SRFI-19 Introduction

This module implements time and date representations and calculations, in various time systems, including Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and International Atomic Time (TAI).

For those not familiar with these time systems, TAI is based on a fixed length second derived from oscillations of certain atoms. UTC differs from TAI by an integral number of seconds, which is increased or decreased at announced times to keep UTC aligned to a mean solar day (the orbit and rotation of the earth are not quite constant).

So far, only increases in the TAI <-> UTC difference have been needed. Such an increase is a “leap second”, an extra second of TAI introduced at the end of a UTC day. When working entirely within UTC this is never seen, every day simply has 86400 seconds. But when converting from TAI to a UTC date, an extra 23:59:60 is present, where normally a day would end at 23:59:59. Effectively the UTC second from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00 has taken two TAI seconds.

In the current implementation, the system clock is assumed to be UTC, and a table of leap seconds in the code converts to TAI. See comments in srfi-19.scm for how to update this table.

Also, for those not familiar with the terminology, a Julian Day represents a point in time as a real number of days since -4713-11-24T12:00:00Z, i.e. midday UT on 24 November 4714 BC in the proleptic Gregorian calendar (1 January 4713 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar).

A Modified Julian Day represents a point in time as a real number of days since 1858-11-17T00:00:00Z, i.e. midnight UT on Wednesday 17 November AD 1858. That time is julian day 2400000.5.