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(Fwd) Leap Second Update

here is an article about the leap second that we will experience tonight 
(actually already has happened)

(UPI Focus) 
Five, four, three, two, one...one? 
WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) - The new year will officially kick in a 
hiccup later this year to allow for a slowdown in Earth's rotation. 
The extra second, announced in July by the International Earth 
Rotation Service (IERS), is the 20th leap second counted by the U.S. Naval
Observatory Time Service in the past 25 years. Coordinated Universal Time
(UTC) will be officially delayed by one second at midnight Greenwich Mean
Time (7 p.m. EST) to keep clocks accurate amid Earth's barely slowing
rotation, caused partly by changes in ocean tidal patterns. The practice
of inserting a rogue second to make up for the drag on the planet caused
by tidal braking began in 1972. The IERS cautions, however, that the
effect does not mean Earth is slowly grinding to a halt but rather that
the accumulated difference between UTC - the atomic time that serves as
the basis for the world's timekeeping - and the changeable rotation time
of Earth calls for occasional adjustments. The IERS adds that based on
"ancient observations of eclipses," it has been determined that Earth is
only decelerating at a rate of roughly 1-3 milliseconds per day per
century. Despite that reassurance, when the extra second is included or
not in bellowed countdowns worldwide tonight, it may also mark the
addition of fear of waning gravitational pull to Eurostress and Y2K trauma
on the growing list of millennial anxieties. -- Copyright 1998 by United
Press International. All rights reserved.

Bruce Paige, KK5DO                         Internet: kk5do@amsat.org
Houston, Texas                                   or: kk5do@hal-pc.org
AMSAT Area Coordinator                      
ARRL Awards Manager (WAS, 5BWAS, VUCC), VE                     
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