Buckle up BUZZ Fam-you’ve now entered the fastest year ever. 2021 is predicted to just fly by as the shortest year in more than 50 years.
Because Earth is spinning by so fast, the length of a day is now slightly shorter than 24 hours. Earth is spinning a second faster than it normally would and now the world’s timekeepers are debating if they should delete a second from time to account for the change.
We know what you’re thinking- a second isn’t really that of a big deal, and you’re wrong. This diminutive loss of time is only detectable at the atomic level but has wide-reaching implications.
Satellites and communications equipment rely on the true time aligning with solar time, which is determined by the positions of the stars, moon and the sun.
The world timekeepers have never done a ‘negative leap second’ before, but a of 27 ‘leap seconds’ have been added since the 1970s, in order to keep atomic time in line with solar time.
“It’s quite possible that a negative leap second will be needed if the Earth’s rotation rate increases further, but it’s too early to say if this is likely to happen,” Peter Whibberley senior research scientist with National Physical Laboratory’s time and frequency group, told The Telegraph.
‘There are also international discussions taking place about the future of leap seconds, and it’s also possible that the need for a negative leap second might push the decision towards ending leap seconds for good.’