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This New Year's Eve Lasts an Extra Second

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This New Year's Eve Lasts an Extra Second

This New Year's Eve Lasts an Extra Second

This New Year's Eve Lasts an Extra Second

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5070627/5070628" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Here's a sign of changing times: The time is changing. This New Year's Eve, there will be a leap second. Atomic clocks that keep time around the world will hold back to allow a minute with sixty-one seconds. The adjustment allows for irregularities in the earth's rotation. The adjustment also adds complications for countless computer systems, which is why the U.S. government has been pressing — so far without success — to abolish leap seconds in the future.