Witty World

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

When is the next Leap Year?

The year 2012 is the next Leap year.

What is a Leap Year?

A leap year is a year in which one extra day has been inserted, or intercalated, at the end of February. A leap year consists of 366 days, whereas other years, called common years, have 365 days. The extra day, February 29 is the leap day of the leap year and has been associated with age-old traditions, superstitions and folklore.

Why does Leap Year exist?

It was the ancient Egyptians who first figured out that the solar year and the man-made calendar year didn't always match up.

That's because it actually takes the Earth a little longer than a year to travel around the Sun — 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact. One day is defined by the Earth rotation, and one year by Earth revolution around the Sun. One revolution of the Earth is not 365 days but accurately 365.2422days.

Therefore, as the hours accumulated over the centuries, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official. It was the Romans who first designated February 29 as leap day.

Which years are leap years?

The next leap year will occur in 2012.

In the Gregorian calendar the following three criteria must be met to be a leap year:

It is evenly divisible by four;
If it can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
The year is evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.



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