BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Most are familiar with the leap year and the way it helps keep calendars functioning, but the leap second is a lesser known phenomenon.
Created in 1972, the leap second was born out of the need to keep clocks on earth in line with the true time of day as Earth’s rotation isn’t a constant. To correct for the slowing of Earth’s rotation, scientists measuring the speed of the rotation will occasionally add a second to a day.
Tuesday’s leap second will be the 26th leap second, the last of which occurred on June 30, 2012. The leap second in 2012 crashed websites which weren’t prepared to deal with the difference in clocks, including Yelp, Reddit and Foursquare.
A leap second is applied to the very last second of the day just before midnight.