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Leap Second

Leap Second Science: NASA Explains Earth's Longer Day Today

Today will be one second longer than usual, and we have the moon to thank for the extra time.A " leap second " will be added to the world's official clocks this evening (June 30), to account for the fact that Earth's rotation is slowing ever so slightly — meaning our days are getting longer, at the rate of about 1.4 milliseconds every 100 years."At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours," Daniel MacMillan, of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement. "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."It's happening because of tidal forces between the Earth and moon . This mutual gravitational jostling results in the transfer of our planet's rotational momentum to the moon, pushing it away from us at about 1.6 inches (4 centimeters) per year.Earth's rotational slowdown won't stop until it becomes tidally locked to the m...

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  1. Earth adds leap second Saturday night

    Saturday night will stretch longer by a second. A leap second.International timekeepers are adding a second to the clock at midnight universal time Saturday, June 30...

  2. Time Keepers to Introduce Leap Second June 30

    The world will not only be getting a leap day this year, we will have a leap second too.The arbiters of time at the International Earth Rotation and Reference System...

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