A stitch in time

I’ve known about this for quite a while: the earth doesn’t rotate in exactly 24 hours. The people who worry about “what time it is” occasionally add (or subtract) a second from the count in order to make our clocks agree with what we see in the sky. What I didn’t know was that the addition of a so-called “leap second” is controversial in some scientific communities — the kinds of communities where you dare not show up late for a meeting.

Another thing I did not know is that there exists something called the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERRSS). I’ll give you a second to catch your breath (and then you can give the second back later on.)

Anyway, the last minute of 2005 will be 61 seconds long. Make plans accordingly.

One thought on “A stitch in time

Comments are closed.