The Earth breaks record with rotation of less than 24 hours – El Financiero

Last June 29Earth set an unusual record: It had its shortest day since the 1960s, when scientists began measuring the planet’s rotation with highly accurate atomic clocks.

As you know, in general terms, the Earth completes a full revolution on its axis every 24 hours. That single turn marks a day: the cycle of day and night.

But June 29 was the exception: midnight came 1.59 milliseconds earlier than expected, according to a note in the British newspaper Guardian.

In recent years, shorter days have become more and more frequent.

In 2020, Earth had 28 of the shortest days in the last 50 years, with the shortest of them, July 19, shaving 1.47 milliseconds from the 86,400 seconds that make up 24 hours.

The June 29 record was about to be broken again last month, as the July 26 it was 1.5 milliseconds less than normal.

A speed out of the ordinary

the british daily The Telegraph adds for its part that, Earth’s average rotational speed generally decreases slightly over time.

In fact, scientists have been forced to add 27 leap seconds to atomic time since the 1970s as the planet slows down.

But since 2020, the phenomenon has been reversed: speed records were frequently broken in the last two years.

“While the effect is too small for humans to notice, it can build up over time, which could affect modern satellite navigation and communication systems that rely on time to be consistent with conventional positions of the Sun, the Moon and stars”, adds the newspaper.

The origin of this speed of rotation

Scientists attribute the increase in the Earth’s rotational speed to a phenomenon known as the “Chadler Wobble.” Said speed varies constantly due to the complex movement of its nucleus, the oceans and the atmosphere, as well as the effect of celestial bodies such as the Moon.

Tidal friction and the changing distance between the Earth and the Moon cause the speed of the planet’s rotation on its axis to vary daily.

“Chandler Wobble” is the change in the Earth’s spin on its axis and normally causes the Earth’s rotation to increase, meaning it takes longer to complete one spin. But in recent years the spin has become less wobbly.

Dr Leonid Zotov of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute at Lomonosov Moscow State University believes this lack of oscillation may be behind the faster days, according to the report. The Telegraph.

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