Have you ever felt that a file time Are you going faster? Not just your impression. in a day June 29, midnight arrived 1.59 milliseconds earlier than expected. It was the shortest day in history, at least since scientists began tracking the rate of Earth’s rotation. a land With atomic clocks in the 1960s.
It was not the only event. In 2020, the planet experienced the 28 shortest days on record up to that point in history. Last week, on July 26, the day was also 1.5 milliseconds shorter than usual.
According to Leonid Zotov, a researcher at Lomonosov Moscow State University, the acceleration of the Earth’s rotation began in 2016. “This year, for example, the Earth’s rotation is faster than it was in 2021 and 2020,” he said, in an interview with CBS News.
Compared to the time of its formation, the planet has much longer days. About 1.4 billion years ago, one revolution of the Earth took less than 19 hours. Each year, the days began to become, on average, about thirteenths of a second. However, this time can fluctuate from day to day.
According to scientists, the movement of the Earth can be affected by earthquakes and strong winds (such as El Nino), melting and refreezing of polar ice caps and the moon and weather. Some suggest that the so-called “Chandler wobble,” a phenomenon known as the slight deviation of the Earth’s rotation points from the solid Earth, could also generate an effect.
Since 1972, researchers have proposed the occasional leap seconds (adding one second to UTC). to me EngadgetThey are used sparingly because they wreak havoc on ultrawide systems. Last week, Meta called for an end to leap seconds, which have disrupted software on Reddit and Cloudflare over the past decade.
If the current trend continues for shorter days, there is a possibility that a negative leap second will be needed to keep the clocks aligned with the planet’s rotation – that could lead to more chaos.
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