# How Many Seconds Make a Day?

Filed in Articles on April 18, 2024

How long would it take to count up to one second in a single day? Everyone is familiar with the part that 60 seconds becomes one minute, and 60 minutes becomes one hour. Actually that is a pretty lengthy process so let us try a shortcut to find the answer.

We have seen that the day is made up of 86,400 seconds. The reason is that the day is divided into 24 parts. Then each part is 60 minutes.

You want to know how many seconds are in a day, into which you need to multiply the number of hours (24) by the number of minutes there are in an hour (60). The result will be 1,440 minutes.

Since a minute is 60 seconds, you will then multiply 1,440 minutes with 60 seconds per minute that gets you 86,400 seconds a day.

Through this formula there is the figuring out the accurate time of one day in seconds that is very vital for all matters of time and measurements.

## Why is a Minute Exactly 60?

The segmentation of hour into 60 minutes and minute into 60 seconds was already functioned by ancient world cultures.

Sexagesimal numeral system which is known as bas-60 has ancient Babylonians as its source. The reason we use it in our system of timekeeping today is because of this.

Such a system’s strength lies in its resultant divisibility by so many numbers and enabling easier calculations without pocket calculators and even modern gadgets.

Besides the astronomical measurement of time and geometric studies the Egyptians, Chinese and Greeks also followed the sexagesimal system for the same.

It just begs the question, where did 60 seconds in a minute come from? It would be reasonable to argue that this practice stemmed from this historical precedent, because it allowed the division of time into smaller, convenient periods.

Whether the number 60 that serves as the base for minutes and seconds seems arbitrary today by modern times or not it has become a system to be used as it is effective and it has taken its place in history, so all in all it is the way time gets measured today.

### How Long is an Actual Day?

The actual day on the Sun with its own clock would be approximately 24 hours long. The length of this cycle refers to the time that Earth completes one rotation on its axial approximately every 24 hours relative to the Sun.

Nevertheless, part-time from varying factors such as a tilt of Earth’s axis and its elliptical orbital path around Sun, the duration of a solar day can be different slightly month after month.

What we try to take into account is the calculation of such a length, besides using the expression “mean solar day”, which counts precisely all solar days throughout the year equaling exactly 24 hours.

This standardization makes it possible for all earthlings to have one time measurement system which ensures the mentioned consistency.

To clarify, it is worth mentioning that while a solar day is 24 hours long, a sidereal day (about when Earth rotates relative to the background stars) is slightly shorter, being around 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds, according to recent estimations.

### Who Invented the 24 Hours a Day?

The division of a day into never-ending 24 hours is considered to have emerged at an early age and a person has not come up with this concept.

The division of time into smaller units never developed spontaneously and was contributed and consequently separated by various civilizations including the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks.

The use of sundial by the ancient Egyptians for dividing the days into 12 parts led them to standardize the units of daylight into 12 hour.

The addition of an intercalary month and the division by night parts into 12 again resulted in 24 hours total. The Babylonians, having a sexagesimal (10) system, made precision of their division as 60 minutes to an hour and 60 seconds to a minute.

Traditions of 24 hour day as a standard are thought to be their origin from these ancient timekeeping practices.

Although a clear genetic ancestor needs not be accredited with the 24-hour day, this discovery has developed from a few of the contributions from the ancient cultures in their attempts to understand and measure time.

CSN Team