2008 Leap Second

This is a little-known bit of trivia, but 2008 was one second longer than most years. The last minute of 2008 was 61 seconds long, instead of being 60 seconds long. This is because a “leap second” was added. We’re familiar with leap years where we add an extra day to the end of February. To compensate for the fact that our time keeping system doesn’t fit Mother Nature’s schedule exactly, there are also leap seconds to nudge our clocks in the right direction.

Not that it matters, but all of you who counted down to midnight and shouted “Happy New Year!” were probably one second too early. 🙂

On 1 January 2009 I noticed that all of our servers had the following notice from the night before. I took a snapshot and saved the picture, but forgot about it until I found it a few minutes ago.

Leap second notification on server console.

Leap second notification on server console.

Credits: Clock image by Darren Hester, used under a creative commons license.

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