“When in Rome, do as the Romans do” is a useful rule for tourists to follow that dates back to the 4th century CE when Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine) asked Ambrose of Milan (St. Ambrose) what fasting rules he should follow when traveling. Most tourists today apply it to eating, dress, language and other activities while traveling to help fit in with the natives. Even the most obnoxious tourists follow one aspect of this rule – when they arrive at their destination, they adjust their timepieces to the local time. That’s easy on Earth … but what if you’re a space traveler visiting Neptune, Mercury or the Moon? Fortunately for you, the fine folks at Omni Calculator – home of thousands of calculators for figuring out everything – have a calculator to help adjust your real clock, your circadian clock and your age to the local custom of your new space rock.
“Generally, people can be divided into two groups – those who love celebrating their birthdays and those who don’t. Let’s say you’re one of the latter, approaching the magic number 40. Sounds like a midlife crisis is incoming. If only there were a way to be young again…
But what if we told you there is? The solution is simple – judge your age by extraterrestrial standards! Doing it might be a good idea for those on the other side of the birthday barricade too – there are places in our solar system where you can celebrate twice as often!”
In an email, “Age on Other Planets Calculator” creator and PhD candidate Juhi Raj (Maria Kluziak is co-creator) described its fun side – a midlife-crisis 40-year-old on Earth is a youthful 21.2 in Mars years and a baby (1.3 years) on Saturn, while a 17-year-old on Earth can buy beer legally on Venus (27.6) years. The planetary age calculator asks for a person’s age in years (or months or seconds or any combination) or their birthdate and gives their equivalent age on the other planets, dwarf Pluto and the Moon. (Give it a try here. They‘re not tracking your data so don’t worry about using your real age!)
While calculating your age on other planets is a few minutes of fun, the real benefit is opening our eyes to the challenge one’s circadian clock – the biological clock that adjusts our bodies to Earth’s day-night cycle and the seasonal passing of a year – will face when one is on another planet. Space travelers’ minds will obviously be aware of the time and date in their preferred time zone back on Earth (U.S. astronauts will have smartphones), but their bodies will be reacting to the length of their new planet’s day and night. Think about the problems humans living above the Arctic Circle have with six months of near-24-hour days or nights … then imagine living on Mercury, where a day is 1,408 Earth hours long, or sluggish Venus, where it is 5,832 Earth days long! That’s is one reason Mars is attractive for colonization – its day is 25 Earth hours long.
However, there’s more to life than days – there’s the change of seasons based on the orbit around the sun. That obviously gets longer as we move to the outer planets. This might not affect space travelers nearly as much as the length of a day. If research finds that messing with the circadian clock is too stressful, colonists may be forced to live under artificial day-night conditions indoors or via VR glasses.
Don’t even get us started about the ‘biological clock’ on other planets! Who wants to be pregnant for decades? In fact, you may not even want to leave Earth after reading Juhi Raj and Maria Kluziak’s “A subjective ranking of our solar system's planets” which gives all of the negative reasons why those other planets are not great places to move --- even if you suddenly become old enough to buy beer there.
As mentioned earlier, the Omni Calculator website has over 2,000 calculators that are fun, useful, unexpectedly useful or all three – calculators to determine the speed of UFOs, figure out how long a tube of toothpaste will last, calculate the benefits of switching from driving to work to cycling, and many more in categories ranging from biology to ecology to health to sports to math to just plain old (but really handy) measurement conversions. The Polish-based international company seems to range from brainiacs to maniacs and everything in between (like its calculators) and it’s hiring.
The Omni Calculators sure beat the one you use for doing your taxes!