Here's Why Some Clocks Will Say 11:59:60 As You Celebrate New Year

It's going to take a little longer to reach 2017 than expected

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It's going to take a little longer to reach 2017 than expected this year, after scientists announced a 'leap second' will be introduced on New Year's Eve.

For the 27th time, The National Physical Laboratory has confirmed that midnight will be delayed by a second to compensate for a slowdown in the Earth's rotation, The Guardian reports.

According to experts, the extra second is needed to ensure time stays in sync with the planet's rotation. This means that clocks striking 00:00:00 will actually be reading a time of 23:59:60 on 31 December.

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'Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time,' Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist at NPL, explained. 'Although the drift is small – taking around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.'

As many computer systems are unable to handle a 61-second minute, the 'leap second' can be problematic for some networks, although Google has reportedly got things covered this year. The technology giant has published a blog explaining how 'its clocks and time service will agree with servers that apply leap seconds.'

The NYE extra second will only occur in the Western Hemisphere, while those in the east will have to wait until 2017 for the added time.

From: Good Housekeeping
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