10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1…1… Happy New Year!
Bad news for people who are really looking forward to this year ending: 2016 is going to get an extra second of life to it!
A “Leap Second” will be added to the year as clocks strike midnight December 31/January 1. While it seems weird, it is a surprisingly common occurrence. We had a leap second back in 2015, and this year will be the 27th time this has happened.
Of course, you’re probably wondering “why?” It’s just a second, how important could it really be?
The BBC reports: The change is required because standard time lags behind atomic clocks.
The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) – responsible for the UK’s national time scale – uses the atomic clock to provide a stable and continuous timescale.
Along with other clocks across the globe, it provides the world with its coordinated universal time.
NPL senior research scientist Peter Whibberley said: “Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably.
“Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time.
“Although the drift is small – taking around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.”
Call me old-fashioned, but shouldn’t the rotation of the Earth, the big hunk of rock that we all live on and depend on for our existence, be the “official” time keeper? If the Earth says it’s noon, guess what? It’s probably noon!
Of course, there isn’t a more accurate clock than my stomach. I plan my entire day around my stomach-clock.
*GROWL* “Oh, I guess it’s lunch time.”
“Caleb, it’s barely 10:30…”
*eating a burrito* “Perfect, right on schedule! Lunch II will be in about an hour and a half!”
Well, since this will be my last blog post for the year, Happy New Year to everybody! I look forward to seeing y’all again in 2017! Be sure to use that extra second to catch up on some sleep!