The Leap Second Is Just Around The Corner, And Scientists Are Worried

What will you do with this extra second? Don’t you sometimes wish time could stand still? If so, your wish is coming true this year.

The Leap Second

International Earth Rotation and Reference System announced that we are going to get an extra second this year. This leap second will be given on June 30, 2015 after 11:59:59 p.m.

Leap seconds occur due to the continuously changing speed of earth’s spin in relation to moon and other planets. These leaps were inserted in the standard Coordinated Universal Time in 1972, and since then, we have experienced this phenomenon 25 times.

Now, a second might not feel like enough of time, but there is still a lot you can accomplish in that span. Like clicking send on a very important message, or maybe taking a selfie.

However, these leaps have caused some trouble with Linux and UNIX operating systems in the past, which is why some scientists are a little worried about this extra second.

“If a leap second happens, the operating system must somehow prevent the applications from knowing that it’s going on while still handling all the business of an operating system,” said Steve Allen, a programmer from the Lick Observatory in California. “All the problems that crop up are, in a metaphorical sense, the HAL 9000 problem. You have told your computer to lie. I wonder what it will do,” he added.

Qantas Airways, Foursquare, Reddit, and Yelp, all reportedly experienced a glitch in their software programming during last leap second.