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Leap Years- Leap Days & Leap Seconds 2/29/2012
Today is Leap Day- a day added to the common year- which has 365 days, making the leap year consist of 366 days.
But why do we need a Leap Year?
KOZI’s Hayli Libbey Thompson tells us more.
In addition to today- leap day- 2012 will also bring us a leap second. On the night of June 30th there will be one more second in the day.
That may not sound like much, but it is a vital second. While the leap year keeps the calendar in order, the leap second keeps the clock in order by closing the gap between time measured by atomic clocks, and time measured by the daily rotation of the Earth.
It is all part of the business of keeping chronological accounts straight, a function performed by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service in Paris. Scientists insert a leap second whenever the gap between atomic time and solar time adds up to a second. The last one was in 2008.
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