Advertisement

Earth spun faster June 29, causing shortest day since 1960s

Earth spun faster June 29, causing shortest day since 1960s
Earth's spin has actually been slowing down over time, causing days to get longer rather than shorter. File Photo courtesy of NASA

Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Earth spun faster around its axis on June 29, making it the shortest day since the planet's rotation began being measured with atomic clocks in the 1960s.

Earth completed one spin in 1.59 milliseconds shy of the typical 24 hours on June 29, according to Time and Date and The Guardian. The record comes as Earth has seen consistently shorter days in the past few years.

Advertisement

Earth's spin has actually been slowing down over time, causing days to get longer rather than shorter. A single day would pass in less than 19 hours around 1.4 billion years ago.

The United Nations' International Telecommunication Union will occasionally add seconds to the world clock in June or December to make up for the longer days, most recently in 2016.

RELATED VP Kamala Harris to detail $1 billion in federal aid for climate-related disasters

It may now be unlikely that the ITU will add time during the next opportunity to do so this December, The Guardian reported.

Leonid Zotov, a professor of mathematics, is expected to suggest that the recent trend of shorter days could be explained by a phenomenon known as the "Chandler wobble" at annual meeting of the Asia Oceania Geosciences Society next week.

Advertisement

The Chandler wobble was first spotted in the late 1880s when astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler noticed the poles wobbled over a 14-month period.

RELATED Blue Origin to launch space tourist flight next week

"The normal amplitude of the Chandler wobble is about three to four meters at Earth's surface but from 2017 to 2020 it disappeared," Zotov told Time and Date.

Natural disasters and weather effects such as El Nino can also influence the speed of the Earth's spin, The Guardian reported. An earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004 shortened the length of the day by nearly three microseconds.

RELATED SpaceX rocket fueled for launch this week to send Korean mission to moon

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement