Planet Earth Spinning Faster: Midnight appears to be falling sooner!! Well, the rotation speed of our esteemed planet has increased. Planet Earth is spinning faster compared to its speed 50 years ago.
Due to Earth’s faster spinning, the days are becoming shorter. Even though the difference is not very much noticeable, it is becoming a cause of worry for scientists.
Recently, scientists detected that 29th June 2022 was the shortest day. It was 1.59 milliseconds shorter than a normal day.
The Rotation of Planet Earth:
All planets, including the planet Earth, have been spinning since the formation of the solar system. Billions of years have passed. We see night and day just because of this rotation. But the rotation rate of the Earth has never remained the same.
Million years ago, the year was of 420 days as planet Earth’s spinning was slower, and it used to take 420 rotations to complete one orbit of the Sun. But with time, the rate of rotation changed, and Earth started to take 365 days to complete its orbit.
And now planet Earth is spinning faster than its earlier rotation speed.
Tracking of time:
Earth’s rotation impacts the tracking of time. Atomic clocks measure time on the basis of electrons residing inside the atoms. They do not get affected by external changes.
But during the past years, scientists have noticed a difference in the behavior of atomic clocks. There is a difference between the time tracked by the atomic clocks and the time measured using the position of Earth, the moon, and the stars.
The atomic clocks measured that a year passed faster. But it was not so when Earth’s movement was used to measure time. To cover up the gap, scientists started adding leap seconds to the atomic clocks. That is why every fourth year, one extra day is added to the month of February as Earth actually takes 365.25 days to complete one orbit.
According to the scientist Leonid Zotov, these fluctuations in planet Earth’s spinning speed are not happening on a regular basis. But if this trend goes on, then some changes will be required in the atomic time. This is the universal method of measuring time on Earth.
Some are proposing negative leap seconds. But the tech engineers are not supporting it. It is a digital world. The addition or deduction of leap seconds can harm the operations of computer programs. They are most likely to behave in an unexpected manner. And no one can predict the consequences.
Reasons behind planet Earth’s spinning faster:
According to some scientists, it is because of tides on the Earth. While others are saying it is due to the continuous melting and refreezing of ice on the mountains. Every little change has the power to cause something big.
A presentation on the latest findings will be given by Zotov and his teammates this month at a conference of Asia Oceania Geosciences Society.
Timeanddate.com was the first one to notice the difference in planet Earth’s spinning speed.