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Earth records shortest day, completes rotation in less than 24 hours

Before this, Earth had recorded its shortest day on July 19, 2020

Topics
Earth | science research | NASA

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 



(Photo: Unsplash)
(Photo: Unsplash)

Breaking the record for the shortest day, on July 29 completed a full spin in 1.59 milliseconds less than its standard 24 hours, a report said.

The planet has recently been increasing its rotational speed, as in 2020 the witnessed its shortest month since the 1960s, from when it has been recorded, Independent reported.

Before this, the had recorded its shortest day on July 19, 2020, when it completed a full spin in less than 1.47 milliseconds than the standard 24-hour duration.

The Earth, in 2021 continued to spin at an increased rate, however, it did not break any record.

A 50-year phase of shorter days might be starting right now, a report by Interesting Engineering (IE) said.

The increased speed of the Earth's rotation was quite an unusual discovery for researchers as history dictates that the speed of our planet's rotation is slowing down in general, a report stated.

In the last 50 years, we have added 27 leap seconds in a bid to keep the global atomic clocks in check, a report by The Sun said.

To keep the global clocks aligned a leap second is added. It is a one-second adjustment made to the Coordinated Universal Time.

Researchers still don't know the reason for the increased speed of Earth's rotation but they speculate that processes in the inner or outer layers of the core, oceans, tides, or even changes in climate could be the reason.

Some also believe that the movement of Earth's geographic poles across its surface, or the "Chandler wobble" could also be the reason.

If Earth continues to rotate at an increasing rate, negative leap seconds would need to be introduced to keep the rate of the planet orbiting the Sun consistent with the measurement from atomic clocks, the Independent report said.

However, the introduction of negative leap second can confuse smartphones, computers and communications systems and can do more harm than good, the report stated.

First Published: Wed, August 03 2022. 13:26 IST

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