Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Gazette: Leap second added to compensate for Earth’s rotation

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Horologists add leap second to compensate for Earth’s rotation time
Phuket Gazette / News Wires

PHUKET: Horologists added a so-called leap second on late Saturday night, compensating for the Earth’s rotation which is gradually slowing down. It was the 25th leap second to be added but there are increasing calls to abolish the costly and problematic measure.

Instead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) changing from 23:59:59 to 00:00:00, the official time first moved to 23:59:60, making Saturday just a second longer than normally. This is done to compensate for the erratic movement of the Earth, which takes just over 24 hours to rotate.

“The solar day is gradually getting longer because Earth’s rotation is slowing down ever so slightly,” said Daniel MacMillan, a member of the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours.”

Although a day takes exactly 24 hours to most people, it actually takes a little longer, and climatic and geological events all affect the planet’s rotation speed. A rotation took exactly 24 hours in the year 1820, but it has increased by about 2.5 milliseconds since, and continues to increase by 1.4 millisecond roughly every 100 years.

Horologists have now added 25 leap seconds, the first one in 1972 and the previous one before Saturday in December 2008. But there have been increasing calls to abolish the leap second and let Earth rotation time (UT1) drift away from the time on atomic clocks, which are based on electromagnetic transitions in atoms of cesium.

The main motivation to abolish the leap second is the high cost to plan them and the potential impact of adjusting or turning important systems on and off in synch, as was demonstrated once again on Saturday. The leap second briefly brought down major websites which were not prepared for the adjustment, including Reddit, FourSquare, Yelp, LinkedIn, Gawker media sites and Meetup.

Suppression of the leap second could have major social and legal consequences when the accumulated difference with UT1 reaches a perceivable level. This difference would be nearly three minutes in 2100 and about 30 minutes in 2700. A decision on the future of the leap second will not be made until 2015, when the next Radio-communication Assembly and World Radio-communication Conference takes place.

As a leap second results from changes in Earth’s rotational speed, it is different from a leap day, which compensates for the time it takes for Earth to make a complete revolution around the sun. This revolution takes approximately 365 days and 6 hours, and an extra day is added every four years when the difference accumulates 24 hours.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Hua Hin1 hour ago

Kitchen raiding elephant breaks same wall in house for more food

Thailand3 hours ago

1st Taekwondo Olympic gold as Panipak wins for Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

AstraZeneca Thailand writes open letter to people of Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Koh Samui7 hours ago

Surat Thani announces new Covid-19 measures for Samui Plus

Thailand11 hours ago

His Majesty the King donates 2.8 billion baht in Covid-19 aid

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Provinces: 14,260 new infections, 119 deaths

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Vaccination registration open for foreign residents over 60 in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Autopsy results for woman who died after mixing vaccines

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 14,260 new infections, news briefs

Thailand22 hours ago

Department head predicts Covid-19 could last up to another year

World1 day ago

Swedish prison hostage situation resolved with pizza

Thailand1 day ago

Minister: Foreigners, migrant workers are cared for amid Covid-19

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

“Withhold Intubation” for certain older Thammasat Hospital patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Bang Sue vaccination centre open for expats 60+, under must wait

Coronavirus News & Updates1 day ago

“Covid-19” deaths said to cause crematorium in Bangkok to partially collapse

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending