according to TimeAndDate.comOur planet has set a strange record for completing one cycle faster than scientists have previously set. The Earth rotated once on its axis on Wednesday, June 29, at 1.59 milliseconds in less than 24 hours.
Remember that the Earth performs different types of motion, including rotation, around its axis, which lasts 24 hours and results in alternating between day and night, and a revolution that occurs around the sun that lasts a little more than 365 days.
The acceleration last June is an anomaly. Until a few years ago, the Earth’s rotation was thought to be slowing down, and measurements made with atomic clocks from 11973 seem to confirm this. The slowdown is attributed to several factors such as the sun’s gravity and gradual stagnation. from the moon.
The International Earth Rotation Reference Systems Service (IERS) has started adding “leap seconds” from time to time to compensate for the slowdown in rotation (last time on December 31, 2016).
This acceleration can also be introduced in a trend towards gradual deceleration, or there can be fifty years of deceleration and cycles of acceleration.
However, atomic clocks in recent years have shown that the Earth’s rotation is now accelerating. In fact, a 50-year period can start from even shorter days. In 2020, scientists recorded the 28 shortest days since 1960. On the other hand, 2021 appears to have confirmed the gradual slowing of the rotation, with the shortest day of that year remaining longer than the previous year. But 2022 saw an unexpected reversal, and on June 29, 2022, our planet achieved its fastest spin ever, followed by a day as short as 1.50 milliseconds on July 26, 2022.
The previous record for the shortest rotation was on July 19, 2020, when the Earth’s rotation took 1.4602 milliseconds in less than 24 hours.
What could be the reason for this acceleration? The reason for the difference in the speed of the Earth’s rotation is unknown, but theories abound:
- melting of Antarctic glaciers, a phenomenon that must be tested, but will have the effect of “lightning” on the axis on which the Earth rotates;
- Movements of our planet’s molten inner core, with tidal effects on rotation
- Deep seismic activity, with major magical movements in the mantle
- The Chandler Oscillation is the movement of the Earth’s geographic poles over its surface.
Why the Earth’s rotational speed matters and why varying it can lead to serious problems.
The acceleration of Earth’s rotation has consequences because atomic clocks, used in GPS satellites, do not take into account the change in Earth’s rotation.
If the Earth was spinning faster, it would reach the same position a little earlier. Half a millisecond equals 26 centimeters at the equator. In short, GPS satellites – which already have to be corrected for the effect of Einstein’s general theory of relativity (the space-time curve) – will quickly become useless because their position will not be accurate enough.
There are also potential confusing consequences for smartphones, computers and communication systems, which synchronize with Network Time Protocol (NTP) servers. It is defined as the number of seconds since 00:00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970.
To solve all this, international time regulators may have to add a second negative, “seconds of fall”. However, this addition would be in contrast to the gradual deceleration measurements. So it will not be implemented if this difference is not confirmed at least in the short term.
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