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Earth is spinning faster than usual and has had its shortest day ever

Earth is spinning faster than usual and has had its shortest day ever

Earth is spinning faster and recently recorded its shortest day ever, scientists say. June 29, 2022 was 1.59 milliseconds shorter than the average day, scientist Leonid Zotov told CBS News.

The normal length of a day is 24 hours, or 86,400 seconds. But in recent years, the Earth's rotation has accelerated, shortening days by milliseconds.

"Since 2016 the Earth began to accelerate," said Zotov, who works at Lomonosov Moscow State University and recently published a study on what might cause changes in the Earth's rotation.

Zotov and his colleagues believe that the oscillation may be caused by the Earth's tides. He says not every day is getting shorter, but if the trend continues, atomic time – the universal way of measuring time on Earth – may have to change.

"Since we cannot change the hands of the clock associated with the rotation of the Earth, we adjust the atomic scale of the clock, " he said.