‘Leap second’ added to today
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 01/07/2012 (3923 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
PARIS — Scientists say today will stretch a second longer than any other day this year.
A team at the Paris Observatory is adding a “leap second” just before midnight to make up for a gradual slowdown in the Earth’s rotation.
Experts at the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service make the adjustment when the planet’s movement falls out of sync with atomic clocks that measure time.
U.S. Naval Observatory spokesman Geoff Chester said a leap second is needed because the Earth is slowing down a bit from the tidal pull of the moon.
A second can be added or removed as needed every six months, but it typically happens only every 11/2 years.
This week’s change comes after nearly four years without a leap second — the last one was at the end of December 2008.
— CP / AP