The Utopian Calendar is better than the Gregorian Calendar, 24-hour clock, and the Terran time zone system, in several ways:
- The calendar mir is closely synchronised with the seasons, beginning with the northern spring. It is therefore aligned with the astronomical tropical mir, starting at Ls = 0°.
- There is minimal variation in month lengths. Most are 28 sols, with only 3 or 4 per mir having 27 sols, in a regular and easily-remembered pattern. Compare this with the range of 28 to 31 days for Gregorian months, in a difficult-to-remember pattern.
- Weeks are aligned with months and mirs. Every month has exactly 4 weeks, and every mir has exactly 96 weeks.
- Calendar pages are almost all identical, and neat, having only 4 rows of dates.
- Any given sol of the month falls on the same sol of the week (e.g. the 8th sol of the month is Lunasol in every month of every mir).
- The intercalary sol is added at the end of the mir, so calendar dates always map to the same sol of the mir.
- The month names encourage learning about constellations.
- There is no misalignment with month numbers and names (for example, September referring to the 9th month rather than the 7th as the name suggests).
- Using decimal time eliminates the need to convert between decimal and sexagesimal.
- The time zone system is more precise and significantly easier to understand and use than Earth’s.
- There is no daylight savings.
The Utopian Calendar is mathematically identical to the Darian Calendar. However, it differs from the Darian Calendar in a few ways:
- Different names are used for months, and for sols of the week.
- The word “mir” is introduced for Martian year.
- It refers to “short” and “long” mirs, instead of “common” and “leap” Martian years. It also refers to short and long weeks, months, and quarters. Short and long units only differ by 1 sol in all cases.
- The epoch has been recalculated.
- Weeks begin with Lunasol (Martian Monday) rather than Sunsol (Martian Sunday).
- A decimal clock is used, rather than the stretched clock.
- A standard format is defined for dates, times, and datetimes.
- A Martian time zone system is included.
Considerable credit is due to Tom Gangale for the enormous amount of research he did on Martian timekeeping, and for making this available online, creating the Darian Calendar, and working with me to mathematically align the two calendars.