General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

If earthlings were to settle Mars, would we configure one time zone for the whole planet, or would we divide it into time zones like we do on earth?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28178points) 1 month ago

Time zones would make more sense, given that the planet is round.

But what works for Mars?

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31 Answers

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

China uses a single time zone, despite being wide enough for five. It might be a good idea for widely separated small colonies, saving them the trouble of mentally translating, and the errors that can cause.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Now that I think of it, the same question would apply for the moon as well.

Patty_Melt's avatar

One time zone. It would be fun to live where the day starts at 2PM.

Darth_Algar's avatar

They would probably just use UTC. Keeps things simple and in-synch with Earth. Matter of fact, I would not object if here on Earth we decided to drop all time zones and implement UTC worldwide.

kritiper's avatar

It would depend on how many of our hours there are to a day on Mars. There could be 24 hours, and each hour could be longer or shorter, whatever would be the most practical and of practical use. And, since it takes 14 months to get there, a person would be well acclimated to any time change before they landed.
@elbanditoroso A day on the moon is 28 of our days long. That’s why the same side of the moon always faces Earth.
@Darth Algar. That might work except the distances and the time it takes to travel from point to point would/could/might still make for collisions of trains and the like.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kritiper “That might work except the distances and the time it takes to travel from point to point would/could/might still make for collisions of trains and the like.”

How do you figure?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

One zone to rule them all.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

Is there some inherent issue with my idea?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Darth_Algar -Yes. No one wants a urinary tract confection. No one

Darth_Algar's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

Not sure what that has to do with time zones, but ok…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Darth_Algar – “UTC” I can’t stop XD

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Darth_Algar -I did find out what that stood for but did it anyway….mwah haa ha ahhahaaa

LadyMarissa's avatar

It seems that I’ve read that Mars would have it’s own time that would add another time zone to ours. It seemed that the thought would be one time zone, but that would be subject to change once we colonized the planet & could verify what was required. It has been a long time since I read that & I don’t remember my source so I can’t provide the link. I’m thinking that it was NASA but I could easily be wrong!!!

stanleybmanly's avatar

The answer to this question occurs when you consider WHY we find it necessary to have so many time zones on earth. And the answer to that is simply TRADITION. We really no longer require precise knowledge of when the sun is directly overhead or fixed positions of the stars at specific times to calculate where we are on a globe. My guess is that the one time zone for the entire planet would be the model principally because in the beginning it would be vital to reference every aspect of the planet to a specific time on earth. Mars has a 24 hour 35 minute 19 second day. Which means that a Martian hour will be longer than ours. So unlike the earth there must be a planet wide “greenwich” meantime from the onset of settlement. But rather than the sun telling you the time, as has defined 99.9% of our existence on earth, we will settle mars with our clocks telling us precisely where the sun is in the martian sky.

kruger_d's avatar

For reference, a Martian day lasts 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds.
I would think it good to sync Earth and Martian regions experiencing daytime/nighttime just for the sake of sleep rhythms. That would shift over time on Mars by just over one Earth time zone per day.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Nope. I want one time for the whole planet, except the north pole. It could be permanent zero hundred hours, just for grins.

kritiper's avatar

@Darth_Algar If, for instance, New York City, Washington, DC and Saint Louis all existed on Mars, distance wise. If a train left Saint Louis and New York City at the same exact time, headed for Washington DC, the trains would arrive at different times but on the same track, just like things were here in the US before time zones came into effect. Suppose there were more trains than this two, all headed for Washington DC. The trains could collide. That’s why time zones and standardized time were created.

kritiper's avatar

@Patty_Melt When do you plan to eat lunch? People like to eat lunch when the sun is directly overhead.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kritiper

That was then. With the technology they have now a train’s precise location is easily tracked and radio communication allows for direct communication between trains. Clocks and time zones are no longer necessarily for this purpose.

Patty_Melt's avatar

I’m nocturnal. I eat lunch on my own schedule.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I have a simple eating schedule – I eat when I’m hungry.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

the trains would arrive at different times but on the same track, just like things were here in the US before time zones came into effect

That happened when New York City, Washington, DC and Saint Louis had their own official times.

Standardized time fixes it, whether it uses a single time zone or many.

kritiper's avatar

People set their clocks for when the sun is directly overhead. How screwed up would Mars be on one time for the whole planet?? Might be better in the long run to just use time zones.
@Call_Me_Jay I don’t think so. The differences in distances and the time it takes to move across those distances changes everything.
@Patty_Melt and @Darth_Algar Soooo, everybody else has to live and eat by YOUR schedule?

kritiper's avatar

Actually, everyone would get together and decide which would be best, and, if required, would vote on the issue.

Patty_Melt's avatar

You live in the area which suits your tastes.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

People set their clocks for when the sun is directly overhead

?? No, they don’t with standardized time.

For lots of purposes, people on Earth use a single time zone, UTC.

It’s UTC 6:15 right now everywhere on Earth. 6:15 is early morning in London. 6:15 is the middle of the night for me. 6:15 is midafternoon in Australia.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@kripiter “Soooo, everybody else has to live and eat by YOUR schedule?”

Clearly. Obviously.

Lord, I rolled my eyes so hard at that I now have eye strain.

JLeslie's avatar

I didn’t read answers above.

I think they would stick with Zulu time for a long time. Maybe once it had a very large population over broad parts of the planet they would think to divide it into different time zones.

The day is not 24 hours I would guess, so it would be hard to coordinate when the sun rises and sets, etc.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Time zones.

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