Happy Leap Day!
Roughly every four years or so comes the time in our Gregorian calendar where an extra day is tacked on to the end of February in order to balance our calendar with the 365.2422 days (or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds, to be exact) it takes for the Earth to revolve around the Sun.
We've come up with a playlist to commemorate this once-in-every-four-years occasion. As you listen and enjoy the playlist, here are some interesting facts to ponder about the leap year.
- Without leap days, the calendar would be off by 5 hours, 48 minutes, 45 seconds each year. After 100 years, the seasons would be off by 25 days, and eventually July would be a winter month in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Three criteria must be taken into account to identify leap years: (1) The year can be evenly divided by 4; (2) if the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless (3) the year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year. (This means that in the Gregorian calendar, the years 2000 and 2400 are leap years, while 1800, 1900, 2100, 2200, 2300 and 2500 are NOT leap years.)
- Roman general Julius Caesar introduced the first leap years over 2000 years ago.
- Next leap year will occur on Saturday, February 29, 2020
Sources: www.earthsky.org; www.almanac.com