Midnight In The Desert — leap year

How to Handle This Year's Extra Second: 'Smear' It

Posted by K R on

How to Handle This Year's Extra Second: 'Smear' It

(NEWSER) – For many, 2016 can't end soon enough. For everyone, though, it's actually going to last one second longer than usual. With New Year's Eve approaching, outlets such as Phys.org are reminding people that an extra "leap second" will be added to the final day of 2016 in order to keep our earthly time-keeping measures in sync. No, this won't affect countdowns to ball drops—the second is incorporated into the day in far more subtle ways—but if you happened to watch the online clock counting Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC, you'd see the quirk of it going from 23:59:59...

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The leap second: Because our clocks are more accurate than the Earth

Posted by K R on

The leap second: Because our clocks are more accurate than the Earth

We've recently been treated to that extra day in February that reminds us that 2016 is a leap year. Introduced by Julius Caesar, the leap day is necessary because the orbital year is not exactly equal to the 365 days of our calendar year. Without the adjustment, this year’s spring-like Christmas would eventually become routine even without climate change. After a few more generations, the snows of July would give way again to sweltering afternoons. Given enough time, the seasons would march across the calendar. In order for the months to retain their traditional characters, the leap day is inserted...

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