Happy New Year!

Today is New Year's Eve.  That means it is time to think about aliens.  What do they think of our funny little holiday?

Do Aliens Celebrate New Year's Eve?

A lot of planets have been discovered by Earth Scientists over the past couple decades, which could host life, as we know it.  They tend to be named by scientific designations like Proxima Centauri b or Kepler 186f.  We do not know for sure if any of these in particular actually contain bipedal creatures capable of building cities and spaceships.  But we do know, with 100% assurance that indeed, there is life out there, somewhere.  So for the sake of today's journey into the minds of our alien visitors, let us make up a few sample planets (typical of those which may harbor life) and think about what it might be like there.

There is life out there
There is Life Out There
Say two neighboring solar systems have identical suns, both of which were created a billion years before our Sun.  Both have Earth-like planets, similar in size and mass to our own.  But in the first solar system, a year on planet ShortYear is half as long as an Earth year (EY).  In other words, it only takes 182-ish Earth days (ED) to go around their sun.  In the second solar system, a year on planet LongYear is twice as long as an Earth year or 730.5 ED.  If you moved to one of those planets, and lived to be 85 EY, on planet ShortYear you would live to be 170 and on LongYear you would only make it to 42.5 - same number of Earth days and years, just dispersed differently.  On either planet, would people feel the need to commemorate the passing of a year?

On Earth we do not celebrate six month increments, nor do we celebrate bi-annuals.  We do not celebrate weeks or months.  A year is special because we have made a full revolution around the sun.  But if it were shorter or longer than 365 ED, would we still be inclined to celebrate it?  What if, the same two neighboring solar systems each had another Earth-like planet?  In the first solar system, not only was a year on planet ShortShort half as long as an Earth Year but also a day on ShortShort was half as long.  There, an 85 year old on Earth would be 340 years old.  Over in the other solar system, planet LongLong has a 48 hour day and takes 730 days to get around the sun.  There, you would only live to about 21 - again, it is still the same number of Earth days and years, just dispersed differently.  Would we celebrate trips around the sun then?  And at what intervals?

How Long do Aliens Live

Hold on to your space helmets, Earthlings, because here is where it gets mind-boggling (I am assuming the reader has kept up, so far.)  Say that, since both solar systems are a billion years older than ours, people out there have evolved (whether through Natural Selection, good diets and exercise, or bio-engineering) to live ten times longer than humans do.
Do Aliens Celebrate New Year's Eve?
An alien (really a native of those planets but we will stick with the association of the terms) on those planets would live to be 850 EY.  On ShortYear they would live to be 1700 and on LongYear they would live to be 425.  On ShortShort they would live to be 3400 and on LongLong they would be 212.  If you lived to be 3400 years old (in ShortShort years) would you celebrate every trip around the sun?

It is fun to ponder.  Perhaps, if days and years were shorter and we lived longer we would place more emphasis on decades or even centuries.  Maybe each decade would have a name, just like months have names but weeks and years on Earth do not.

My conclusion is that no matter how long the days and years on a planet are and no matter how long you live, a trip around the sun is something special.  Aliens from other planets would indeed celebrate New Year's.

I will paste my math below.  Happy New Year!

Time Perception

Planet Life-Earth Life-Local Day Earth Year Earth
Earth 85.00 85.00 24.00 365.25
ShortYear 85.00 170.00 24.00 182.63
LongYear 85.00 42.50 24.00 730.50
ShortDay 85.00 170.00 12.00 365.25
LongDay 85.00 42.50 48.00 365.25
ShortShort 85.00 340.00 12.00 182.63
LongLong 85.00 21.25 48.00 730.50
ShortYear 42.50 340.00 24.00 182.63
LongYear 42.50 85.00 24.00 730.50
ShortDay 42.50 340.00 12.00 365.25
LongDay 42.50 85.00 48.00 365.25
ShortShort 42.50 680.00 12.00 182.63
LongLong 42.50 42.50 48.00 730.50
ShortYear 850.00 1700.00 24.00 182.63
LongYear 850.00 425.00 24.00 730.50
ShortDay 850.00 1700.00 12.00 365.25
LongDay 850.00 425.00 48.00 365.25
ShortShort 850.00 3400.00 12.00 182.63
LongLong 850.00 212.50 48.00 730.50

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Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.