year(redirected from astronomical years)
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YEAR. The period in which the revolution of the earth round the sun, and the
accompanying changes in the order of nature, are completed.
2. The civil year differs from the astronomical, the latter being composed of 365 days, 5 hours, 48 seconds and a fraction, while the former consists, sometimes of three hundred and sixty-five days, and at others, in leap years, of three hundred and sixty-six days.
3. The year is divided into half-year which consists, according to Co. Litt. 135 b, of 182 days; and quarter of a year, which consists of 91 days, Ibid. and 2 Roll. Ab. 521, 1. 40. It is further divided into twelve months.
4. The civil year commences immediately after twelve o'clock at night of the thirty-first day of December, that is the first moment of the first day of January, and ends at midnight of the thirty-first day of December, twelve mouths thereafter. Vide Com. Dig. Ann.; 2 Bl. Com. by Chitty, 140, n.; Chitt. Pr. Index tit. Time alteration of the calendar (q.v.) from old to new style in England, (see Bissextile,) and the colonies of that country in America, the year in chronological reckoning was supposed to commence with the first day of January, although the legal year did not commence until March 25th, the intermediate time being doubly indicated: thus February 15, 1724, and so on. This mode of reckoning was altered by the statute 24 Geo. II. cap. 23, which gave rise to an act of assembly of Pennsylvania, passed March 11, 1752; 1 Sm. Laws, 217, conforming thereto, and also to the repeal of the act of 1710.
5. In New York it is enacted that whenever the term "year" or "years" is or shall be used in any statute, deed, verbal or written contract, or any public or private instrument whatever, the year intended shall be taken to consist of three hundred and sixty-five days; half a year of a hundred and eighty-two days; and a quarter of a year of ninety-two days; and the day of a leap year, and the day immediately preceding, if they shall occur in any period so to be computed, shall be reckoned together as one day. Rev. Stat. part 1, c. 19, t. 1, Sec. 3.