Tag Archives: leap year

Scientists are considering breaking free from the solar year in how they synchronous their atomic clocks

To leap or not to leap: Scientists are considering abandoning the solar year as their method for synchronizing their atomic clocks.

At issue is whether to abolish the ‘leap second’ — the extra second added every year or so to keep [Coordinated Universal Time] (UTC) in step with Earth’s slightly unpredictable orbit. UTC — the reference against which international time zones are set — is calculated by averaging signals from around 400 atomic clocks, with leap seconds added to stop UTC drifting away from solar time at a rate of about one minute every 90 years.