Hope everyone enjoyed 2016, because this year is going to last one second longer than usual.No, really: On December 31, the world’s timekeepers will add in a “leap second” to keep all our clocks in sync with the Earth’s rotation. They do this because the Earth technically takes a bit longer than 24 hours to complete a full rotation (86,400.002 seconds, to be exact).
So a “leap second” gets added every few years.In fact, this adjustment has actually become quite common: Ever since leap seconds started getting added in 1972, fully 27 out of 44 years have included one.For those living on the US East Coast, this year’s leap second will occur at 6:59:59 pm EST on December 31. Official clocks will hit 6:59:60 before rolling over to 7:00. If you feel like celebrating, you can. If not, well, this probably won’t affect your life all that much. A previous leap second in 2012 caused a glitch in the software running Reddit, Gawker, and other websites, but systems are far better prepared this time around.