The fasted Earth spin occurred on June 29, which confused scientists after discovering the Earth was spinning faster than usual. As a result, it makes that day the shortest day in 2022.
The Earth took 1.59 milliseconds less than 24 hours to complete one spin — recorded as the shortest day ever.
The measurement was taken by UK’s National Physical Laboratory and shows that the Earth is spinning faster than it was a half-century ago.
Now scientists aren’t sure why the Earth’s spin speed is rising up. Scientists have warned that if the Earth’s spin speed continues to speed up, we may need to remove a second from our Atomic clock.
Shortest Day 2022
The Earth completes its one spin every 24 hours – and that’s why we see the Sun rise and set every day.
Scientists have noticed over a long period, that the Earth’s spin is slowing. The speed of Earth’s speed fluctuates every century.
Within this pattern, the time the Earth takes to complete one spin goes up and down by some fraction of milliseconds day by day.
Scientists use the term “Length of the day” to find the difference between the time the Earth takes to complete its rotation once around its axis, and 86,400 seconds (24 hours).
According to this, when the length of the day increase, the Earth spins slowly, and when the length of the day decreases, the Earth spins more quickly.
In recent years, the speed of the Earth’s spin has greatly increased. Timeanddate reported that the Earth has achieved its 28 shortest days since the Atomic Clock began to use in the 1960s for daily measurements.
Since then the shortest day was recorded on July 19 2020 which was -1.47 milliseconds.
Now in 2022, the speed has been up again. On June 29, the Earth break its previous record for the shortest day of the Atomic Clock era of -1.59 milliseconds.
Why is this Happening?
Scientists aren’t sure about the cause of Earth’s spin speed rising and struggling to make any predictions about it.
Scientists Leonid Zotov, Nikolay Sidorenkov, and Christian Bizouard claim that the decrease in the length of the day could have some relation to ‘Chandler wobble’.
Chandler wobble is a name for an irregular movement of Earth’s geographical poles across the surface of the globe.
“The normal amplitude of Chandler wobble is about 3 – 4 meters at Earth’s surface”, Zotov told timeanddate. “But from 2017-2020 it disappeared”.
Some experts say that it may be because of the Melting and refreezing of ice caps on the world’s tallest mountains.
Leading Towards Negative Leap Second
“If the Earth’s rotation continues with such speed, it could lead towards the introduction of the first-ever negative leap second”, Graham Jones told timeanddate.
“A negative leap second means that our clock would skip one second, which can create problems for IT systems”
According to the Engineers at Meta, a negative leap second could have large effects on technology. It might become a “major source of pain” for people who handle hardware infrastructures.
In 2012, Reddit experienced a huge outage because of a leap second. The site was not accessible for 30 to 40 minutes. It happens when the change in time baffled the high-resolution timer (hrtimer). As a result, sparking hyperactivity occurs on the servers, which locked up the CPUs.
What Happens Next?
According to Professor Zotov, there is a 70 percent chance that the Earth has already reached its minimum length of the day. And it’s possible that we never experience the negative leap second.
However, Zotov acknowledged there is no way to predict anything yet with current technology.