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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Rob Naylor BS: Leap Seconds, and GPS longtitude (49) RE: BS: Leap Seconds, and GPS longtitude 01 Jan 17


Also, although long term, the earth is slowing down, the reason for the addition of leap seconds is the same as the reason for the addition of a day during a leap year....ie the length of a solar day is not precisely 84,600 seconds, just as the year is not precisely 365 days long.

The slowdown/ wobble is the reason that leap seconds are not added predictably (or not very predictably....they're usually agreed 6 months in advance). If you look at a graph of the earth's rotation you'll see that recently it's actually sped up a tad....that just increases the interval required between adding of leap seconds.

So Dr L was not being entirely accurate (or perhaps was simplifying for the sound-bite?).

I do have some background in this, SS, my first degree being in Astrophysics with a postgraduate degree in Geodesy. I was on the first GPS training course held in Europe, in, I think, 1984 and have been working professionally with GPS since 1985.


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