Earth has recorded its shortest day since scientists began using atomic clocks to measure its rate of rotation. He did it on June 29, 2022, when the Earth completed a rotation in 1.59 milliseconds less 24 hours.
This is the latest in a series of speed records for earth that are being registered since 2020. In general, over long periods, the Earth’s spin slows down, and every century, the Earth takes a couple of milliseconds or so to complete one rotation (where 1 millisecond equals 0.001 seconds).
However, within this general pattern, the rate of rotation of the earth fluctuateda. From one day to the next, the time it takes for the Earth to complete one rotation increases or decreases by a fraction of a millisecond.
Scientists who study the rotation of the Earth use the term “day length” to talk about how fast or slow the Earth spins. The length of the day is the difference between the time it takes for the Earth to rotate once on its axis and 86,400 seconds (which is 24 hours). As the length of the day increases, the Earth rotates more slowly; when it is decreasing and becomes a negative number, the Earth spins faster.
In recent years, the Earth has been accelerating. In 2020, it had reached its 28 shortest days since accurate daily measurements with atomic clocks began in the 1960s. The shortest day of all in 2020 was -1.47 milliseconds on July 19. Earth continued to spin rapidly in 2021, although the shortest day of the year in 2021 was a fraction longer than in 2020.
This year, on June 29, Earth set a new record for the shortest day of the atomic clock era: -1.59 milliseconds. Earth nearly broke its record again a month later, recording a day length of -1.50 milliseconds on July 26, according to measurements from the National Physical Laboratory in England.
This current downward trend in the length of the shortest day could be related to processes in the inner or outer layers of the Earth, the oceans, the tides or even the climate. Scientists are not sure and struggle to make predictions about the length of the day more than a year in advance.