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Year

The interval required for the earth to complete one revolution around the sun. A sidereal year, which is the time it takes for the earth to make one absolute revolution around the sun, is 365 days, 6 hours, 9 minutes and 9.5 seconds. The calendar year begins at 12 o'clock midnight local time on the night of December 31st-January 1st. Currently, the Gregorian calendar of 365 days is used, with 366 days every four years, a leap year. The tropical year, also called the mean solar year, is dependent on the seasons. It is the interval between two consecutive returns of the sun to the vernal equinox. In 1900, that took 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, and it is decreasing at the rate of 0.53 second per century. This decrease is due to the slow precession of the Earth's axis of rotation.

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Agriculture Minister Joyce defends White Paper's drought loans, R&D spend and lack of inland rail plan

07:49 EST

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he is sympathetic to the concerns of drought-affected farmers about concessional loans, but has made no commitment to change the controversial schemes any time soon.

Canberra's run of cold still running

20:01 EST

Canberra has chilled below freezing every morning this month, and a few days have been quite cold as well.

A breath of fresh air for Sydney

17:47 EST

Over the last week, much of the southeast has been treated to cold, cloud-free nights with light winds.