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Sci Tech

California Astronomer to Leap Into 2009 at 3:59:60 p.m. PST

By       Message Sandy Sand       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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The quiet high desert town of Valencia in Southern California won’t be so quiet around the home of Skip Newhall this afternoon.

Seventy-year-old retired astronomer Newhall plans to celebrate with a number of friends to equal his age when the clock strikes it’s 60th second at 4 p.m. PST, which is midnight Greenwich Mean Time.

"We are going to have some fun with it," Newhall said while pictured (in the Daily News) sitting next to four digital clocks in his home that will display the “leap second” when it happens, but don’t blink.

The purpose of the leap second is to adjust timekeeping to be in sync with the Earth’s rotation which varies with tidal friction and lunar gravitational pull.

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This is the 24th time since atomic clocks have been adjusted since the practice began in December 1972.

A time-tracker since childhood, and fearing that this might be the last time the adjustment takes place, because the scientific community is divided on whether it’s a waste of time or not, Newhall plans to make it the best Leap of Time party ever.


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Sandy Sand began her writing career while raising three children and doing public relations work for Women's American ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation through Training). That led to a job as a reporter for the San Fernando Valley Chronicle, a (more...)

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