Why 1972 Was The Longest Year In History


Endlessly Groovin'
Some years seem longer than others, especially when you are passing through a bad phase in life such as being stuck at home because a pandemic is playing havoc around, but officially the longest year on record was 1972. It was longer than the average year by a whole two seconds. The two extra seconds were leap seconds added on June 30 and again on December 31 the same year.

Why is the Earth slowing down?​

The main reason for the slowing down of the Earth's rotation is the tidal tug-o-war the Earth has been playing with the moon. The mass of the moon is sufficiently large to change the shape of the Earth, by creating a slight bulge towards the direction of the moon’s pull. However, the bulge doesn’t lie directly underneath the moon, because in the solid Earth there is a delayed response due to the dissipation of tidal energy. This causes the Earth to drag the bulge along as it rotates, creating a torque that affects both the moon and the Earth. In the case of the moon, it boosts the natural satellite into a higher orbit, away from the Earth, while in the case of the Earth, it is loses rotational energy and slows down.


Senior Meanderer
Moon Dance

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Senior Meanderer
Dancers Print by Susan Clickner

Two Dancers by Susan Chickner

Round and round they slowly drift, off their track they never shift.
These two dancers left alone, whirling and twirling to not a tone.
The ballroom has closed down, and for years there has been no sound.
Round and round, still they dance, hoping for an occasional chance.
To show their love by stealing a kiss. These two dancers in the eclipse.

If only they could agree, they could be together happily.
But he in the darkness like the night, and she always in the spotlight.
He is surrounded by sparkles off a ball, that dance around the ballroom wall.
And she in her glory is so bright, you see no stars as in the night.
Round and round they slowly glide, off their track they never slide.