Get the latest from TODAY

You have signed up for our newsletter.

You’ll get the best of TODAY delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for our newsletter.

You get an extra second Tuesday thanks to 'leap' event

by Ree Hines /  / Updated  / Source: TODAY

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

We could all use a little extra time, and as it turns out, on Tuesday, we'll finally get it!

But don't get too excited. We won't get much.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

Just before the clock strikes midnight, we'll get an extra second — aka a "leap second."

Atomic clock watchers will actually see the time change from 11:59:59 p.m. to 11:59:60 before rolling over.

More time would help: Longer hours, lower wages, but happy? It's the new work-life blend

As for why, the simple answer is that scientists prompt the change every so often to keep the atomic clock in sync with the Earth's rotation.

 At midnight Tuesday, clocks around the world will pause and the entire planet will gain an extra second. The bonus “leap second” is designed to allow the Earth’s rotation, which is gradually slowing, to catch up with atomic clocks – but computers could run into glitches. TODAY

But TODAY's Dylan Dreyer offered up a more complex explanation on the show Tuesday morning.

"It's very complicated, but in standard time, there's 86400 seconds in a day," she said. "But the earth actually spins 86400.002 seconds. So in the course of a year [or more], that second catches up to you."

The last leap second was added in 2012.

Follow Ree Hines on Google+.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend to a friend or colleague?

Very unlikely
Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making a better place.