Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap days and leap years explained

A great post on leap days, from Bad Astronomy Blog.....

Two excerpts:

"So 1996 was a leap year ....... 1997, 1998, and 1999 were not. 2000 was a leap year, because even though it is divisible by 100 it’s also divisible by 400. 1700, 1800, and 1900 were not leap years, but 2000 was. 2100 won’t be, nor 2200, nor 2300. But 2400 will be"

If you think thats all there is to the story, he follows that up with

"This whole 400-year thingy was started in the year 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII. That’s close enough to the year 1600 (which was a leap year!), so in my book, the year 4800 should not be a leap year"

Hope that made you curious. Go read the article----it is absolutely worth it. And don't be intimidated by the math----it is simple and logical multiplication, subtraction and addition.

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