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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Your day will be one second longer tomorrow

It could make some computers go a little weird.

Image: rosmary via Flickr/Creative Commons

COMPUTER SYSTEMS ACROSS the world will need to deal with a small but potentially significant time change tomorrow.

An extra second is being added to clocks to keep up with changes in time due to a slowing of the Earth’s rotation.

This leap second is a similar concept to the leap year, the latter keeping our time in sync with the Earth’s rotation around the sun.

Extremely accurate atomic clocks can detect the subtle slowing down of the Earth’s rotation over time, meaning that leap seconds need to be occasionally added.

Time will stop tomorrow for a second at 23:59:59 coordinated universal time (an hour earlier for IST).

While we might not notice the change, your computer certainly will, and during the last leap second in 2012 several popular websites crashed.

It brought down the likes of LinkedIn, Reddit, Gawker, and Four Square, according to Buzzfeed, due to the effect it had on systems like Java and Linux.

The leap second is also significant to anyone dealing with exact measurements of time. USA Today reports that some stock exchanges that will be open at the time of the pause will close briefly to avoid any headaches.

Read: Every version of Windows is at risk from this 1990s bug >

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About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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