Re: [LEAPSECS] GMT -> UTC in Australia

From: Rob Seaman <>
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 09:07:30 -0700

Steve Allen writes:

> Australia has decided to redefine its legal time scale.
> The last line in the article implies other jurisdictions are doing the
> same. The exact text of the laws would be interesting in order to see
> whether they intend that UTC be matched to mean solar days or not.

A big question throughout all of the UTC discussions over the past five
years is who "they" are and whether they have the ability to form a
clear and consistent intent in the first place. Determining prior
worldwide legal intent - and forming any (hopefully improved) future
international legal consensus on civil time - should both be key to any
proposed change to UTC. One has to wonder whether any individuals
involved in the legal UTC debate in Australia were aware of the leap
second controversy in the precision timing community. Whether this was
the case or not, the wording of the quoted article makes it clear that
UTC is being sold to everyday Australians in its original sense of
being a continuing approximation to GMT:

     "UTC is adjusted to remain consistent with GMT using "leap seconds"
every 18 months."

Rob Seaman
National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Received on Wed Feb 23 2005 - 08:08:14 PST

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