Saturday is ‘Leap Day’ 2020 – But why is there a leap year?
For the first time in four years, February has 29 days! But why exactly do we have leap years and how come we sometimes skip it?
Why is there a leap year?
It takes about 365.25 days (more specifically 365.2422 days) for Earth to make one revolution around the sun, according to NASA. To make up for the extra time, an additional day is added to the calendar at the end of February every four years.
So in short, that’s a leap year.
To break it down even further, the length of a year is based on how long it takes a planet to revolve around its sun. Since Earth’s days don’t perfectly line up with the Earth’s orbit, an extra day is added to keep time and seasons in order.
Without a leap day, the dates of annual events, like equinoxes and solstices, would slowly shift to later in the year. NASA points out that after only a century without leap days, summer wouldn’t start until mid-July.