The leap second

If you are at UK, your 2008/09 countdown will most likely go something like this.

“….5 ….4 …..3 …..2 …..1 …. *hold 1 second*…. Happy New Year!!!”

That’s because the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service (IERS) has introduced a leap second at 23:59:60 (UTC) on December 31, 2008. The rest of the world will also be adding the extra 1 second at that same moment. For Singapore, we will be adding the extra 1 second on 1 Jan 2009, 07:59:60.

A leap second is a second, as measured by an atomic clock, added to or subtracted from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to make it agree with astronomical time to within 0.9 second. It compensates for slowing in the Earth’s rotation and is added during the end of June or December.

So for those super paranoid people who always adjust their watch to be super accurate, its time to minus 1 second on your watch.
PS: This blog entry is posted on the leap second. The previous leap second was in 2005. The next leap second is not known yet.

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