Extra Second Added To Year 2008

28 12 2008

// Woooow, the Earth is slowing down, throwing the timescales of the World Atomic Clock out of sync. Don’t worry, the world’s official timekeepers are here to keep the atomic clocks accurate by adding an extra second to the last day of 2008. This extra second is also known as a “leap second”.

The extra second will be added on to 31 December after 23:59:59 and before 00:00:00 PM UTC(Universal Coordinated Time). It will be the 86,401st second of the year. This is an important procedure because mechanisms such as the Internet-based Network Time Protocol and the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) depend on the accurate time kept by atomic clocks.

Scientific Explanation    
After some research here and there on the Web, I found that the Earth takes slightly longer(usually .0002 seconds) than 24 hours to make one complete rotation. After about 500 days, the accumulated difference between astronomical time and atomic time can be about a second.
 In order to synchronize the atomic clocks with the Earth’s observed rotation, the atomic clocks are occasionally instructed to add the leap second.  

Why the Earth’s rotation is slowing down?
The space surrounding the planet is far from empty, the Earth loses its kinetic energy due to all forms of friction acting on it; tides, galactic space dust, solar wind, space weather, geomagnetic storms and among others, causing it to slow down gradually.And also transfer of rotational energy  from the Earth to the moon’s orbit through tides contribute to this slow down. The moon is very slowly increasing its orbital radius.

Ooohh, we will have to wait a little longer(1 second) on this New Year’s Eve before hearing the firecrackers. The extra second plus the extra day of February 29 will make 2008 the longest year since 1992. For those having an atomic clock at home, don’t forget to add the extra second 23:59:60, lol.

Anyway, on December 31 at “23:59:60“, will be the time to  celebrate a new beginning, a time to wish all our friends and loved ones a happy new year!! Wish you all a Very Happy New Year 2009 & Enjoy Youself.  



3 responses

29 12 2008

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29 12 2008
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30 12 2008

this is realli interestin

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