'Leap second' into 2006
We are all waiting for the bewitching hour to welcome in the new year but hang on a sec...
Us mere mortals have been informed that because the Earth is apparently slowing down a 'leap second' will be added to the end of today - so the New Year's Eve countdown will end 00.00.01.
Scientists are delaying the start of 2006 by the first "leap second" in seven years, a timing tweak meant to make up for changes in the Earth's rotation. Apparently this adjustment is necessary periodically to keep our clocks in sync with solar time used by astronomers.
It's all interesting stuff but for most people their only concern is just to welcome in the new year - 2006. The world is waiting - fireworks have started - champagne corks popping.
The U.S. Naval Observatory has announced that it will add an extra second to the nation's atomic clocks this New Year's Eve - the first time a "leap second" has been deployed since 1998. The adjustment is necessary because the length of an atomic day - i.e., 86,400 seconds ticked off an atomic clock - was set according to observations made around 1900. Back then, the Earth rotated a tiny bit faster than it does in 2005. Scientists say the rotation slows about 2 milliseconds every 100 years. What could make this happen?
Happy New Year to all... a special thanks to everybody who takes the time to read this blog.
An after thought - wonder how many clocks will have to be manually adjusted by one second?