(PCM) As many of you are already aware, tonight, December 21st 2014 marks the winter solstice, however there is something even more special about this date this year.
If you reside anywhere in the Northern hemisphere then it will be the longest night the year, however this year tonight will be the longest night to ever happen. The period of darkness in the Northern hemisphere tonight will last just slightly longer than it ever has before.
Being that the planet Earth is over 4.5 billion years old we would say that this is quite an occurrence. The reason that tonight will be slightly longer is due to the fact that the Earth’s rotation has been slowing over time. In fact researchers have even revealed that each day gets a bit longer, if only by about 20 millionths of a second.
Another reason that Earth’s rotation is slowing down is due to the moon and it’s gravitational pull. The moon’s gravity cause the tides to shift and change and as the Earth spins it encounters a little bit of friction from the water’s movements and this too can be a cause to slow the rotation.
Definitely some food for thought and some interesting facts!