You’ve heard of the leap year, but what about a leap second?
The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems has deemed it necessary to insert a leap second on New Year’s Eve. The goal is to bring the atomic clocks in sync with the earth’s rhythm. Without a leap second, our time system would eventually blow up.
"Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably,” explains the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. “Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time. Although the drift is small—taking around a thousand years to accumulate a one-hour difference—if not corrected, it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise."
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