Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Watch out for the extra second tonight!

Image of clock on Palace of Westminster tower striking midnight - Graham Binns/Flickr

Watch out for the extra second that’ll sneak in just before midnight tonight! At 23:59:59, there will be an extra wait before 2009 begins.

It’s all down to the rotation of the Earth which slows down over a long period due to the effect of the Sun-Moon attraction as well as vagaries like the Earth’s core/mantle, the atmosphere and the oceans.

The good news is that since 1972, an additional 23 seconds have been sneaked in, the last being on 31 December 2005.

More details if you need it! Update - And yet more over at the BBC.

(Image via Graham Binns/Flickr)

1 comment:

Timothy Belmont said...

Indeed, I heard it mentioned on the Today Programme this morning!

Is that more time in bed? :-)