We should also indicate times. In terms of orbits, we are certainly going to need to know what a lunar month is, what a solar year is, what a phase month is (the orbit of the second moon), and probably what the orbit of the second star is (you said something like 500 years but it'd be nice to know). The orbits of the other planets can be whatever they come out as (unless someone has some specific plot ideas to use for them which require they be a certain way).
We might also consider what a common week is. The 7 day week on Earth is religious in origin and possibly lunar, though obviously that doesn't work out exactly. Our world could have 8 day weeks, 9 day weeks or whatever. I think however shorter than 7 days is too short of a week and 10 or longer is too long (why the French choose 10 days for their revolution is beyond me, why not 8 if you want easy calculations?). Obviously this would not represent all cultures but we should have a generally understood week that we default to when not otherwise specified.
Also how long a day is would be important to know to I'd guess, though any amount of time could be divided into 24 easily enough.
I disagree about a 7 day period being too short of a week. I actually (when writing) tend to lean toward triads. (3 day weeks, or 3 week months, or both).
It seems logical since nearly every culture in the world (including most major religious sub-cultures) have at some point placed a degree of significance around the number 3.
So, usually, a "week" in my stories is "two triads" (6 days) and so on..
I also don't think (with the tech level proposed) that precise calculations of the days in a year, or weeks in a month, or even hours in a day makes much sense as far as /plots/ go... people at that age wouldn't know exactly how many days it takes to orbit the sun, ya?
As far as tides and such... climate.. whatever... I agree it would be nice to know exactly what we (the mappers) are dealing with :P
People of the monolithic age knew exactly how long a solar year was, because they built devices to measure such things. Stonehenge being an obvious example of something that measures the equinox. Indeed I'd suggest study of the celestial workings is the first real scholarly pursuit of mankind. Celestial navigation is highly dependent upon knowing this sort of thing as exactly as possible. In a world where compasses don't work it would have remained so for even longer. The moon is even easier to track and observe because it is so large, and because of the relatively shorter times. All you have to do to know when the new month is is go at side and have a look-see at the moon and viola. In other words this type of celestial knowledge would be among the first discoveries of mankind on any planet with astral bodies to observe.
About the week, I wasn't suggesting 7 days was too short, but rather 6 days or less. And it is not an empirical observation just an opinion. The reason being that to actually get stuff done based on 6 day weeks, especially if one day is devoted to religious observance (quite common in ancient times). At weeks of even less days the problem merely becomes that much greater.
Wellllll... some races did study the stars very early on, and a few were able to do so accurately. But most do not.
Then again, we'd probably all be working mostly with the more advanced peoples, yes ? :)
I also think it would be different if we had a less... regular... orbit. :P
But I'll concede that.
The weeks... most americans now have a 5 day *work* week, and manage to accomplish.... well... quite a bit, for americans.. :P
Add a religious day, and that's 6. ^.^ For others... again, (maybe my mind is just stuck in Ibala, and on tribal stuff?) many tribal peoples don't/didn't divide into 7 day weeks, but into MUCH shorter or longer periods of time. "Religious" days only happen with organized religion. Most organic belief systems focus on constant, every day/minute obeisance, and don't have a set day for worship. Then again, I suppose, if we're looking at more "advanced" (technologically) people, their religions might be more organized. They usually are on earth....
I'm not pushing for a 6 day week, just saying I think it's highly workable. Wasn't trying to argue/debate it, just adding observations :)
I'd also love an 8 day week... some sort of... infinity...symmetry... idk... I am weird. :/
Stuff like this is probably better left to being figured out once civilizations/cultures start being developed. Better to build this stuff rather than pick it arbitrarily.
Never mind the weeks, I'm sorry I brought them up, they are not that important. What is important is all the other stuff because those are absolute facts, not just shtuff we can make up on the fly. The planet will absolutely take a certain amount of time to go around its orbit, so will the moon, the second moon and everything else in our solars system. This is stuff that we can know with certainty. This is stuff anyone more advanced than hunter gatherers would know, and even most of them would either know or have a handle on the basics.
Why not just make it 24 hours or something close to that? We're still dealing with humans here (right?) and if that's so, then we might as well keep the earthen day, as realistic or not as that'd be. As for seasons and stuff, I don't know.
Yea, let's keep it simple. Avoid doing things differently just for the sake of doing something different.
The 7 days of the week are based on the lunar cycle. (28/4=7) Apparently it's not exactly 28 days, oh well...
It also have different meaning, religious and cultural but most of them are related to Christianity.
Most of these elements of our world are going to be Earth-like I suppose.
Goes back way before Christianity, but that is besides the matter. Ok so our circumsolar orbit and our normal lunar orbit are the same as Earths so we can use that data instead of figuring it out. We'll just need to figure out the second moon, and the second star then really.
I say we increase the velocity of the second moon slightly so that it completes its travel around the world a maybe half a day or a day shorter. This is assuming of course that it is on the same orbital path as the real moon. So lets say our fake moon completes it's orbit at 26.5 days on the dot. We could also slow it so that it completes at 28 days on the dot. (for reference the earths moon takes 27.32 days)
The main moon orbit the planet in about 28 days and the second moon is slightly faster on the same orbit? The second moon is still in another dimension I hope.