A
minute is a
unit
of measurement of
time or of
angle.
The minute is a
unit of
time equal to 1/60th of an
hour or
60
seconds. In the
UTC time
scale, a minute occasionally has 59 or 61 seconds; see
leap second. The minute is not an
SI unit; however, it is accepted for use with SI
units.
The symbol for
minute or
minutes is
min.
The fact
that an hour contains 60 minutes is probably due to influences from
the Babylonians, who used a base-60
or sexagesimal counting system.
Astronomy
In
astronomy, the minute is a unit of
angle, the
minute of right
ascension. It is equal to 1/60th of an hour of right
ascension and can be further divided into 60 seconds of right
ascension.
The symbol for a minute of right ascension is
min.
The
Earth turns on its
polar axis
through fifteen minutes of arc in every minute of
sidereal time. One minute of arc at the
Earth's
equator is approximately one
nautical mile.
In old astronomical texts
minute can also mean a unit of
time equal to 1/60th of a day (24 usual minutes). These minutes
correspond to the Latin
diei scrupulis, and used to
express periods of planetary motions. For example,
Kepler in
Harmonices
Mundi gives
Saturn year as 10759D12',
that is 10759 (Earth) days, 4 hours, and 48 (usual) minutes.
See also
External links
References