"Annum" is one form of the
Latinnoun meaning year, not a form normally used for derivatives in modern languages: the accusative singular of the second declensionmasculine nounannus (nominative), anni (genitive singular and nominative plural).
As a unit of time, it is defined as exactly 365.25 days (that is, the average length of a year in the
Julian calendar) of 86,400 SIseconds each, representing the duration of one revolution of the Earth around the Sun. Although there is no universally accepted symbol for the year, NIST SP811 [Ambler Thompson, Barry N. Taylor. [http://physics.nist.gov/Document/sp811.pdf "National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Special Publication 811", "Guide for the Use of the International System of Units (SI)", para 8.1, (2008)] ] and ISO 80000-3:2006 [International Organization for Standardization [http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=31888 "ISO 80000-3:2006, Quantities and units - Part 3: Space and time", Geneva, Switzerland (2006)] ] suggest the symbol a (in the International System of Unitsa is also the symbol for the areunit of area, but context is usually enough to disambiguate). In English, the deprecated [http://www.agu.org/pubs/style_guide_intro.html] abbreviation yr is still used informally. [North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature [http://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Info/NACSN/Code2/code2.html#Article13 "North American Stratigraphic Code"] Article 13 (c)]
Unified Code for Units of Measure[Gunther Schadow, Clement J. McDonald [http://aurora.rg.iupui.edu/ucum "Unified Code for Units of Measure"] ] disambiguates the varying symbologies of ISO 1000, ISO 2955 and ANSI X3.50 [http://aurora.regenstrief.org/~ucum/ucum.html#para-31] by using
:"ar" for are (unit), and:
:at = a_t = 365.24219
days for the mean tropical year
:aj = a_j = 365.25
days for the mean Julian year
:ag = a_g = 365.2425
days for the mean Gregorian year
:a = 1 aj year (without further qualifier)
Multiples of an "annum"
*per annum means "yearly".
*kiloannum, usual symbol ka, is a unit of time equal to one
*megaannum, usual symbol Ma, is a unit of
timeequal to one million(106) years. It is commonly used in scientific disciplines such as geology, paleontology, and celestial mechanicsto signify very long time periods in the past. For example, the dinosaurspecies "Tyrannosaurus rex" was abundant approximately "65 Ma" (65 million years) ago ("ago" may not always be mentioned; if the quantity is specified while not explicitly discussing a duration, one can assume that "ago" is implied; the alternative but deprecated "mya" unit includes "ago" explicitly.). In astronomical applications, the year used is the Julian year of precisely 365.25 days.
*gigaannum, usual symbol Ga, is a unit of time equal to 109 years (one billion on the short scale, one
milliardon the long scale). It is commonly used in scientific disciplines such as cosmology and geologyto signify extremely long time periods in the past. For example, the formation of the Earthoccurred approximately "4.57 Ga" (4.57 billion years) ago.
*teraannum, symbol Ta, is a unit of time equal to 1012 years (one trillion on the short scale, one billion on the long scale). It is an extremely long unit of time, about 70 times as long as the
age of the universe. The expected life span of a small red dwarf star.
*petaannum, symbol Pa, is a unit of time equal to 1015 years (one quadrillion on the short scale, one billiard on the long scale). The half-life of the nuclear isomer
tantalum-180m is about 1 Pa [ [http://www.eurekalert.org/features/doe/2005-08/drnl-ttp082205.php Testing the physics of nuclear isomers] "Eurekalert" (August 2005)] .
*exaannum, usual symbol Ea, is a unit of time equal to 1018 years (one
quintillionon the short scale, one trillion on the long scale). The half-life of tungsten-180 is 1.8 Ea.
*bya - Formerly used for Ga (ago)
*byr - Formerly used for Ga (either elapsed or ago)
*mya - Formerly used for Ma (ago)
*myr - Formerly used for Ma (either elapsed or ago)
tya(sometimes spelled kya) - formerly used for ka (ago)
*kyr - Formerly used for ka (either elapsed or ago)These are deprecated units.Fact|date=July 2008 Except for "kyr" they do not use accepted
SI prefixes. Further, the suffixes "ya" and "yr" are not accepted SI unitsfor time. However "ya" would be the symbol for the yoctoannum unit of time. 1 ya would be 10-24 a which would be about of 3.15 x 10-17 s.
Orders of magnitude (time)
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