seaman at noao.edu
Wed Dec 24 02:05:15 EST 2008
Brian Garrett wrote:
> As interesting as the continuing theoretical discussions are (or at
> least, what I as an interested bystander can comprehend of them), I
> think it might be informative to see examples of how the leap second
> to be thrust upon us next week is affecting list members' current
> projects. Specific examples, rather than the generalities of the
> ongoing debate, might suggest specific solutions that a rubber-stamp
> solution from ITU would not necessarily be able to address.
Another interesting exercise would be to collect and compare reports
from different time zones. As Steve Allen reports for example,
observatories west of the Mississippi encounter the leap second during
daylight - downtime for optical and IR facilities.
Other industries and activities will see the opposite behavior, with
the leap second hitting during an active period at a particular
longitude. Some industries are always active, but leap second
behavior may vary with diurnal customer load, etc.
One might anticipate a latitude effect as well, although less
pronounced. It may not be a coincidence that some of the more ardent
supporters of mean solar time live in sunnier climes, and that those
most dismissive live at high latitudes where the sun may be only a
hypothesis through long months of the year :-)
Also a seasonal effect. By scheduling in June and December, leap
seconds accentuate the distinction between northern and southern
sensitivity to their effects since one hemisphere will be midwinter
and one midsummer.
Again - the quickest way to effectuate change is to collect data to
demonstrate what kind of change is needed.
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