Wednesday April 25, 2018
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Sit tight, June will last one second longer

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

People born on June 30 will be able to celebrate their birthday for one second longer this time. Due to the Earth’s rotation, the month will last one second more than a normal day. The midnight Coordinated Universal Time on June 30 will read 23:59:60 rather than resetting to 00:00:00, according to Discover Magazine.

The extra second, or “leap second,” is needed to re-synchronise our land-based clocks with Earth’s rotation, which is slowing down ever so slightly each year, it said. This is the 26th time a second has been added to the day since the practice began in 1972. Due to tidal forces between the Earth and the Moon, our planet’s rotation is slowing down, adding a whopping 1.4 milliseconds to our days every century.

During the time of the dinosaurs, the typical day on Earth was just 23 hours. In fact, the last true 24-hour rotation, exactly 86,400 seconds, occurred in 1820. Since then, the day has lengthened by 2.5 milliseconds, according to NASA. Earth has seen these precise measurements, thanks to punctual NASA scientists who have been monitoring the planet’s rotation using a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), the report said.

The last leap second, in 2012, caused a mayhem on popular websites with clocks synced to standard civil time. In a bid to avoid this, Google added a millisecond of time to their servers with each update so they were caught up with the new time when the leap second occurred.

(With inputs from IANS)

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NASA to understand Earth’s climate by studying tiny sea creatures

For the study, the team is combining global data from NASA satellites with the ship, aircraft, and autonomous assets

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NASA to release two missions focused on moon soon in 2022. Pixabay
NASA positive about next planet-hunting mission. Pixabay

In a first, a team of scientists from NASA are on a research mission to study phytoplankton — the tiny sea creatures — and their impact on the atmosphere and climate on Earth.

The North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES), which is in its fourth and final deployment stage, is set to study to four distinct phases of the world’s largest phytoplankton bloom in the North Atlantic.

ISS is a permanent base for astronauts stationed in the outer sky. Wikimedia Commons
This study will help in understanding climate. Wikimedia Commons

Previous three deployments have confirmed a distinct shift in the annual cycle of the phytoplankton bloom as well as a lack of larger-sized plankton during the peak of the bloom.

“Most scientists studying the bloom head to sea during its climax in late spring and early summer. We did that, but we also went out during the other seasons to fully capture the minimum and transitions of the bloom,” Rich Moore, Deputy Project Scientist at NAAMES, said in a statement. “This thoroughness pays off as our ship-based scientists use these data to fully describe the entirety of the plankton bust/boom cycle.

Also Read: NASA sending first-ever mission to study Mars’ deep interior

“No one has done this before, and we’re excited about the science findings that are beginning to trickle out now,” Moore said. The study is set to research the “ascending transition” of the bloom, which occurs after the phytoplankton minimum in February.

In the March-April phase, the plankton are growing steadily, with their abundance in the water continuing to increase or accumulate toward the maximum of the bloom between May and July.

The NAAMES campaign also provides a unique opportunity for researchers aboard Atlantis to do experiments that study growth and decay of the phytoplankton population.

“For scientists watching the rates of growth, this is the exciting time, because the accumulation rate is expected to be going through the roof and stay high for the next few months,” Moore said.

NASA has been trying to understand Climate change for a long time. VOA

Rates of phytoplankton accumulation are critical for understanding the ocean conditions that lead to phytoplankton growth and its timing, a key to unlocking the environmental drivers and controls of biological dynamics, the report said.

For the study, the team is combining global data from NASA satellites with the ship, aircraft, and autonomous assets such as floats, along with laboratory research and balloon data. Scientists are also conducting meteorological balloon launches from the ship to understand the link between the ocean, atmospheric particles and clouds. IANS

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