New Year’s celebrations will have to wait another second this year as the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) have decided to 2008 is to have Leap Second added.
IERS announced in Paris in July that a positive Leap Second was to be added to 2008, the first since Dec. 31, 2005. Leap Seconds were introduced to compensate for the unpredictability of the Earth’s rotation and to keep UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) with GMT (Greenwich Meantime).
The new extra second will be added on the last day of this year at 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds Coordinated Universal Time — 6:59:59 pm Eastern Standard Time. 33 Leap Seconds have been added since 1972
NTP server systems controlling time synchronisation on computer networks are all governed by UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). When an additional second is added at the end of the year UTC will automatically be altered as the additional second. #
Whether a NTP server receives a time signal fro transmissions such as MSF, WWVB or DCF or from the GPS network the signal will automatically carry the Leap Second announcement.
Notice of Leap Second from the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS)
SERVICE INTERNATIONAL DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE ET DES SYSTEMES DE REFERENCE
SERVICE DE LA ROTATION TERRESTRE
OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS
61, Av. de l’Observatoire 75014 PARIS (France)
Tel. : 33 (0) 1 40 51 22 26
FAX : 33 (0) 1 40 51 22 91
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Paris, 4 July 2008
Bulletin C 36
To authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time
UTC TIME STEP
on the 1st of January 2009
A positive leap second will be introduced at the end of December 2008.
The sequence of dates of the UTC second markers will be:
2008 December 31, 23h 59m 59s
2008 December 31, 23h 59m 60s
2009 January 1, 0h 0m 0s
The difference between UTC and the International Atomic Time TAI is:
from 2006 January 1, 0h UTC, to 2009 January 1 0h UTC : UTC-TAI = – 33s
from 2009 January 1, 0h UTC, until further notice : UTC-TAI = – 34s
Leap seconds can be introduced in UTC at the end of the months of December