Earth broke the record for the shortest day since atomic clocks were invented

The Global Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, is incharge of maintaining world time, said that our planet's rotation ran 1.59 milliseconds short of a typical 24-hr day on June 29.

A rotation is the time the Earth takes to spin once on its axis, taking approx. 86,400 sec.The previous record was documented on July 19, 2020, when the day measured 1.47 milliseconds was shorter.

The atomic clock is a standardized unit of measurement that has been used since the 1950s to tell time and measure the Earth's rotation, said Dennis McCarthy retired director of US Naval Observatory.

Despite June 29 breaking a record for the shortest day in modern history, there have been much shorter days on Earth, he said.

When dinosaurs still roamed the planet 70 million years ago, a single day on Earth lasted about 23 1/2 hours, according to a 2020 study published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.

Since 1820, scientists documented Earth's rotation slowing down, according to NASA. In the past few years, it began speeding up, McCarthy said.

If the planet continues this rotational trend, the removal of a leap second likely wouldn't need to happen for another three to four years, he said.