Science

Earth, The True GOAT, broke the long-standing speed record

Earth, The True GOAT, broke the long-standing speed record
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Earth, an aging planet known more for maneuverability than its youthful speed and explosiveness, put on a vintage performance earlier this summer, completing its fastest rotation on record. All the haters and doubters who counted the world are crying right now, absolutely crying.

On June 29, the Earth rotated through a full rotation in 1.59 milliseconds, a league-average less than 24 hours, a breathtaking athletic feat witnessed by an estimated 7.97 billion viewers. This sets a record for the fastest rotation of the Earth since they started tracking the stat In 1955 With the advent of the first practical atomic clock. But as we all know, athletes are only getting stronger and faster; Back then the world was competing with a bunch of plumbers and mailmen.

The world record is verified International Earth Rotation and Reference System ServiceThe governing body for the passage of time itself, and First reported by Timeanddate, the go-to fan blog for Time news, Time scores, and Time trade rumors. As Time and Date notes, June’s record-setting performance didn’t come in a vacuum. Well, it came in a vacuum of space, but you know what I mean; Earth is enjoying a late-career resurgence. Although Earth has generally been spinning slowly since its rookie years (about three milliseconds per day per century; thus a day in the late Cretaceous would have been about 23 hours and 30 minutes long), the past few seasons have seen Earth spin increasingly faster.

The spikes in the chart are due to the position of the Moon, which affects Earth’s performance like a pitcher’s handpicked catcher. Seasonal dips are caused by changes in the atmosphere that increase or decrease drag; Like many pitchers, Earth (in the Northern Hemisphere) loosens in summer. Chart by Timeanddate.com

The reasons for Earth’s comeback-player-of-the-year performance are unclear. Some credit a new training method; Others are a new offseason diet. Still others hypothesize a shift in play-calling philosophy from Earth’s coach, the Sun, to one more suited to Earth’s abilities. Earth has also been dogged by whispers of PGH (Planetary Growth Hormone) use, although it is possible that these rumors were planted by its closest rivals Mars and Venus. “It must be strange,” University of Tasmania Professor Matt King said. “Obviously something has changed.”

Scientists, who are essentially sabermetrics nerds, have many theories, and the most popular is glacial isostatic adjustment. In this scenario, climate change is melting the ice caps and causing weight loss at the Earth’s poles, allowing the Earth, which is wider than it is tall, to compress into a shape slightly closer to a sphere. As a figure skater draws their arms, this will allow the globe to spin faster.

Another theory is involved Chandler Wobble, which is the periodic displacement of the center of rotation. In the past few years—perhaps driven by changes in ocean circulation—the double has been a historic low; The world is more like a football thrown into a tight spiral than a Peyton Manningesque wounded duck.

“Changes in both of these things can be linked to the movement of mass on Earth’s surface, so it’s probably not a bad hypothesis that these things are somehow connected,” said the king. “I don’t know if we’re very far along the line of understanding what’s going on, but I would venture to say that there’s probably something going on in the climate system or the oceans.”

Whatever the reason or reason, Earth’s recent performance has been so impressive that they are considering changing the rules of the sport. A few more years of sub-24-hour time and we’ll need the first-ever “negative leap second”—skipping one second in International Atomic Time, official global time, to bring it back into alignment. rotation of the earth Sure, Barry Bonds hit a bunch of dingers and set a bunch of records. But did he force us to literally go forward in time? The world is great at doing this.

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