News of the shortest day recorded on Earth

June 29, 2022 saw the shortest day in recorded history – 1.59 milliseconds slower than the average since scientists began recording the atomic clock in the 1960s. While this may sound laughable, this acceleration of the Earth’s rotation could lead to “unpredictable and devastating blackouts, according to Meta engineers Oleg Obleukhov and Ahmad Byagowi.

Although still a far cry from the 19-hour days experienced 1.4 billion years ago, this increased rotation could lead to a “negative leap second.” The reverse of adding a leap second – a practice first introduced in 1972 by the Telecommunications Union to compensate for Earth’s rotational delay – the change in weather could impact computer systems set to International Atomic Time (TAI) and Universal Time (UT1).

Scientists are currently looking for a less risky solution to implement atomic time. As shared on Meta’s blog, a positive leap second can lead to data corruption and server crashes, but a negative second “has never been widely tested” and could have a “devastating effect on software based on on timers or schedulers.

The post posits that the melting of the ice caps has something to do with rotational speed where the angular velocity is changed much like a spinning figure skater controlling speed by retracting their limbs.

In other tech news, NASA’s Webb Telescope captures breathtaking photo of the Cartwheel Galaxy.

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