Saturday, December 24, 2005
I. Question: How long will the last minute of 2005 be?
Leap second to be introduced as new year arrives:
The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) has announced the introduction of a "time step" at the end of December to add a "leap second" as 2006 arrives.
Leap seconds are needed to keep clocks in step with Earth's rotation, which varies by several thousandths of a second per day. Slowing down the clocks every year or two keeps them in sync.
As 2005 transitions to 2006, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) will be retarded by 1.0 second. This essentially means that the last minute in 2005 will be 61 seconds long: December 31, 2005, 23:59:59; December 31, 2005, 23:59:60; January 1, 2006, 00:00:00.
This adjustment will affect UTC and all time scales based on UTC. Loran-C and GPS will not be adjusted physically, however. Times of Coincidence for LORAN-C are available on the Time Service Web Page.
For GPS, the leap second correction, contained within the UTC data of the navigation message transmitted by satellites, will change. After the leap second GPS will be ahead of UTC by 14 seconds.
The ARRL Letter
Vol. 24, No. 50
December 23, 2005
II. My yesterday’s e-mail from Joke of the Day:
http://www.cleanjokeoftheday.com (you can subscribe)
A lady lost her handbag in the bustle of Christmas shopping. It was found by an honest little boy and returned to her. Looking in her purse, she commented, "Hmmm.... That's funny. When I lost my bag there was a $20 bill in it. Now there are twenty $1 bills."
The boy quickly replied, "That's right, lady. The last time I found a lady's purse, she didn't have any change for a reward."
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