Earth records shortest day EVER after scientists reveal planet 'spinning faster' | The Sun

EARTH has recorded its shortest day since records began – but did you even notice?

A faster spin meant that Earth's usual 24-hour rotation was 1.59 milliseconds shorter.

The fast-paced spin occurred on June 29, creating a headache for time-watchers.

That's because Earth's rotation is usually slowing down.

In fact we've had to add 27 "leap seconds" in the last 50 years to keep global clocks in check.

Clocks paused most recently in 2016 to account for this strange astronomical effect.

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Now Earth's spin appears to be speeding up and scientists aren't exactly sure why.

Usually days get longer – albeit only very slightly.

That's because Earth is constantly being tugged on by the Sun and Moon.

But June 29 marks the shortest day so far, in a five-year trend of shrinking days.

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It was the fastest that midnight had ever arrived since measurements began in the 1960s, according to data from the International Earth Rotation and Reference System Service.

One theory is that the speeding-up may be linked to the Chandler Wobble.

That's a small deviation in the Earth's axis of rotation, relative to the Earth beneath our feet.

Some scientists think a change in this wobble amplitude may be to blame.

A smoothing-out of the spin could lead to a faster rotation overall.

But lots of factors can affect how fast the Earth rotates – including the climate and geological movements.

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It's unclear how long the rotation will continue, but it could mean removing "leap seconds" may be the answer.

Lots of important systems rely on the global includes – including GPS navigation – so having accurate time-keeping is essential.

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