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Scientists Observed That Earth May Be Spinning Faster Than Before

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If someone asked us how many hours a day consisted of, we would definitely say 24 hours. But this isn’t accurate. Earth’s usual time to spin on its axis is 86,400 seconds, also considered 24 hours. 

With the invention of atomic clocks during the 1960s, found Earth’s daily rotation varies by milliseconds. Up until now, the Earth’s rotation was a little longer than 24 hours. 

But according to research, in 2020, the rotation started to speed up. The Earth is spinning faster now when compared with the last 50 years. 

The shortest day in history was the 5th of July, 2005, since it was 1.0516 milliseconds less than 86,400 seconds. But the record was shattered 28 times in 2020. Even time did not escape 2020 unscathed. 

According to records, the fastest day was the 19th of July, 2019, and was clocked in 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than average. 

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2021 Is predicted to be even shorter

According to predictions by scientists, the days in 2021 will be even faster. It is because now the days are 0.05 milliseconds shorter than average. 

This will lead to 2021 running 19 milliseconds behind. It is quite an issue because the syncing of solar time with Earth’s atomic clocks is now in jeopardy. 

Satellites and other communication devices rely on the position of the sun and stars. 

How do we know that Earth is speeding up

The French International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) is responsible for keeping track of both sets of time falls. To find the exact speed of Earth’s rotation, the IERS uses Universal Time (UTC) and International Atomic Time (TAI). The length of a day is then conveyed by the deviation of UTC from TAI over 24 hours. 

Whenever the UTC differs from the TAI by more than 0.9 seconds, the IERS adds or subtracts a leap second from the world’s clocks in order to keep them in sync. Since the Earth is spinning faster, the IERS has come to a decision that in December 2020, no leap second would be added to the world’s official timekeeping. It is because the Earth is rotating way faster than it has in 50 years.

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If the rotation speed keeps increasing, the IERS will announce the world’s first negative leap second in the future. It is said to have a negative impact on forms of communication. 

Factors such as climate changes, the pull of the moon, snowfall, and erosion are affecting Earth’s fast rotation speed. Yet scientists are not excessively worried about this phenomenon. 

The effects of a shorter day

On average, the days are .5 seconds shorter than a full 24 hours. While you’re not inclined to notice the effect yourself, it does have an immense bearing on satellites, telecommunications equipment, and computers, as they all require that solar time to match the time kept by atomic clocks.

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Software programmers have struggle dealing with positive or negative leap seconds because they make time seem to go either backward or forwards. As for the financial markets in the U.S., the increase of a leap second occurs during a trading day, can cause havoc.

Have you ever thought of how fast the Earth would have to spin to throw us off?

Well, according to Dr. Alastair Gunn, we are not thrown off Earth because gravity is holding us down. Because we rotate with the Earth, a ‘centrifugal force’ pushes us outwards from the planet’s center. If this centrifugal force were more prominent than the force of gravity, then we would be hurled into space. 

The centrifugal force’s power depends on where you are, yet it is greater at the equator and zero at the poles. We can measure how fast the Earth would need to spin to balance the force of gravity; it works out at roughly about 28,437km/h (17,670mph). Therefore the Earth would have to spin once in every 84 minutes to obtain that speed at the equator, roughly 17 times faster. Therefore if you move away from the equator, the centrifugal force is lower, so you still would not fly off Earth at that speed.

What’s your thoughts?

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