WHEN IS THE NEXT LEAP YEAR?
The next leap year will be in 2024. Leap years occur every four years. Here’s a list of the next 10 leap years:
WHAT IS A LEAP YEAR?
A leap year is a year that has an extra day added to the calendar to keep it in sync with the astronomical year. The astronomical year, or tropical year, is the length of time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun, which is about 365.2422 days.
WHY DO WE HAVE LEAP YEARS?
The Julian calendar had 12 months, just like the Gregorian calendar, but it had only 365 days, with no leap year system to account for the fact that a solar year is actually around 365.25 days long. This caused the calendar to fall out of sync with the seasons over time, so Gregory’s reform introduced the leap year system we use today.
February was chosen to be the odd one out, with 28 days most years and 29 in leap years, because it was the last month of the year in the Julian calendar and was considered a less important month.
WHEN WAS THE FIRST LEAP YEAR?
In 1752, Britain and her colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which introduced the modern leap year system. This involved ‘losing’ 11 days from the month of September to align the calendar year with the astronomical year. Since then, leap years have been determined by adding an extra day to February in years divisible by four, except for years ending in 00, which are only leap years if they are divisible by 400, such as the year 2000.
However, this was not the first use of leap years. The previous Julian calendar had a simpler system for leap years, and other calendars, such as the Islamic calendar Al-Hijra, also use an extra day on leap years.
In ancient times, the Egyptians added five extra days onto the end of their year as a period of festivals, while Julius Caesar attempted to fix the divergence between seasons and months by introducing a 455-day-long ‘year of confusion’ in 46 B.C.
HOW MANY DAYS IN A LEAP YEAR?
The length of the calendar year is 365 days, except for years that are divisible by four, when an extra day is added to February, making the year 366 days long. The purpose of this rule is to align the average length of the calendar year with the duration of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Doing so ensures that the seasons always occur during the same months each year.
HOW MANY HOURS IN A LEAP YEAR?
A leap year comprises 366 days, which translates to a total of 8,784 hours. This is because every day consists of 24 hours, and the additional day in a leap year contributes an extra 24 hours, bringing the total to 8,784 hours in a leap year.
To maintain synchronization between clock time and time measured by the Sun, a leap second was introduced on 31 December 2005 – the first addition since 1998. Subsequently, three more leap seconds were added in 2008, 2012, and 30 June 2015, respectively.
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