• Sunday, Mar 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:37 pm

A day on Earth is now shorter than 24 hours

  • Published at 11:36 pm January 9th, 2021
Planet Earth
File photo of Earth, as viewed from space Bigstock

2020 was faster than usual, broke shortest day record 28 times. 2021 is going to be even shorter.

The earth is now revolving faster than it has in the last half of the century, according to scientists. 

It means that a day on Earth is now shorter than 24 hours, reports DNA India.

Scientists said the rotation of our planet is now faster than usual and a day is now shorter as a result, ever so slightly.

The year 2020 had 28 shortest days and, in these terms, this year is going to be even shorter. 

An average day will be 0.05 milliseconds shorter than the usual 86,400 seconds, according to scientists. 

This will eventually add up to a cumulative lag of about 19 milliseconds or 0.019 second on the atomic clocks when 2021 ends. 

Atomic clocks have been keeping ultraprecise records of day length since the 1960s.

Our planet has been taking a little less than 24 hours to make one complete rotation on its axis for as long as 50 years. 

Reportedly, the shortest day was recorded on July 19 last year — it was 1.4602 milliseconds shorter than 24 hours.

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) is the body that measures the length of a day officially. IERS scientists figure out the precise speed of Earth’s revolution by measuring the exact moments a fixed star passes a certain location in the sky every day.

If the planet’s gyration and the atomic clocks’ steady beats become unsynchronized, scientists can use a positive or negative leap second to bring them back in sync.


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