At midnight, wait just one second

TONIGHT when you begin the countdown to the New Year you will need to wait an extra second before you lean in for that midnight kiss, because 2008 is a leap second year.

At 12.59pm and 59 seconds Eastern Time tonight (10.59am today in Australia) an extra second will be added to the Co-ordinated Universal Time Clock.

It is a little known fact that 24 extra seconds have been added since 1972.

The adjustment is required because the Earth's rotation is slowing down by about 0.002 seconds a day, making each day 1.7 milliseconds longer.

The leap second ensures that clocks are as close as possible to solar time and are adjusted by the international Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service.

Saleswoman at The Jewel Centre Lismore, Melissa Smith, said she 'seriously doubted' they would be adjusting the 200 watches currently in stock to reflect the accurate time.

“I don't think our customers will mind if the watches are out by a second,” she said.

Chris Bidwell, the jeweller at Eternally Yours in Ballina, said he was unaware it was a leap second year.

“So I guess that means we won't be adjusting any of the watches we have in stock,” he said.

Most computers, GPS units and mobile phones will adjust automatically to the change.



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