[LEAPSECS] a modest proposal

Rob Seaman seaman at noao.edu
Sun Feb 10 22:12:43 EST 2008

Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> I think we have been over this ground before.

Well, knock me over with a feather!

> It obviously follows, that with leap second granularity of 1 SI

> second, you need to keep track of the residual also, so your

> telescope already uses (UTC + DUT1), effectively UT1, for pointing,

> right ?

No. Some applications are DUT1 aware. Many are not, precisely
because DUT1 is required to be small. The former will be subject to
Y2K-like failures. The latter will require more drastic rewriting of
algorithms. This will clearly be a much larger expense to astronomy
than Y2K. Moving on...

>> Which is it? Either the cessation of leap seconds is a complex

>> question that demands a well thought out plan - or the cessation of

>> leap seconds is a simple question for which a plan would be trivial

>> to generate at the level of nuance required. Either way, is it too

>> much to expect that an actual plan be written?


> I would expect, that the plan may be written down on the back of a

> napkin somewhere, having the following substance:


> 1. Ratify changed document.


> 2. Announce changed document.


> 3. Mail copy to BIPM.


> 4. Case closed -- not our problem any more.


> That is a large part of the attractiveness of just dropping leap-

> seconds.

A monk asked Chao-chou, "Has the cow Buddha nature or not?" Chao-chou
said, "Mu."

- Rob

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