Special Weekly Blog: Leap Day 2020

Hello Internet!

Today is a very special day and I wanted to commemorate the day with this Special Weekly Blog! I didn’t have a lot to say, but if didn’t want to miss an opportunity to post a piece during a Leap Day. I mean it’s not every day that February 29th comes around! If you are confused why February has an extra day and what the terms Leap Day and Leap Year mean, let me give you some quick information about why today is not March 1st. According to Wikipedia, “A leap day is observed because the Earth’s period of orbital revolution around the Sun takes approximately six hours longer than 365 whole days. A leap day compensates for this lag, realigning the calendar with the Earth’s position in the Solar System; otherwise, seasons would occur later than intended in the calendar year.” (Wikipedia) So basically our human construct of time is not perfect and every now and then we need to add time to our calendar so everything stays aligned. Our year is usually made up of 365 days because that’s how many days it takes the Earth to revolve around the Sun once. However this revolution isn’t exactly 365 days and if we treated it as such, without adding time, our years could be completely off. 6 hours doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but eventually over many many years, if we did not compensate for those additional 6 hours, our whole system could become backwards. A non-leap year January 1st would eventually drift into January 2nd, then January 3rd and eventually end up in a February, March, June, or November day. The Northern Hemisphere would be getting snow in June even though we’d consider it January.

To put it simple, we add a Leap Day every four years to make sure that our understanding of a year stays aligned with our understanding of one full revolution around the Sun. This year is considered a Leap Year becomes it contains a Leap Day and the years 2024, 2028, 2032, etc. will also be considered Leap Years. Adding time like this is not the only way we make sure that our understanding of time continues to align with our understanding of the universe. In 2016, Scientists decided to add one “Leap Second” due to the fact that Earth’s rotation which makes up a single Earth Day is not precise and can change overtime. Sometimes a Leap Second is added to make sure our understanding of a Day being 24 hours doesn’t change or that our understanding of a Year being 365 days doesn’t change even though our understanding of measuring of time is not the cut and dry (Vox). On one hand the idea of adding one leap second doesn’t really make a big difference to many of us, but on the other hand, it is kind of fascinating that there are people making sure we measure time as precisely as possible. It’s almost like they have their own Time Stone, but instead of looking into the future to see 1,400,0605 possible futures (like Doctor Strange in Infinity War), they use it to add an extra second to keep us on track. Researching all of this also makes me really happy that we all agreed on measurements of time and for the most part, we all can agree on what a second is or what a day is. Throughout history, that wasn’t always the case, but in the modern era, we all can agree on time.

Anyway, that was a basic overview of what a Leap Day is and why we are celebrating an extra day in February this year. Hopefully you take advantage of this day if there was something special you wanted to do this month and you haven’t accomplished it yet. You have one more day before February comes to an end and March begins. Speaking of February, I want to quickly thank all of you wonderful people for making February my best month in terms of views and visitors to the website. My previous highest month was February 2019 so apparently February is my month. Thank you so much for helping me break that record and hopefully you will continue to read my stuff and support me. I really do appreciate all of the love and support you send me in terms of views, likes, and comments. They all mean the world to me.

So thank you again and I hope you enjoy your Leap Day!



Header Photo Credit to ABC 7 News

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