2005 to be one second longer

July 8, 2005

This year, 2005, will be one second longer than any year since 1998. Nature reports that a leap second is being added to account for changes in the earth's rotation.

Leap seconds have been added since the 1970s when scientists noticed that atomic clocks and the astronomical clock of the earth's rotation do not always match up. Markus Kuhn of Cambridge University said that the gravitational pull of the sun and moon can change the rotation by causing shifts in the earth's core, and major earthquakes can do the same thing.

A total of 32 seconds have already been added over the decades, making the year just over half a minute longer.

The leap seconds are different from the days added every four years because the earth actually takes about 365 1/4 days to move around the sun.

Kuhn said that most computers will not have trouble dealing with the extra second, which will be added sometime in the final hours of Dec. 31.

Asked how he would spend the extra time, Kuhn told Nature, "I might do a very geeky thing and watch how my computer behaves."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: For the best aerosol data, ARM embraces harmony

Related Stories

Astronomers bid farewell to $3.9 bn Saturn spacecraft

September 15, 2017

Astronomers around the world bid farewell Friday to NASA's famed Cassini spacecraft, which launched 20 years ago to circle Saturn and transformed the way we think about life elsewhere in the solar system.

Scientists say cost of capturing CO2 declining

October 9, 2017

Technology now in limited use removes about 90 percent of carbon dioxide from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants, but energy experts say cost remains the chief obstacle to bringing the "clean coal" touted by President ...

Watching solar activity muddle Earth's magnetic field

April 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists have found that extreme solar activity drastically compresses the magnetosphere and modifies the composition of ions in near-Earth space. They are now looking to model how these changes affect ...

Rising tides intensify non-volcanic tremor in Earth's crust

November 22, 2007

For more than a decade geoscientists have detected what amount to ultra-slow-motion earthquakes under Western Washington and British Columbia on a regular basis, about every 14 months. Such episodic tremor-and-slip events ...

Recommended for you

Heavy nitrogen molecules reveal planetary-scale tug-of-war

November 17, 2017

Nature whispers its stories in a faint molecular language, and Rice University scientist Laurence Yeung and colleagues can finally tell one of those stories this week, thanks to a one-of-a-kind instrument that allowed them ...

Carefully crafted light pulses control neuron activity

November 17, 2017

Specially tailored, ultrafast pulses of light can trigger neurons to fire and could one day help patients with light-sensitive circadian or mood problems, according to a new study in mice at the University of Illinois.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.