The time will stop for 1 second on June 30


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Yes, you heard it right. Today the time will stop for 1 second. There is a scientific reason to it. This is done to synchronize the Solar time and the International Atomic Time. Our perception of time is on the basis of Earth’s rotation around the Sun and revolution around its own axis. This way there are 365 days and 24 hours and so on. This is called solar time. There are two values of Solar Time. Apparent and Mean Solar time. The direct observation of the Sun on a sundial gives Apparent time. And the assumption that Sun is at the same position every 24 hours relative to Earth gives Mean Solar time.

Most watches and clocks use Mean Solar Time. But Solar time has its own limitations. So International System of Units is not based on this observation but relies on Atomic Clock based on Cesium atoms. the International Atomic Time is measured by International Bureau of Weights and Measures located in Sevres, France on the basis of the 270 atomic clock. These clocks provide accuracy of a second in  million years.

The difference between these two clocks is the reason that the time will stop for 1 second on June 30. We know that a day is added every four years in the Gregorian calendar. This is added to cover the extra  5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds that Earth takes over 365 days to complete a rotation around the Sun. This calculation is considered in every major computer program, hence not a problem. However, this extra second is unpredictable as the time taken by the Earth depends on various dynamic environmental factors.

This irregularity in time calculation might cause an issue in Computer systems. Three years ago when a second was added some web services faced issues due to same. So this time too if some program or systems behave differently after this “time stop”, you know the reason 😉


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