The Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Anytime In the Past 50 Years

Science stuff is cool. Just wait till you get to the end

The Earth is spinning faster now than at any time in the past half century

If 2020 felt like a drag, you may be surprised to discover it actually went faster than you thought … and this year is set to be even speedier.

The Earth has been spinning unusually quickly lately, and July 19 saw the shortest day since records began, with the planet completing its rotation in 1.4602 milliseconds less than the usual 86,400 seconds.

The previous shortest day in 2005 was beaten 28 times last year, and 2021 is on track to be the most nippy year ever, with the average day passing 0.5 milliseconds faster than usual.

The changes to the length of a standard day were only discovered after highly accurate atomic clocks were developed in the 1960s and compared to fixed stars in the sky.

In recent decades, Earth’s average rotational speed has consistently decreased and timekeepers have been forced to add 27 leap seconds to atomic time since the 1970s to keep clocks in sync with the slowing planet.

Lots of atomic clock stuff, going to

The speed of the Earth’s rotation varies constantly because of the complex motion of its molten core, oceans and atmosphere, as well as the effect of celestial bodies such as the Moon.

The friction of the tides and the change in distance between the Earth and the Moon all make for daily variations in the speed the planet rotates on its axis.

And now for something completely different

Even the snow building up on mountains and melting in the summer can shift the rotation.

Global warming will also have an effect by melting ice and snow at higher elevations, causing the Earth to spin faster, although only by a small amount.

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One Response to “The Earth Is Spinning Faster Than Anytime In the Past 50 Years”

  1. Joe Henderson says:

    The person who wrote the article is truly an idiot who doesn’t understand the difference between days and years. No matter how fast the earth spins on its axis, the length of the year remains the same, because the earth still goes around the sun at the same rate. So 2020 didn’t go by any speedier than 2019, and 2021 will not be any faster, either.

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