You’ll have to wait longer to welcome in the New Year and here’s why

clock

This year a leap second will be added to the new year due to a slow down in the earths rotation.

From 2017 the earth will take an extra second to rotate on its axis.

The change will take place as standard time lags slightly behind atomic time, which provides a a stable and continuous time scale.

Atomic clocks use the change of electron energy levels to tell the time.

READ MORE: New year weekend will see a drop in temperatures on Merseyside

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service in France tracks the Earth’s rotation and announces the need for a leap second.

It would take around 1,000 years to accumulate a one-hour difference – if not corrected it would eventually result in clocks showing midday before sunrise.

NPL senior research scientist Peter Whibberley said: “Atomic clocks are more than a million times better at keeping time than the rotation of the Earth, which fluctuates unpredictably.

“Leap seconds are needed to prevent civil time drifting away from Earth time”.

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