Earth’s rotation has slowed for billions of years, explains Kurt Lambeck – a physicist at the Australian National University in Canberra – mainly because of the Moon. The gravitational force of the Moon raises the tide of the ocean, and as the moon orbits the Earth drags the tide along with it. But the water stays a little behind crawling on the bottom of the ocean. This drag slows down the rotation speed of the Earth by about 1.78 milliseconds every century.

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