For the most part, people were not happy with 2016; the constant acts of terrorism, dozens of celebrities dying, just a bad 12 months in general has made many eager for the year to end. However, those who enjoyed it will be sad to learn that the turnover will be extended by a leap second, thus meaning that the year will actually be extended before 2017 hits.
According to The Washington Post, this delay will be caused by Earth “breaking” for ocean waves. Ocean tides cause the deceleration by two milliseconds each day per century, hence 2017 will take an extra second to truly come into effect. The science behind this is that the planet Earth’s rotation ends up slowing down in comparison to atomic clocks; in fact, half a century ago, researchers agreed to cease measuring time on the basis of astronomics. Leap seconds were proving to be extremely significant when it came to when the year actually turned over and the ways in which time could be predicted, and for this reason other scientific methods were chosen to continue research.
The new building block of time, reveals Global News, is based on the cesium atom, which scientists have discovered is the cause of the leap second. In October of 1967, a discussion was had at the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures, concerning the cesium atom and the benefits measuring time based on it would have over the formerly traditional astrology method. The GCWM is held in Paris, France each year and was established in the year 1875. Two other intergovernmental organizations were created in the same year for this cause, with the GCWM being the senior of the three.
A leap second will allegedly be needed every 500 days, reports Mirror. As such, an adjustment to civil time is needed in order for the world’s atomic clocks to not vary from Earth’s rotational time more than 0.9 seconds. This will allow for the atomic clocks to “let the Earth catch up”, says astronomer Geoff Chester. The researcher is employed at the U.S. Naval Observatory located in Washington, D.C. He goes on to say that the second will be added to the USNO’s Master Clock facility.
The leap second in question will be added at hour 23, with 59 minutes and 60 seconds to spare. The first of its kind occurred in 1972, and since then a total of 26 tics have been added. The last of these took place in June of 2015.
By Lorelai Zelmerlow