Scientists have made a pretty startling observation – Earth is spinning faster than ever and we might lose a whole second!
This is no joke. The scientists have revealed that the Earth is spinning faster than it has in the last 50 years leading to the need for a “negative leap year”.
To be precise, scientists are considering cutting down one whole second from a year! They are also predicting that 2021 could turn out to be one of the shortest years in decades.
Earth is spinning faster?
Peter Whibberley from UK’s National Physical Laboratory explained, “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.”
He also explained that international discussions about the future of the leap seconds were taking place.
He adds, “t’s also possible that the need for a negative leap second might push the decision towards ending leap seconds for good.”
How do they even keep the time?
Time-keeping has never been easy, quite the opposite really.
It wasn’t until 1960 that error-free timekeeping really started with the use of the atomic clock.
So what are atomic clocks? In very simple terms, they are the clocks that keep time with extreme accuracy using resonance frequencies of atoms like caesium or rubidium.
A blog from NASA‘s website explains that atomic clocks achieve greater stability using quartz crystal oscillator with an ensemble of atoms.
Atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks as of now. Let’s just say it works better than counting one-sheep, two-sheep and so on…