In a startling fact, scientists have revealed that our planet Earth may be spinning faster than it has in over 50 years! Simply put, time is passing quicker now than at any point in the last half-century and since 2020, a full day has been taking less than the normal 24 hours. As a result, the days are on average about 0.5 seconds shorter than 24 hours. According to a Daily Mail report, July 19, 2020, was the shortest day since scientists began keeping records in the 1960s–1.4602 milliseconds shorter than the full 24 hours. Also Read - Nostradamus Prediction True? Asteroid as Big as Eiffel Tower to Zoom Past Earth Today
In the light of this new revelation, the world’s timekeepers are now debating whether to delete a second from time to account for the change, and bring the precise passing of time back into line with the rotation of the Earth.
Will a leap second be added?
Keeping atomic time in sync with solar time is important to keep satellites and other communications equipment in sync. However, in July 2020, The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) announced that no ‘leap second’ would be added to the world’s official timekeeping in December 2020. Like leap years, leap seconds are time adjustments.
In the past, leap seconds have already been added to 27 days since the 1970s and the last addition came in 2016, when on New Year’s Eve at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds, an extra ‘leap second’ was added.
But, with this now information surfacing, scientists are contemplating adding a so-called “negative leap second”. Leap seconds are traditionally added on either the last day of June or December, so that means the next potential date for a leap second is June 20, 2021.
“It’s quite possible that a negative leap second will be needed if the Earth’s rotation rate increases further, but it’s too early to say if this is likely to happen,” physicist Peter Whibberley of the National Physics Laboratory in the U.K. told The Telegraph.
What is the reason?
According to a 2015 study published in Science Advances, global warming may be the reason behind the Earth’s speedier rotation. As glaciers melt, mass redistribution is causing the planet to shift and spin faster on its axis.