OK folks, strap in … literally: it appears that the Earth has been spinning faster than normal for a few years now.
Don’t worry, you’re not going to have to hold onto something or fly off the planet. However, you may notice us experiencing slightly shorter days … if you’re using atomic-grade measuring equipment.
Why is this happening? The answer will either scare or depress you, but fret not, for this is far from the first time it has happened.
WATCH VIDEO HERE
Thanks to Astro Alexandra for posting this illuminating video to TikTok. Basically, the Earth has been spinning slightly faster because of the polar ice caps progressively melting, which reduces the planet’s overall drag and thus increasing speed.
However, the speed has only increased in the scale of milliseconds within the past few years. So, your precious 24-hour days should remain intact.
This is because, if you zoom out in time to look how the Earth’s rotation speed has fluctuated over the past 1.4 billion years, it’s actually slowing down overall. This is because of the moon’s pull on Earth acting like a sort of galactic parachute on the planet’s momentum, like how hypersonic cars slow down.
Before that time 1.4 billion years ago, Earth days used to last a mere 19 hours in comparison to today. Will it oscillate in the other direction again? With the moon playing as big of a role as it does in dictating the Earth’s speed, we’d say that’s unlikely.