(time) The system of dates used by most of the world. The Gregorian calendar was proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius and was decreed by, and named after, Pope Gregory XIII on 1582-02-24. It corrected the Julian calendar whose years were slightly longer than the solar year. It also replaced the lunar calendar which was also out of time with the seasons. The correction was achieved by skipping several days as a one-off resynchronisation and then dropping three leap days every 400 hundred years. In the revised system, leap years are all years divisible by 4 but excluding those divisible by 100 but including those divisible by 400. This gives a mean calendar year of 365.2425 days = 52.1775 weeks = 8,765.82 hours = 525,949.2 minutes = 31,556,952 seconds. leap seconds are occasionally added to this to correct for irregularities in the Earth's rotation.
Last updated: 2007-01-10