An Extra Second To 2009

I’m not sure how many of you know this but 2009 is going to start a second late!

The new year will arrive a second late to account for the changes in the Earth’s rotation. A ‘leap second’ will be added to the final minute of 2008 because the planet is gradually slowing down as it spins on it’s axis. That extra second will help correct the time-lag which shows up on ultra accurate atomic clocks.

This is the 24th time since 1972 that an adjustment has been made by the Paris based International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service. This will also make 2008 – already long with an extra day on Feb 29 – the longest year since 1992.

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So will people go “10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1…ahem. Happy New Year”? Or will it be ok to sneeze or cough in between your countdown to the new year?

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