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Wait for it: Earth adds leap second on Saturday

Fri., June 29, 2012, 7:31 a.m.

WASHINGTON — Saturday night will stretch longer by a second. A leap second.

International timekeepers, directed from headquarters in Paris, are adding a second to the clock at midnight universal time Saturday, June 30, going into July 1. That’s 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time Saturday. Universal time will be 11:59:59 and then 11:59:60.

U.S. Naval Observatory spokesman Geoff Chester said a leap second is needed because the Earth is slowing down a bit from the tidal pull of the moon.

Timekeepers add a leap second every now and then to keep the sun at its highest at noon, at least during standard time. This is the first leap second since January 2009 and the 25th overall.

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