On July 29, Earth broke the record for the shortest day as it completed a full rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less than its record 24-hour rotation.
according to does not depend onRecently, the planet has increased its speed. Back in 2020, Earth experienced the shortest month ever recorded since the 1960s. On July 19 of that year, the shortest time ever was measured. It was 1.47 milliseconds shorter than a typical 24-hour day.
The following year, the planet continued to spin at an increasing rate overall, but it didn’t break any records. However, according to Interesting Engineering (IE), a phase of shorter 50-year days may now begin.
The reason for the difference in the speed of the Earth’s rotation is still unknown. But scientists speculate that this could be due to processes in the inner or outer layers of the core, oceans, tides, or even changes in climate.
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Some researchers also believe that this may be related to the movement of the Earth’s geographic poles across its surface, known as the “Chandler wobble”. In simpler words, this is similar to the quiver one sees when a spinning top begins to gain momentum or slow down, according to scientists Leonid Zotov, Christian Besward and Nikolai Sidorenkov.
according to does not depend onif the Earth continues to rotate at an increasing rate, this could introduce negative leap seconds, in an attempt to keep the rate of Earth’s rotation around the Sun consistent with the measurement from atomic clocks.
However, a negative second jump could have confusing consequences for smartphones, computers and communication systems. Citing a Meta blog, the outlet stated that the leap second “essentially benefits scientists and astronomers” but is a “risky practice that does more harm than good.”
This is because the clock is advancing from 23:59:59 to 23:59:60 before resetting to 00:00:00. Such a time jump can lead to software crashes and corrupt data due to timestamps on data storage.
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Meta also said that if a negative second jump occurs, the clock will change from 23:59:58 to 00:00:00, and this could have a “devastating effect” on software that relies on timers and schedulers. according to in another meaningTo solve this problem, international time regulators may need to add a negative leap second – a “drop second”.
Notably, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time, has already been updated by leap second 27 times.