Create a TimeFrame


This function creates a new TimeFrame and optionally initialises its attributes.

A TimeFrame is a specialised form of one-dimensional Frame which represents various coordinate systems used to describe positions in time.

A TimeFrame represents a moment in time as either an Modified Julian Date (MJD), a Julian Date (JD), a Besselian epoch or a Julian epoch, as determined by the System attribute. Optionally, a zero point can be specified (using attribute TimeOrigin) which results in the TimeFrame representing time offsets from the specified zero point.

Even though JD and MJD are defined as being in units of days, the TimeFrame class allows other units to be used (via the Unit attribute) on the basis of simple scalings (60 seconds = 1 minute, 60 minutes = 1 hour, 24 hours = 1 day, 365.25 days = 1 year). Likewise, Julian epochs can be described in units other than the usual years. Besselian epoch are always represented in units of (tropical) years.

The TimeScale attribute allows the time scale to be specified (that is, the physical proces used to define the rate of flow of time). MJD, JD and Julian epoch can be used to represent a time in any supported time scale. However, Besselian epoch may only be used with the " TT" (Terrestrial Time) time scale. The list of supported time scales includes universal time and siderial time. Strictly, these represent angles rather than time scales, but are included in the list since they are in common use and are often thought of as time scales.

When a time value is formatted it can be formated either as a simple floating point value, or as a Gregorian date (see the Format attribute).




A character string containing an optional comma-separated list of attribute assignments to be used for initialising the new TimeFrame. The syntax used is identical to that for the AST_SET routine. If no initialisation is required, a blank value may be supplied.
STATUS = INTEGER (Given and Returned)
The global status.

Returned Value

A pointer to the new TimeFrame.