IAU resolution supporting leap second reform

Paul Eggert eggert at twinsun.com
Sat Sep 30 01:19:13 UTC 2000


reports that the following resolution was adopted by the IAU last month:

 The International Astronomical Union


         1.      that the definition of Coordinated Universal time (UTC)
 relies on the astronomical observation of the UT1 time scale in order to
 introduce leap seconds,

         2.      that the unpredictability of leap seconds affects modern
 communication and navigation systems,

         3.      that astronomical observations provide an accurate estimate
 of the secular deceleration of the Earth's rate of rotation,


         1.      that the IAU establish a Working Group reporting to Division
 1 at the General Assembly in 2003 to consider the redefinition of UTC,

         2.      that this study discuss whether there is a requirement for
 leap seconds, the possibility of inserting leap seconds at pre-determined
 intervals, and the tolerance limits for UT1-UTC, and

         3.      that this study be undertaken in cooperation with the
 appropriate groups of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI), the
 International Telecommunications Union (ITU-R), the International Bureau for
 Weights and Measures (BIPM), and relevant navigational agencies.

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