An extra second was added to 2016, why god why
Everyone is well aware that 2016 has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, and luckily there are only two days left before 2017 takes over. This anxiety-inducing year isn’t going down without a fight, though, and the U.S. Naval Observatory announced that an additional second will be added to 2016. JUST LET IT DIE ALREADY.
Due to science, a “leap second” will be added to the U.S. Naval Observatory’s master clock facility in Washington, D.C., which apparently exists. The extra second is meant to ensure our clocks remain in sync with how long a day lasts on Earth as the planet’s rotations gradually slow. Last year, a leap second was sprung on us at the end of June, the only other date it’s possible to add time without screwing up the world’s clocks and computers.
“This extra second, or leap second, makes it possible to align astronomical time, which is irregular and determined by Earth’s rotation, with Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which is extremely stable and has been determined by atomic clocks since 1967,” the Paris Observatory in France (which houses the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service that synchronizes time) explained on its website.
I mean, having precise time is important and all, but I thought we all agreed to let 2016 burn to the ground as soon as possible.
This godforsaken extra second will be added during the midnight countdown to 2017 in UTC time, which translates to to 6:59:59 p.m. ET. At least we don’t have to take an extra beat before going in for a midnight kiss (or downing some midnight wine alone, which honestly sounds like a better way to spend New Year’s Eve). If you want to look on the bright side, the leap second actually gives you more time to get ready for whatever NYE plans you’ve cooked up.
Is that worth dragging out 2016 a second longer, though? Absolutely not. This year has already taken so much from us, it does not deserve to live a second longer. But, alas, Earth’s rotation had the final say.
Since Christmas, three major American icons have died, and people are so worried about what else will go wrong in the few days left in the year that one distraught soul started a GoFundMe to “protect” Betty White from 2016. Let’s all take a few deep breaths, look at some cute puppy GIFs, and get through the end of this year — extra second and all.