Brought to you by Bob’s Gift Baskets
Yep, it’s still February. 2012 is a leap year and this year February has 29 days, but why you say, is that and how am I supposed to remember when it is a leap year or not?
To keep it simple, a leap year occurs every four years and to simplify it further the years that it happens are years that are evenly divisible by four. So if you can evenly divide the year by four it is going to be a leap year. That being said the next leap year will be 2016.
The reason we have leap years is to keep our seasons straight. The earth does not as everyone thinks take exactly 365 day to rotate around the sun. In fact it takes 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds to complete one revolution around the sun. Or roughly a 6 hour difference. So every four years we need to add a day 24 hours to keep our seasons straight.
What has it to do with seasons you say? Well to keep it simple if we did not adjust the date accordingly, then our winters and summers would quickly begin to occur out of sync with the date. Imagine it being mid winter in New York city on July 4th. Or 90 plus degrees on Christmas Day.
Ah, but you say we add 24 hours every four years, yet in fact we should only be adding 23 hours, 17 minutes and 4 seconds. Whew! Hope I got the math right.
This is true and this is where leap years get even more confusing. Every 100 years or so we will drop a leap year. This is done at the turn of the century. Like the year 2000. In 2000 we had a leap year and added that extra day, but in 2100, 2200 and 2300 we will not be adding that extra day. That won’t happen again until 2400.
Still confused? Sorry about that, but it could be worse. You could be what is called a ‘leapling’ or ‘leap-year-baby’ or someone who is born on February 29th. Now that gets really confusing. When do you celebrate your birthday? Or even worse, when do you legally become of age? The National and International laws on this are really confusing.
Hope you enjoy your leap day and yes, yes tomorrow is March 1st.