Earth sets record in June for shortest day
Earth completed the shortest day on record at the end of June, beating the previous record set in 2020.
A report published by Norwegian time zone tracking website timeanddate.com on July 27 said that the Earth completed one revolution on June 29 in 1.59 milliseconds in less than 24 hours.
According to the report, it was Earth’s shortest day since scientists started using atomic clocks to measure the planet’s rotational rate. Time is based on data provided by the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service.
The report adds that the planet tends to take a few milliseconds or so to complete one revolution per century.
In this general pattern, the Earth’s rotational speed fluctuates, the authors write.
“From day to day, the time the Earth takes to complete one revolution will increase or decrease by a millisecond.”
This record comes as the Earth seems to be spinning faster in recent years.
The last record set for the shortest day was on July 19, 2020, with the Earth rotating 1.47 milliseconds in less than 24 hours. The site also reports that 2020 has the shortest 28 days on record since the 1960s.
In 2021, the Earth rotates 1.46 milliseconds faster than the 24 hours on July 9 during the shortest day of that year.
The report from timeandday.com suspects that the shorter days could be due to Earth’s inner or outer layers, oceans, tides or climate, but so far scientists are uncertain.
Other theories include “Chandler wobble,” a phenomenon used to describe small irregular movements at Earth’s geographic poles, timeandday.com said.
The report notes that these faster spins can result in the creation of a negative leap second, which means the watch will skip a second.