Today I learnt that there were people studying the earth’s spinning speed.
On a daily basis.
I must say that I shouldn’t be surprised. I know that pretty much anything we can think of has become at least one person’s passion. The reason they wake up in the morning, and the focus of their life. No matter how futile or useless that ”thing” might seem, someone among us is willing to spend their precious time documenting it (and I’m not specifically thinking about earth’s spinning speed here… More about whales farts, because, yes, some people study them relentlessly).
But I was under the impression that a day was 24 hours long.
You know… A basic 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. But apparently, I was wrong.
Earth’s speed is variable. And I am a bit annoyed that I learnt that after 44 years walking on it.
See, in my late teenage years, I remember having a long (sober) discussion with my back-then boyfriend, lying on my parent’s backyard deck, staring at the stars.
”You know how some days go by really quick, while others take forever to come to an end?” – I asked him.
He agreed and waited for me to continue.
”I think that it depends on the winds… When they blow the same direction the earth spins, it makes it spin faster, and therefore, the day passes by quicker. On the opposite, if the winds are against earth’s rotation, they slow it down, and the day seems longer.”
We laughed, still thinking (we were young and distracted by puppy-love) that 24h was 24h, and that was it.
But according to scientists, although winds don’t seem to have any effect on the earth’s rotation, other factors do.
And we actually lived the shortest day ever (since said scientists have been documenting the variations), on June 29th.
Ready to learn how much time we all lost, two months ago?
So if you remember being a little dizzy at the end of June, or if you didn’t get an assignment done on time around that time, now you know why. When the planet spins so fast, you definately should give yourself a break.
If a day isn’t 24 hours long anymore… What can we really rely on?
Please tell me…