In honor of (I can honor the weirdest things) it being February 29, our calendar’s leap day, a half-dozen facts about the leap day for those using Imperial Standard Time:
- First, it does have one, as IST is based on the rotation and orbital periods of Eliera, the eldrae homeworld. The year is a little longer than hours, because while it’s only 333.3 local days long, the local day itself is roughly 26 of our hours long. Given these periods, the leap day is added every third year and omitted every thirtieth, to suit.
- It’s named “Calibration Day”, because that’s what it does to the calendar.
- It’s added to the calendar at the summer solstice, immediately after the intercalary day set aside for that every year.
- As it’s an anomaly in the smooth progression of days, nights, cycles and years anyway, it’s also the traditional day that leap seconds and other minor adjustments are added on to.
- It’s not officially a holiday, but since everyone’s still recovering from the Midyear’s Day festival, it’s not like much work gets done on it.
- Many Imperials really hate the thought of having to eventually split Elieran planetary time and IST up as the planet slows in deep time, even if that is what every other planet has to do routinely. Plans for giant planet-girdling superconducting rings to electromagnetically spin the planetary rotation back up are already being tossed around by the Excruciatingly Long-Range Planning chaps. At least it keeps them busy.