Tuesday, January 17, 2012

End of the "Leap Second"?

Jan 17, 12:06 PM EST

Countries consider time out on the 'leap second' 

Science Video

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GENEVA (AP) -- It's high noon for the humble leap second.
After ten years of talks, governments are headed for a showdown vote this week on an issue that pits technological precision against nature's whims.
The United States, France and others are pushing for countries at a U.N. telecom meeting to abolish the leap second, which for 40 years has kept computers in sync with the Earth day.
Leap seconds are necessary to prevent atomic clocks from speeding ahead of solar time. They are added at irregular intervals, effectively stretching atomic time by a heartbeat to make up for the irregular wobble in the Earth's rotation.


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