Most struggle with finding enough time in the day to get all the things that they need to accomplish done, before it’s too late. It’s a common problem among all kinds of trades, jobs, and hobbies, but on June 30th there will be one less thing to complain about. The world can learn how productive a day that lasts one second longer can be. NASA has determined that on Tuesday June 30th the day will be one second longer. The real question now: What are you going to do with the extra time you’ve been given?
Why will Earth receive an extra second?
It’s what’s called a “leap second”, and it’s based extraordinarily reliable electromagnetic transitions according to NASA, “Strictly speaking, a day lasts 86,400 seconds. That is the case, according to the time standard that people use in their daily lives – Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. UTC is “atomic time” – the duration of one second is based on extremely predictable electromagnetic transitions in atoms of cesium. These transitions are so reliable that the cesium clock is accurate to one second in 1,400,000 years.”
It’s an extremely predictable phenomena, and it’s caused in part by the Earth’s slowing rotations due to force from factors outside of our control. Earth is actually gradually slowing down slightly over a period of time due to a pulling between the sun and moon, creating a stopping power. However there are other factors that work towards slowing the Earth’s rotation, and changing the length of days such as El Niño when there are changes in the atmospheric pressure of the planet.
Changes in the time it takes Earth to rotate over time
Time for one full rotation of Earth is constantly changing, as it has been since the planet existed with no life on its surface. Scientist Daniel Macmillan describes that way that the time of the days due Earth’s rotation have changed over a period of time, “At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours,” says MacMillan, who is a member of the VLBI team at NASA Goddard. “In the year 1820, a rotation took exactly 24 hours, or 86,400 standard seconds. Since 1820, the mean solar day has increased by about 2.5 milliseconds.” The adding of extra seconds to the atomic clock to compensate for the longer earth days was started in 1972 when two seconds were added, and the last time any extra seconds were added to a day was back in 2012. We’ve all been given the gift of an extra second in our lives, the question now remains how are you going to use it?