Just a Little Bit Longer – June 2012 to Add a Second

A neat thing happens this leap year – we’re getting a “Leap Second” in June! Brought to my attention by QRZ.com I wanted to see what this all was about.

The actual announcement:

INTERNATIONAL EARTH ROTATION AND REFERENCE SYSTEMS SERVICE (IERS)

SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE ET DES SYSTEMES DE REFERENCE

SERVICE DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
61, Av. de l’Observatoire 75014 PARIS (France)
Tel. : 33 (0) 1 40 51 22 26
FAX : 33 (0) 1 40 51 22 91
e-mail : services.iers
http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eop-pc

Paris, 5 January 2012

Bulletin C 43

To authorities responsible
for the measurement and
distribution of time

UTC TIME STEP
on the 1st of July 2012

A positive leap second will be introduced at the end of June 2012.
The sequence of dates of the UTC second markers will be:

2012 June 30, 23h 59m 59s
2012 June 30, 23h 59m 60s
2012 July 1, 0h 0m 0s

The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time TAI is:

from 2009 January 1, 0h UTC, to 2012 July 1 0h UTC : UTC-TAI = – 34s
from 2012 July 1, 0h UTC, until further notice : UTC-TAI = – 35s

Leap seconds can be introduced in UTC at the end of the months of December
or June, depending on the evolution of UT1-TAI. Bulletin C is mailed every
six months, either to announce a time step in UTC or to confirm that there
will be no time step at the next possible date.

Daniel GAMBIS
Head
Earth Orientation Center of IERS

 Observatoire de Paris, France

Any place with a neat name – “SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE ET DES SYSTEMES DE REFERENCE” – just has to be doing something cool!

As they describe:

Measuring the irregularities of the Earth’s rotation

The variability of the earth-rotation vector relative to the body of the planet or in inertial space is caused by the gravitational torque exerted by the Moon, Sun and planets, displacements of matter in different parts of the planet and other excitation mechanisms. The observed oscillations can be interpreted in terms of mantle elasticity, earth flattening, structure and properties of the core-mantle boundary, rheology of the core, underground water, oceanic variability, and atmospheric variability on time scales of weather or climate. The understanding of the coupling between the various layers of our planet is also a key aspect of this research.

The science surrounding their work must be interesting indeed! Space, Fluids, Gravity, Drag Aerodynamics, and more all rolled into one.

Their website is: http://www.iers.org/

For Amateur Radio about the only glitch may be a one time difficulty syncing JT65 (and similar time synced) protocols briefly. Would expect the rest of us won’t notice the difference.

Wonder how you log a 61 second long transmission in that one minute??!!

73

Steve
K9ZW

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