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Thursday, March 15, 2018

2016 will be a second longer than the other

International service of rotation of the Earth, said that 2016 will end a second later — after 31 December, the hours will be 23:59:59, will become more second, and the exact time will be denoted as “23:59:60”. Only the next moment will be the first in 2017 and will match time 0:00:00.

photo: morguefile.com

Note that we are talking about midnight, according to the international coordinated universal time (UTC), that is, across Russia by the moment of adding new second in 2017 will come, and for the Russians “extended” would be it.

As explained by experts, “overtime”, the second, or, as it is called officially, the second coordinate, will eliminate the accumulated difference between astronomical time and by internationally coordinated time, which is “checked” by atomic clock.

The earth rotates on its axis not completely uniform, due to which the time since the middle of last century can be measured with very remarkable precision, sometimes several “desynchronizes” astronomical. Although this difference is hardly invisible to ordinary people, and the margin of error used in everyday life hours still much higher than one second in several years, since the mid 50-ies of the last century to measure the time used an atomic clock. They accumulated quite the difference can be detected, and when it reaches 0.9 seconds, specialists since 1872 introduces the so-called “leap” seconds. Unlike the extra day in leap years, the second is not added on any established schedule, and about her every time is simply reported in advance, as happened this time.

During this practice the difference between “atomic” time on the Ground and internationally coordinated time exceeded half a minute, and at the time new corrections reaches 37 seconds. By the way, last time second to the UTC time was added not so long ago — June 30, 2015. Plus the second is always be either 30 June or 31 December.

It is theoretically possible that one day to align atomic time with astronomical second need to add and subtract, but such practice has occurred.

Sometimes the leap second may become the cause of failures of electronics and, moreover, because of the slight slowing of the Earth’s rotation in the future to introduce them may need more often. This sometimes suggested a need to review this practice: for example, the introduction of alternatively, the “hour of coordination time in several millennia. However, the second coordination continues to be used, and the nearest formal consideration of the question of its abolition is planned for 2023.

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