In the Star Trek universe it is necessary to have a dating system, however the calendar system that is used on Earth is not suitable, as it based on Earth specific time units (i.e. the Earth year is the time taken for Earth to orbit its sun). As such the Stardate system is used.
Stardates are used in Star Trek as a Federation-wide common system for the measurement of time, much in the same way we use the Gregorian calendar system today (January, February, March etc). It is not necessary to understand the theory behind how a common Stardate system would really be calculated (even in the Star Trek series' the numbers were arbitrarily selected between a series start value and end value), however it is important that you understand how we decide Stardates in the UFOP group.
You will be glad to hear that the UFOP Stardate system is very simple indeed. Our stardates are of the following format:
The current REAL date is simply the current date. Today's date is 23. (Note: The date is always two digits, so the 4th of the month would be 04).
The current REAL month is a two digit number representing the real month (so if it is January the number is 01, February is 02 etc). The current month is 02.
The UFOP year is simply the current UFOP year. UFOP is set 377 years in the future, so this is achieved by adding 377 to the current year. The current UFOP year is 2395.
Adding all of these parts together gives you your Stardate: 239502.23
As you can see, once you understand the principle behind it all, finding a Stardate is very simple. If you are still unsure of the system, or have any questions about it, contact your captain or any member of the UFOP Executive Council (EC).
Before the year 2000, stardates were calculated in a different manner. This method is obsolete, but is included here for reference. Stardates were calculated as follows: