Leap second to be added in Taiwan on Jan. 1

A leap second will be added between 7:59:59 a.m. and 8:00:00 a.m. Taipei Time on Jan. 1, 2017, the 27th time a one-second adjustment has been made to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to ensure it remains as close as possible to the mean solar time, according to Taipei Astronomical Museum.

UTC is the time standard commonly used across the world. The name is derived from the agreement among the world’s leading timing centers to ensure time scales remain synchronized.

Leap seconds have been added 26 times since 1972, when a leap second was introduced to keep UTC in line with the Earth’s rotation, which is subject to occasional change.

The latest leap second will be added to the world’s clocks on Dec. 31, 2016 at 23:59:60 UTC, which will be 7:59:60 a.m. Jan. 1 Taipei Time, due to the time difference, the museum said.

New Year countdowns will not be impacted in Taiwan, but those who welcome the New Year in places west of the United Kingdom will have to add one more second as they count down to 2017, it added.

The last leap second was added on June 30, 2015.

The Earth’s rotation changes slightly over time, due to a variety of factors, from tidal friction to melting glaciers and major earthquakes, the museum said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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