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 Why our time system has numbers like 12 and 60, News Story #95
Olinguito
Posted: 13:20 Saturday 03 May 2014


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Saturday 3 May 2014

Why do we have numbers like 12 and 60 in our time system?

These numbers arise out of approximations of nature.

360 is pretty darn close to the 365 days it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun, but has the advantage of being much more readily divisible into smaller parts. The prime factors of 365 are five and 73: thatís not very convenient for dividing up a year into smaller chunks; 360ís prime factors are two, three, and five. That creates a lot more flexibility.

Given the number of lunar cycles in a year, it makes some sense as to why night and day might be divided into two sets of 12 segments.
Full story at The Independent


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