Happy new year: 2017 lasts a second longer

By VnExpress   December 30, 2016 | 07:44 pm PT
Brace yourself for the coming leap second!

2016 has been long enough. For the year ahead, the Vietnamese, French, Russian, Singaporean and most living in the eastern heamisphere will enjoy a spare second, according to Quartz.

Others will see their clocks adjusted relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Unlike leap days which happen every four years, leap seconds are inserted at a similar precise moment globally. This is to make up for the time lost to Earth's irregular rotation, which sometimes speeds up, sometimes slows down, but is gradually slowing overall.

"This leap second, makes it possible to align astronomical time, which is irregular and determined by Earth's rotation, with UTC which is extremely stable and has been determined by atomic clocks since 1967," the Paris Observatory said in a statement.

The observatory houses the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), responsible for synchronizing time.

To help computers that cannot process a 61-second minute, Google will create something called "smeared time" to allow its applications such as Gmail, Youtube and Google Maps, to continue functioning, according to the Washington Post.

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