Madler calendar

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Johann Heinrich von Mädler

The Mädler calendar is a calendar proposed by the German astronomer Johann Heinrich von Mädler in 1864 , which differs slightly from the Gregorian calendar . According to Mädler's proposal, the leap day , which is due every four years, should fail every 128 years, while the switching rule of the Gregorian calendar stipulates three failures in 400 years (on average every 133⅓ years).

The calendar year after Mädler thus has an average length of 365 31 / 128 or 365.2421875 days . The difference to the length of the tropical year with 365.24219052 days is only −0.26 seconds. In the Gregorian calendar, which has an average year of 365.2425 days, it is +27 seconds. In the case of Mädler's proposal, a leap day would only have to be omitted approximately every 331,126 years. Then it would only have to be corrected after a hundred times the time (additional leap day). The Mädler calendar therefore agrees much better with the natural year ( tropical year ) than the Gregorian calendar.


Mädler, at the time head of the Dorpat observatory in Estonia, designed his calendar regulation on behalf of the Russian tsar. In 1899, the calendar reform commission of the Russian Astronomical Society proposed the more precise calendar rule by Johann Heinrich Mädler. Mädler's calendar was supposed to replace the Julian calendar that was still valid in the Russian Empire . The Russian tsar was no longer interested in calendar reform , and so Russia stayed with the Julian calendar until the October Revolution . Lenin then introduced the Gregorian calendar.

Mädler's calendar regulation

In 1900, Mädler wanted to compensate for the 12-day difference between the Julian calendar and the tropical year, and in 1901 to begin with a 128-year exception cycle. Therefore, its calendar revision would have been consistent with the Gregorian calendar until 2028. The first difference would occur in 2028. This year, according to Mädler, for the first time there should not be February 29, while this exception in the Gregorian calendar does not occur until 2100. Between 2028 and 2100 the two calendars differ by one day, between 2100 and 2156 they match again, between 2156 and 2200 they differ again, etc.

Mädler's suggestion for correction has almost been forgotten. Due to the negligibly small difference to the tropical year, his proposal for calendar regulation can hardly be surpassed in terms of accuracy.

Comparative values

The goddess calendar system would become even more precise in the course of the 20th and 21st centuries and reached its optimum in 2033 (according to VSOP87 or 2048). According to the newer VSOP2000, the length of the tropical year decreases by about half a second per century . This means that with continued switching according to the Gregorian switching rule after 3231 years (i.e. in the year 2803) the calendar would have shifted by one day compared to the astronomical starting point in 1582. The primary equinox would then take place permanently one day earlier. In the case of a schematic extrapolative application of the Mädlerian switching rule, however, a need for correction (insertion of an additional switching day) would not be expected until 331,126 years after its introduction.

average number of days per year Difference to the current tropical year
tropical year 365.24219052 (valid for the astronomical epoch 2000.0 )
Gregorian calendar 365.2425 0.00030948 days = 26.739072 s longer than the current tropical year
orthodox calendar 365.242222 0.00003170 days = 2.739072 s longer than the current tropical year
Madler calendar 365.2421875 0.00000302 days = 0.260928 s shorter than the current tropical year

See also

Web links