[LEAPSECS] Straw men

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Wed Jan 11 11:53:31 EST 2012

Warner Losh wrote:

> Tom Van Baak wrote:


>> Although on average LOD is more than 86400 s by a few milliseconds, in the past fifty years about 3% of the days have been shorter than 86400 s. In the past decade alone the figure is 14% (the earth has sped up quite a bit the past decade). You can imagine then that some days must be rather close to no error.


>> Five days were within 1 microsecond and the record goes to November 29, 2004 which was just 200 nanoseconds shy of a perfect 86400 second day.


> How much better would be if we'd adapted a mean solar second of 1900 instead of 1820 which we wound up with?

See Steve's plot:


or the top plot of http://ucolick.org/~sla/leapsecs/amsci.html, zoomed to recent decades.

The Earth would be deemed fast by about 4 ms / days (five millionths of a percent if I've got the decimal right).

What is "better" or "perfect" here is a matter of debate.


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