/ Modified feb 29, 2024 12:43 p.m.

Leap day places calendars back in sync

Scientists say the calendar quirk puts the Earth's rotation and trip around the Sun in the proper order.

Leap Year 2024 VIEW LARGER February 29, 2024
Lisa Suender

The month of February is extended by one day this year. That means the 29th is Leap Day. It's when the calendar compensates for the Earth's rotation and its trip around the Sun being out of sync.

University of Arizona planetary scientist Renu Malhotra notes cultures would face extreme challenges if they ignored Leap Day.

"If we didn't do this every four years, in less than 400 years we'd be having the seasons all wrong," she said.

The term "Leap Year" became popular because when the 29th of February disappears, it allows for fewer birthdays, anniversaries, and other events held on that specific date each year.

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