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Earth is Spinning Faster!

By: Alvin Xu

Scientists have been amazed since they found out that the earth is spinning faster than usual! On June 29, Earth’s full rotation only took 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours. This was the shortest day ever.

Ice caps melting on mountains could be affecting how fast the Earth is spinning. The Chandler wobble could be another reason. The Chandler wobble is an irregular movement of Earth’s geographical poles across the surface of the globe. These phenomena might be affecting technology and may bring troubles to hardware systems. Scientists said that if the Earth’s rotation keeps speeding up, we might have to remove a second from our clocks.

Production engineer Oleg Obleukhov and research scientist Dr. Ahmad Byagowi said that “The impact of a negative leap second has never been tested on a large scale; it could have a devastating effect on the software relying on timers or schedulers.”

Astrophysicist Graham Jones said that “This (measure) would be required to keep civil time – which is based on the super-steady beat of atomic clocks – in step with solar time, which is based on the movement of the sun across the sky. A negative leap second would mean that our clocks skip one second, which could potentially create problems for IT systems.”


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