PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — February 29th is a day we only see every four years and while the day may just seem like a special occurrence, the extra day is actually important.
We all learned there are 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year…or is there?
“Earth’s year is actually longer than 365 days long. The amount of time it takes Earth to get to the exact same point in its orbit is very slightly longer than 365 days,” said Renae Kerrigan, planetarium director and curator of science at the Peoria Riverfront Museum.
It takes about 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes, and 37 seconds for the earth to orbit the sun. The reason we add the extra day every four years is to make up for the nearly six hours our calendar is off by.
“Our calendar year would be all out of sync with the earth’s orbit. And so, our seasons would start to shift,” said Kerrigan.
The science behind our solar system explains this anomaly but the day is still unique.
“It’s fun, it’s rare. It only happens once every four years, so it’s something special, and we all like a reason to celebrate,” said Kerrigan.
After calling out on social media for interesting Leap Day connections and stories, WMBD found Dawne Young who had two children both born on Leap Days.
Young’s daughter Brittiany Hammond will technically be turning eight on Saturday.
“It’s kind of different on the actual 29th because you get a little more,” said Hammond.
She’ll be celebrating with her younger brother Aryan Young was also born on Leap Day – 12 years later.
“A lot of people can’t believe when I tell them that I’ve had two on leap day,” said Dawne Young, who had two kids both born on a Leap Day.
You have a one in 1,461 chance of being born on a Leap Day.
“We share our unique birthdays,” said Hammond.
Hammond says you have a one in 2.13 million chance of having a sibling also born on leap day.
Even when it’s not a Leap Year, the family still celebrates but they’re looking forward to celebrating together on Saturday.