Even Earth's spin speed couldn't escape 2020 unharmed, here's why

Scientists have found that even the speed at which the Earth spins couldn't escape the horrible effects of 2020. Here's how.

1 minute & 14 seconds read time

Most people are happy to say goodbye to 2020 as it was a very rough year, but if it makes you feel any better, even the Earth was affected in 2020.

Even Earth's spin speed couldn't escape 2020 unharmed, here's why 01

In 2020, the 28 fastest days since 1960 were recorded for the Earth spinning. While that may not seem like a big deal for everyday life, it is a big deal for international timekeepers that are using the ultra-accurate atomic clocks to meter out the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is then used by everyone's clocks in everyday life. The astronomical time is determined by how long it takes the Earth to do a full rotation, and when the recorded time deviates by more than 0.4 seconds, the UTC will be adjusted accordingly.

Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, scientists have observed through satellites that the Earth's rotation speed has been slowing, which has then caused researchers to add a "leap second" to the end of June or December. However, researchers have now observed that the Earth's spin has increased in speed, which has now caused scientists to begin a discussion about a negative leap second (subtracting a second).

Peter Whibberley of the National Physics Laboratory in the U.K said, "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. 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."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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