Time officials prepare to add ‘leap second’ on Tuesday

Spring Forward

(MEDIA GENERAL) – You’ve always wished for more time in the day. Now, you’ve got it. Tuesday, June 30, 2015 will be 24 hours and 1 second long.

A leap second will be added Tuesday to keep our clocks more closely synced with the Earth’s rotation, per the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service in Paris. Universal time says the Earth completes a full rotation around the sun every 86,400.002 seconds. The “.002” is what causes the leap second.

According to NASA, the “Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, due to a kind of braking force caused by the gravitational tug of war between Earth, the moon and the sun.”

By adding an occasional leap second, it brings our atomic-measured time closer in sync with the Earth’s actual rotation time – known as universal time.

Humans won’t notice the added second, but computers can, and some believe leap seconds should be abolished in the digital age to prevent computer glitches. According to a report from Slate, there is a growing consensus within the International Bureau of Weights and Measures to abolish the leap second because there is no need for atomic time to be synced with universal time. Also, leap seconds cause computer glitches in certain software.

Felicitas Arias, who runs the time department at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, told Slate the most recent leap second (in June 2012) caused issues across several platforms. In 2012, the biggest glitch took down Linux, an open-source operating system, which temporarily shut down sites including Reddit. Australian airline Quantas also had computer issues related to leap second glitches that caused flight delays.

The International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations that addresses issues with information and communication technology, is expected to vote on abolishing leap seconds at some point later this year.

KRQE.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s