If you feel like the days are getting shorter as you get older, you probably don’t imagine it.
On June 29, 2022, the Earth made one complete revolution that took 1.59 milliseconds less than the average day length of 86,400 seconds, or 24 hours. While the 1.59ms shortening may not seem like much, it’s part of a larger, weird trend.
In fact, on July 26, 2022, there was another new record Approximately Set when Earth finished its day 1.50 milliseconds shorter than usual, as I mentioned before Watchman and time tracking website time and date. The time and date indicate that 2020 saw the most short number of days since scientists began using atomic clocks to take daily measurements in the 1960s. Scientists first began noticing this trend in 2016.
While the average day length may vary slightly in the short term, the long term day length has been increasing since the formation of the Earth-Moon system. This is because over time, the force of gravity has transferred energy from Earth – via tides – to the Moon, pushing it slightly away from us. Meanwhile, because the two bodies are in a tide lock state—which means the Moon’s rotation rate and rotation are so equal that we only see one side of it—physics dictates that the Earth’s day must be prolonged if the two objects are to remain in a tidal cycle. As the moon moves away. Billions of years ago, the Moon was much closer and the length of the Earth’s day is much shorter.
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While scientists know that Earth days get shorter in the short term, the ultimate reason is why it isn’t clear – along with the impact it might have on how we track time as humans.
“Earth’s rotation rate is a complex business. It has to do with the exchange of angular momentum between the Earth and the atmosphere, ocean effects and the Moon’s influence,” Judah Levine, a physicist in the Time and Frequency Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Discover . magazine said. “You can’t predict what will happen very far in the future.”
But Fred Watson, an Australian itinerant astronomer, For ABC News in Australia that if nothing is done to stop it, “the seasons will gradually deviate from the calendar seasons.”
“When you start to look at the real minute details, you realize that the Earth is not just a solid, spinning ball,” Watson said. “It’s got liquid on the inside, it gets liquid on the outside, and it has an atmosphere and all of this stuff spins a little bit.”
Matt King of the University of Tasmania described the trend to ABC News Australia as “certainly bizarre”.
“Obviously something has changed, and it has changed in a way we haven’t seen since the beginning of precision radio astronomy in the 1970s,” King said.
Could it be related to extreme weather patterns? As I mentioned WatchmanNASA reports that the Earth’s rotation can slow down strong winds In El Niño years it can slowing down the rotation of the planet. Similarly, melting ice caps move matter around the Earth, and thus can change the rate of rotation.
While this simple absorption of time has little effect on our daily lives, some scientists have called for the introduction of a negative “leap second,” which would subtract one second from the day to keep the world on track for the atomic time system, if the trend continues. Since 1972, leap seconds have been added every few years. The last one was added in 2016.
“It is very likely that a negative second jump would be needed if the Earth’s rotation rate increased further, but it is too early to say if that is likely to happen,” said physicist Peter Whibberley of the UK’s National Physics Laboratory. telegraph. “There are also international discussions going on about the future of leap seconds, and it is also possible that the need for a negative leap second may drive the decision toward ending leap seconds for good.”
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