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Space: Why did the Earth rotate faster in 2020?

Space: Why did the Earth rotate faster in 2020?

The year 2020 may have seemed too long for some, and the Earth took that year, (a little) less time to run itself on average. Scientists have calculated this as the speed of its rotation slows for decades.

Last year, our planet shifted 365 times more on its axis to orbit the sun, so do the so-called Earth Revolution. However, she seems to have done her own cycles (one of these cycles on its axis, similar to ours on Earth 24 hours a day) a little faster than other years. In 2020, days averaged 0.05 milliseconds less.

In addition, according to a recent study cited by the Science Post site, 2020 recorded the fastest 28 days in history. In particular, on the shortest day on July 5, 2020, the Earth rotated 1.0516 milliseconds faster than usual.

Reduced speed of rotation for decades

But this is not the first variation of the rotational speed experienced by the Earth. As the Science Post has always pointed out, scientists have determined that the planet operated 400 million years ago, orbiting itself at 420 Sun.

Since then, its rotation speed has slowed, and the days have gone by with it. The main reason is the distance of the moon.

Although these small changes do not have a direct impact on us, they are necessary to adjust the atomic clocks that measure the Unified Universal Time (UTC). It is from this note that our watches are adjusted today.

A “negative leap second”

Periodically, researchers have adjusted atomic clocks to astronomical time by adding a “leap second” in late June or late December, but this time it needs to be reversed. In fact, scientists can eliminate a leap. This is called a “negative leap quiz”.

At the very least this is an option that could be considered if it further accelerates the speed of the Earth’s rotation. The International Earth Orbit and Reference Systems Service (IERS) based in Paris will make this decision.

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