In simple terms, 24 hours marks a full day on Earth, or 1,440 minutes — or, if you really want to break it down, 86,000 seconds.
It turns out, however, that the 24-hour mark is not completely accurate and is more of an estimate.
That’s because the length of any given day is dependent on how long it takes Earth to complete one rotation.
Though the rotation of the Earth is often perceived as constant, the precise length of time that it takes for Earth to complete one rotation can vary slightly due to factors like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Rest assured, these slight changes are not going to effect your day-to-day life, since they amount to mere seconds.
In broad terms, the length of a full day on Earth is 24 hours. (iStock)
These millisecond fluctuations can be extremely important for scientists and their research, though.
“Fluctuations in rotation are not only important for astronomy. We also urgently need them to create accurate climate models and to better understand weather phenomena like El Niño,” Ulrich Schreiber, a professor at the Technical University of Munich in Germany, said in a statement, per Space.com.
“And the more precise the data, the more accurate the predictions.”
In a pressurized chamber located in Geodetic Observatory Wettzell in Germany, Schreiber and his colleagues explored this phenomenon by using a laser ring gyroscope strapped down to the Earth’s crust.
The deep location of the apparatus ensures that no other outside environmental factors are measured.
Earthquakes are one factor that can slightly influence the length of a day on Earth. (IHA via AP)
The gyroscope features two laser beams that move in opposite directions from each other, with one covering a slightly smaller distance than the other.
Through this method, Schreiber and colleagues were able to discover that the rotation of the planet does vary slightly, changing by mere milliseconds.
Schreiber and others involved in the study published their findings in Nature Photonics in Sept. 2023.
With these findings, it remains true that a day on Earth is approximately 24 hours.
Compared to other planets, a 24-hour day is somewhat average in terms of day length.
Different planets in our solar system experience different lengths of time marking a day. (Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Venus has the longest day in our solar system, clocking in at a whopping 5,832 hours. That is 243 days on Earth.
Mercury falls next in line at about 1,408 hours per day.
A day on Mars is slightly longer than a day on Earth, falling just under 25 hours.
After Earth comes Uranus, with about 17 hours making up a day, and Neptune right behind, at about 16 hours.
A day on Saturn is just under 11 hours, while Jupiter’s day is just under 10.
Ashlyn Messier is a writer for Fox News Digital.