2016 goes a little longer thanks to a leap second

NASA add leap second to master clock
NASA add leap second to master clock
Author

01 January, 2017

Devices that set times automatically such as computers and smartphones will add the leap second on their own.

NPL, based in Teddington, London, is Britain's national measurement institute and the birthplace of atomic time.

So when you count down the New Year, don't forget it's 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1 Happy New Year!

"The correction is needed to account for changes in the Earth's rotation", a scientist at the NPL said. Official worldwide time, UTC, is based on both precise atomic clocks, which provide timekeepers with the "ticking rate", and astronomical time, based on the position of the sun and stars, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The technology giant has published a blog explaining how 'its clocks and time service will agree with servers that apply leap seconds'.

What is a leap second?

And to adjust the highly accurate instruments that keep a precise track of time as defined by the worldwide scientific community (based on the vibration of a cesium atom), a leap second is added on to clocks from time to time.

So, in order to keep everything matched up with solar noon (when the sun is highest in the sky) a leap second gets added on every few years.

The Earth's slowing is a result of friction caused by the tides and the planet's changing interaction with the moon, which is spinning away from the earth at a rate of 3.78cm a year.

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Therefore, the future of the leap second is being hotly debated. Since then, 1 second used to be added at every 500 days. For most other countries, their leap second will be determined by the time zone in their area.

So, I only say 2016 was a disgusting year because I think that every year is a terrible year, but this year was notable in that everyone else thought it was frightful, too.

Earth's rotation does occasionally speed up, but overall it is gradually slowing.

The last time a leap second was added was in June 2015, and 2016 had a full leap day on February 29.

Lobo added the leap second may make its presence known by causing trouble for devices that run on atomic clocks, which keep a constant time by measuring the movements of electrons in cesium atoms.

Since 1972 until now, 26 seconds were added.


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