The shortest day ever recorded

do you feel like the days are passing quickly? Maybe there is an explanation. Our planet set a new record for the shortest day. The shortest day ever recorded was last June 29. It completed a turn of about 1.59 milliseconds faster in 24 hours.

This is the fastest spin recorded since the 1960s.What happened that year? Scientists started using atomic clocks. What for? To track the rotation speed of our planet.

The shortest day ever recorded was last June 29.
The shortest day ever recorded was last June 29.

Table of Contents

Speed changes

It is known that the Earth’s spin is slowing down. This is especially noticeable if we observe over longer periods. Approximately every century, our planet takes a couple of milliseconds longer to complete one rotation. Scientists speculate about the reason for this. It would be because of certain processes in the inner or outer layers of the core. Also in the oceans, the tides or even climate change.

Newly collected data suggest that it actually fluctuates within a general pattern. Our planet will occasionally complete a rotation a little faster than normal. The difference will be a fraction of a millisecond. In 2020, Earth also appeared to be speeding up. Daily rotations were faster than normal on 28 occasions. The fastest of these took 1.47 milliseconds less than normal.

Frequent, though minimal, changes in rotational speed will occur.
Frequent, though minimal, changes in rotational speed will occur.

Wobbles

It is not clear what causes this tendency. Scientist Leonid Zotov suggests that it may have something to do with the so-called Chandler Wobble. This is a slight deviation of the rotation axis of our planet.

“The normal amplitude of Chandler’s Wobble is about three to four meters at the Earth’s surface. But from 2017 to 2020 it disappeared,” explains Zotov.

The shortest day ever recorded may soon lose the record. Scientists are expected to make their case from August 1-5 at the upcoming annual meeting of the Geosciences Society of Asia and Oceania.

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