars scale considering current technology? Would Mars have a local time + calendar that fits with the planet's rotation and revolution?

Is there any way that such a local time system wouldn't fall apart over long (lightyears) distances?

The time flow rate is different on Mars. The GPS satellites in orbit around earth are continually updated and synced with earth time. I suppose a similar method could be used to keep Mars clocks ticking at earth time rates. There is a problem with longer distances. A GPS satellite is probably less than a 1/10 of a light second away. I think Mars can be up to 20 light minutes away. The longer the distance, the more chance there is that an EM wave can be influenced by external gravity fields. That adds to error. I suppose our scientists are looking for a way to take advantage of quantum communication. But I haven't come across any experiments showing they transmitted data instantaneously yet.
 

8thsinner

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506
Theres only two methods of communication that work on galactic scales. Telepathy, and a digital, almost copy of telepathy using frequency encrypted entangled particles through the ether itself. I've mentioned this before, muons...the next evolution from radio waves.
Space only exists when you aren't in the higher dimensions, at least the way we see it, whether you call it counter space, aether, ether, it's all the same thing, the pervasive field that everything is born from.
Humans being quite, well dumb as shit quite frankly, even their telepathy isn't good most of the time. Our words are a mockery of any language based on pure vibrational comprehension, however, it can still be done over galactic distances.
Couple of decades and some of us would get the hang of it but when we do. . . .fun...

We have however still managed to track awareness of the planets, atoms, etc...

How would a fish talk to a bird when there is no shared context? Water and air couldn't be more opposite. But, both experience cycles, in our case on this planet, cycles of night and day. Moons, tides, etc.
Telepathy begins between these two species meet at this level, everything that exists in so called "space" does so with a vibration. Both species experience and know this vibration. Now a deep sea dweller, and a bacteria inside a volcano...what might they have in common.. If the bridge of communication begins anywhere again, it is in cycles. Though they might experience it with different types of senses. The earth on that physical 3d dimension, still rotates at a very precise rate.
This is the first and primary cycle here, whether you can see the sun or not. You're on a planet and the planet turns, then you have orbits, etc etc.
Every other race has this same contextual bridge. Planets, moons, suns...

They also have math. Birds might not understand math the way we do, but some do at this point in our history, well crows so far, probably others by now i'm not sure. Moot point but when a species begins to understand that it can change its environment, thats when math becomes relevant. Later in evolution like with humans, math becomes the foundation of most everything because everything in a physical space must have relativity to all the other things.
But the primary cycle, is still the planets.



In the case of species to species across galaxies, orbits of galaxies, relative to a central space between them.

This is where time is marked from, this is where their math becomes contextual and the same.

No matter what language of math you use, the vibration of measurement systems is the same. Breaking that down to atomics, you have the wavelength of the electron and proton. The commonality between all spatially existing atoms. Underlying the entire universe behind the math it comes to the planck length but not important for this scale.

When you have a vibrational understanding of
A - Universal galactic and planetary cycles around the central point
B - Smallest movement of commonality that exists in all spaces
C - Contextual range of scope and measuring math between these two opposite position

You have the building blocks then of time. The accuracy of that measure of time is measured by the perceptual level of the species, from the evolution of birds seeing the sun and moon only, through to beings who can barely hold onto a physical form for ten seconds at a time without becoming light again. Though, ten seconds to them would be enough "time" to message every person on earth a hundred thousand emails, and then have a 9 second smoke break....
lol

Introducing one species to another, they will start there.
After millions of years of evolution though, it becomes less important and less solid.
There is a flow with existence a flow with nature, and at those higher being dimensions, this includes a flow within the entire universe.

Now, put me in a park with a blindfold on, spin me around till I fall, let me stand up at my own pace, still keeping the blindfold on, I can tell you where north is, I can do the same thing in a dark room without the sun being detectable. I could maybe tell you where the sun is after a month living in the dark losing all touch with time and cycles. Maybe. Never tried that and probably not going to.
But more advanced species would consider that kindergarden play. at best.
Put them in any space and they could feel where the centre of the galaxy is.
That is just another part of evolution.

Most humans got side tracked on that planetary connection when they were lured away from the forests and trees. But not all.
Anyway. when you are that intimately connected to your environment, no matter the scale of that environment, you are also in the flow of when communications should, and should not occur, you can tell the difference between a friend just warmly thinking about you, and a friend wanting to talk to you. You will both be in the cycle of, perfect timing. It's how nature works behind it's apparent randomness, the cat was never late in catching it's dinner, the mouse, too, never early, and never late, it happened precisely when it was meant to.
All incarnations from the smallest eletron, to the biggest sun...they incarnated precisely within cycles.
Doesn't matter if your friend is on another planet or in another galaxy. The telepathy bridge is already built.

So even as much as you want to try and quantify it to a solid state reference point, the universe doesn't really work that way. It might run on math, and cycles, and ratios etc but only at the foundational levels behind life, but it doesn't expect or want you to live that way.
It wants life to be lived and experienced.
Simply for the sake of experiencing it.

So when it comes to time, the last time it will be relative is when we are meeting new species, NOT, once we become intimate with them, once that telepathic or emotional bridge between us is bridged. Bridged by the contextual understandings of vibrational "space"
 

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