[LEAPSECS] UTC Redefinition Advanced

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Tue Nov 2 11:05:33 EDT 2010

On Nov 2, 2010, at 7:06 AM, Clive D.W. Feather wrote:

> The reason I haven't been involved in this thread up to now is that I spent the last week in a place where apparent solar time and official clock time were about 7800 seconds apart. It was quite curious being near the tropics and yet at 08:30 the sky was still dark.

The basis of civil timekeeping is *mean* solar time. Apparent time is a red herring. (What's "red herring" in other languages?)

Eliminating leap seconds would introduce a permanent secular trend (no matter how small). Periodic effects or static offsets (no matter how large) are completely different phenomena.

Apologies (as always) for repeating myself.

> Yet the residents seem to cope quite happily without their world coming to an end.

This is the world's only forum for discussing the specific question of eliminating leap seconds. Is it surprising that participants would have strong opinions on the subject?

The corollary is that individuals (such as these tropical residents) who are unaware of the ins-and-outs of either atomic or astronomical timekeeping are quite unlikely to discuss the subject at all. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Presumably any who actually did think the world at risk of ending would seek a broader audience :-)


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