National Physical Laboratory

When do I reach the age of one gigasecond? (FAQ - Time)

The only unit of time measurement preferred by scientists is the second (symbol: s). For very short or very long times, such as nanoseconds and megaseconds, only thousandths, and thousandths of thousandths, and thousands, and thousands of thousands, are allowed as multipliers. For example:

one kilosecond (1 ks) - 16 mins and 40 seconds*
one megasecond (1 Ms) - 11 days, 13 hr, 46 mins, and 40 seconds*
one gigasecond (1 Gs) - 11574 days, 1 hr, 46 mins, and 40 seconds*

* less any intervening leap seconds.

So the gigasecond is the only scientifically-preferred time interval that is passed in adult life.

So when should I celebrate, or when should I have celebrated?

Your gigasecond celebration will be just after four months before your 32nd birthday, the date can be found by interpolating between the dates listed in the tables below. This day will be three weekdays later than your day of birth. If you know your time of birth, the celebration should be 1 hour, 46 minutes and 18 seconds later than this (allowing for 22 leap seconds between 1971 and 1999).

If you were born during winter time and celebrate when the clocks are advanced during Summer time, add the extra hour to get the time of celebration (or subtract if the other way round). If you were born and celebrate in different time zones further correction will be needed.

Only if you were born in a leap year between Feb 29 and Jun 22 inclusive:

DOB (date of birth, month, day) 02.29 03.01 03.24 04.01 04.24 05.01 05.25 06.01 06.22
DOC (date of celebration) 11.07 11.08 12.01 12.09 01.01 01.08 02.01 02.08 02.29

in all other cases:

DOB 01.01 01.23 02.01 02.23 02.28 03.01 03.25 04.01 04.25 05.01 05.26 06.01 06.23
DOC 09.09 10.01 10.10 11.01 11.06 11.07 12.01 12.08 01.01 01.07 02.01 02.07 03.01

DOB 07.01 07.24 08.01 08.23 09.01 09.23 10.01 10.23 11.01 11.23 12.01 12.24 12.31
DOC 03.09 04.01 04.09 05.01 05.10 06.01 06.09 07.01 07.10 08.01 08.09 09.01 09.08

For example, if you were born on 1967 September 03 (Sunday) you would celebrate on 1999 May 12 (Wednesday). No summer time correction is needed as both were during British summer time. If you were born at 10.30 pm that day you should celebrate at 16 minutes and 18 seconds past midnight in the early hours of Thursday.

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2010
Created: 9 Aug 2007

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