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Counting time

Happy Birthday to me. Yes, that’s right, you’re friendly Count was born 40 years ago today, which just happened to be Labor Day in 1969. In light of this special event, I’ve prepared a little set of numbers just for fun. None of this is particularly important, just a bit of mind-candy for my birthday. So let’s go!

40 years on this Earth has some easy conversions into smaller time periods. 480 months makes 2,080 weeks pretty easily. Days is more of a problem, as there are some irregularities in the Leap Day counts. As it happens, those 40 years turned into 14,600 days at 365/year plus 10 leap days is 14,610 total days. This computes to 350,400 hours, times 60 for 21,024,000 minutes, and again for 1,261,440,000 seconds. That’s right, over a billion seconds I’ve been alive!


Just because I lived all those 40 years on Earth, doesn’t mean that time can’t be measured by the years of the other planets in our system. Check out how long my life has been on those planets!1

Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto*
166 years 64.9 years 40 years 21.25 years 3.37 years 1.36 years 0.476 years 0.242 years 0.1615 years
*Hey, for most of my life, Pluto counted as a planet!

I’ve done a fair bit of travelling in my life; as an Army brat, you’re sent across the country or across the world every 3 or 4 years. Then again, merely moving around on the face of this planet is chump change compared to how far I (and you) have really travelled during my life. Just sitting on the surface of Earth means I travelled around 40,076 km/day (the planetary circumference2), for a total of 585,109,600 km travelled in 14,600 Earth-sized circles. With an orbital path of 240,800,000 km/year3, I’ve also travelled 9,632,000,000 km (1/10th of 1 percent of a light year) in larger circles around the Sun. Finally, the Sun’s moves along its orbital path in the galaxy at about 251 km/s. At this rate, I’ve traveled over 316.6 billion km, over 1/30th of a light year through the universe during my life… so far.

Hey, this was fun! I hope you’ve enjoyed my numerical recounting (get it?) of my life. I feel a lot better about just how small a number 40 is. Maybe I’m not so old, after all.

The Count


  1. Convert Earth years to other planets
  2. Earth on Wikipedia
  3. Orbital lengths
  4. The Sun on Wikipedia

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