The year is either astronomical or civil. The solar astronomical year is the period of time in which the earth performs a revolution in its orbit about the sun, or passes from any point of the ecliptic to the same point again; and consists of 365 days 5 hours 48 min. and 46 sec. of mean solar time. The civil year is that which is employed in chronology, and varies among different nations, both in respect of the season at which it commences and of its subdivisions. When regard is had to the sun's motion alone, the regulation of the year, and the distribution of the days into months, may be effected without much trouble; but the difficulty is greatly increased when it is sought to reconcile solar and lunar periods, or to make the subdivisions of the year depend on the moon, and at the same time to preserve the correspondence between the whole year and the seasons.