Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Time will stand still on Sunday morning.

"Because the Earth is slowing down, time on the clock gets a little ahead of the time told by the sun, so we have to delay the clocks by adding an extra second,'' the National Measurement Institute's Bruce Warrington said."

Salvador Dali - Melting clock image

Because World Time is dominated by Greenwich (the Royal Observatory, and the home of the Greenwich Prime Meridian and all that stuff), the adjustment will occur when our clocks are about to kick over to 10:00:00 AM (Australian Eastern Standard Time).
  • "Before atomic clocks were introduced in the 1960s, the Earth's rotation was key to defining time. After it was realised that the rotation was variable, the orbit of the Earth was used until the arrival of the atomic clock" (SMH as above)
But there is a group in Paris which monitors the world's banks of Atomic clocks which have made astronomical calculation of time almost irrelevant. But world time still is set on Greenwich Mean Time.

Unfortunately, the Tech Heads in Paris speak in Tech Head short-hand:
1 July 2012, 0h UTC
Until further notice, the value of DUT1 to be disseminated with the
time signals will be: DUT1 = +0.4 s
You got that I trust.
Wikipedia has a few words to try to help us, but their words don't mean much to me.
That's where the kiddies at the National Measurement Institute in Canberra come in and translate, and disseminate this information to us all.
"Leap Second
Time will stand still for a second on Sunday 1 July 2012 when the nation's timekeepers add a second to keep the atomic clock in sync with the Earth."

The Sydney Morning Herald ran the story several days ago, to warn us all.

Everything which involved clock calculations, time read-outs and all data records need to be adjusted to keep "in synch" with everything else in the world. Banks, computers, all technical measuring devices everywhere.

For the rest of us, "joe public" who all carry watches, mobile phones, even my Digital Camera has a clock code in it. We all rely upon time signals (more or less). The "Pips" - which only operate on ABC AM Radio broadcasts these days, (have you noticed - the Pips are not broadcast on FM, because there is a built-in delay in the reception, and it is supposedly illegal to broadcast a time signal which is incorrect, so FM radio does not use the "Pips".

So Yes - Time can stand still:
But only for a second, every fifteen years or so, when the French boffins decide.

If the slowing rotation of the Earth a fore-teller of the End of the Earth?
Almost certainly, but not just yet, OK?


Flabmeister said...

For goodness sake don't tell the Mad Monk: he will add it to his list of impacts of the carbon tax. (To make that link would be about as trustworthy as any of his other claims.)


Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Martin.
Someone on Facebook made a similar comment - that its all because of the Carbon tax.
Don't worry, MM doesn't read sophisticated Blogs like mine or yours - he gets his news and opinion from The Tele and the Australian, and directly from Andrew Bolt.