A centon is a Colonial measurement of time.
The term is analogous to a minute. The plural form is "centons."
One (1) centon is equal to one hundred (100) microns.
- In "Murder on the Rising Star", Boomer uses the phrase "Just a centon," the Colonial equivalent of "Just a minute."
- In "Saga of a Star World", it appears that centon meant something closer to a week (secton came into use as the Colonial equivalent for week in "The Living Legend, Part I"). In the pilot, Apollo tells the Quorum of the Twelve that the intended route to Carillon would "take us centons of our way." The use of two other time units—millicenton and microcenton—seem to be based off of this original definition of the centon as a week, especially when considering the metric prefixes of "milli" (thousandth) and "micro" (millionth). Both terms are used almost exclusively in the first two episodes.
- Beginning with "Lost Planet of the Gods, Part I", use of the term centon is consistent in the series. In it, Lucifer tells Baltar that the outpost is 1.5 hectares from Galactica and that they could catch the battlestar at light speed "within a centon." According to the Writer's Guide, a hectar is 9 million miles, or roughly a light minute.
Behind The Scenes
- At the 1998 Twenty Yahren Reunion convention in Los Angelos, Galactica writer Terrence McDonnell said that a centon was originally supposed to be an hour, but Glen Larson would continually get it wrong in his scripts. One day, they were having a meeting and Glen would sit higher than everyone else. After the meeting ended, McDonnell said to Larson, "I noticed some problems in your script." Larson didn't seem too happy with his input, so he never brought it up again.
- The original script for "Greetings From Earth" has a key that says a centon is a minute, a centar is an hour, a secton is a week, and a yahren is a year.