[LEAPSECS] The Battle of Flodden Field

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Fri Jan 7 09:55:02 EST 2011

On Jan 7, 2011, at 7:37 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> As usual you try to fudge the fundamental facts to your point of view:

Get a good introductory astronomy text and a transparent celestial globe. Spend some time understanding the differing natures of "apparent solar time" and "mean solar time". One is not merely the average of the other.

Put it this way. Diurnal periods are ubiquitous in our cultural norms and the technical systems underlying them. These periods apply as much in the middle of the night as during the day time. Sine waves go up - and sine waves come down again. For every peak a trough. It is the length of the synodic day - the period of the wave - that matters.

Eliminating leap seconds is an attempt to change the period of the day. But the Sun says otherwise.

> And that is really all there is to it.

No, there is much more to it than that. Will Jericho fall? Not immediately, perhaps, but innumerable systems would be mistuned in manifold ways. A competent system engineer investigates the implications of each trade-off. A cold O-ring brought down the space shuttle - or rather, engineering arrogance did.

> The ITU-R proposal reflects this.

The proposal on the table is too naive to reflect anything other than haste. Due diligence is completely absent.


More information about the LEAPSECS mailing list