A minute is a unit of measurement of time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 or of angle
In geometry, an angle is the figure formed by two rays sharing a common endpoint, called the vertex of the angle.Angles are usually presumed to be in a Euclidean plane with the circle taken for standard with regard to direction. In fact, an angle is frequently viewed as a measure of an circular arc...

. The minute is a unit of time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 equal to 1/60th (the first sexagesimal fraction) of an hour
The hour is a unit of measurement of time. In modern usage, an hour comprises 60 minutes, or 3,600 seconds...

 or 60 second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

s. In the UTC
Coordinated Universal Time
Coordinated Universal Time is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is one of several closely related successors to Greenwich Mean Time. Computer servers, online services and other entities that rely on having a universally accepted time use UTC for that purpose...

 time scale
Time scale
A time scale specifies divisions of time.*Time standard, a specification of either the rate at which time passes, or points in time, or both*Duration , a quantity of time...

, a minute on rare occasions has 59 or 61 seconds; see leap second
Leap second
A leap second is a positive or negative one-second adjustment to the Coordinated Universal Time time scale that keeps it close to mean solar time. UTC, which is used as the basis for official time-of-day radio broadcasts for civil time, is maintained using extremely precise atomic clocks...

. The minute is not an SI
Si, si, or SI may refer to :- Measurement, mathematics and science :* International System of Units , the modern international standard version of the metric system...

 unit; however, it is accepted for use with SI units. The SI symbol for minute or minutes is min (for time measurement) or apostrophe after a number, eg 5' (for angle measurement, even if it is informally used for time).


In astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

, the minute is a unit of angle, the minute of right ascension
Right ascension
Right ascension is the astronomical term for one of the two coordinates of a point on the celestial sphere when using the equatorial coordinate system. The other coordinate is the declination.-Explanation:...

. It is equal to 1/60th of an hour of right ascension and can be further divided into 60 seconds of right ascension.

The Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

 turns on its polar
Geographical pole
A geographical pole is either of the two points—the north pole and the south pole—on the surface of a rotating planet where the axis of rotation meets the surface of the body...

 axis through fifteen minutes of arc in every minute of sidereal time
Sidereal time
Sidereal time is a time-keeping system astronomers use to keep track of the direction to point their telescopes to view a given star in the night sky...

. One minute of arc at the Earth's equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

 is approximately one nautical mile
Nautical mile
The nautical mile is a unit of length that is about one minute of arc of latitude along any meridian, but is approximately one minute of arc of longitude only at the equator...


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
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Saturn is named after the Roman god Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus , the Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol represents the Roman god's sickle.Saturn,...

year as 10759D12', that is 10759 (Earth) days, 4 hours, and 48 (usual) minutes (roughly 29.5 years),
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.