Re: [LEAPSECS] The real problem with leap seconds

From: John Cowan <>
Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2006 13:43:44 -0500

Steve Allen scripsit:

> The changes in the length of any kind of year are slight by comparison
> to the changes in length of day. Neglecting "short" period variations
> the length of the sidereal year has not changed much in a billion years.

That is to say, the current best approximation to the n-body problem of
the Solar System says that it hasn't. Fair enough. I merely threw that in
in case it was an issue.

> The Gregorian calendar was designed to match the "vernal equinox year".

Thanks for the correction.

> The new fields being added to GPS signals make them able to count leap
> seconds for 30000 years. That's quite an example of engineering margin.

Indeed. But then so is IPv6 (if we ever get it adopted widely).

John Cowan
In the sciences, we are now uniquely privileged to sit side by side
with the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
        --Gerald Holton
Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 10:44:07 PST

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