The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line on Earth's surface defining the boundary between one day and the next. The international date line is not a perfectly straight line. Thursday, December 17, 2020. This is to keep countries in that area from being divided into separate time zones, such as Polynesia. n. (Physical Geography) the line approximately following the 180° meridian from Greenwich on the east side of which the date is one day earlier than on the west. Infoplease is part of the FEN Learning family of educational and reference sites for parents, teachers and students. On most maps, it is shown as an uneven black line because there are some locations where the border has been shifted. Mean solar time, rather than apparent solar time, is the basis for local civil and standard time. The International Date Line is an imaginary line located halfway around the world at roughly 180 degrees longitude that separates one day from the next. The date becomes one day later as one travels across it in western direction, and one day earlier as one travels across it in eastern direction. The International Date Line in Fiji. 04:16am. Consequently, there is no time (i.e., hourly) change when crossing the International Date Line – only the calendar changes, not the clock. A traveler going completely around the world while carrying a clock that he advanced or set back by one hour whenever he entered a new time zone and a calendar that he advanced by one day whenever his clock indicated midnight would find on returning to his starting point that the date according to his own experience was different by one day from that kept by persons who had remained at the starting point. In the south there is a similar zigzag for the purpose of tying a number of British-owned islands to the New Zealand time system. About This Quiz & Worksheet. If … The Date Line Takes a Jog. It is not a perfectly straight line and has been moved slightly over the years to accommodate needs … This informative animation shows how the IDL works. Astronomers use a point that they call the “vernal equinox” to determine local sidereal time. The meridians are traditionally counted from the meridian of the observatory of Greenwich, in England, which is called the zero meridian. Published 9-May-2011.Changed 1-Sep-2011. Samoa jumps forward in time. Corrections? The 180th meridian–commonly called the International Date Line–splits the island of Taveuni from today and yesterday. While the time zones are based on the natural event of the Sun crossing a meridian, the date must be an arbitrary decision. Samoa will switch time zones by redrawing the international dateline. The IDL you see on your globe or map of the world is just a cartographic convention. Technically, the International Date Line is located at the 180º line of longitude and runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. While the IERS Reference Meridian is maintained by the IERS, the International Date Line is not maintained at all: any of the adjoining countries can change it by changing their time zones. Because the world is split into many different time zones, the establishment of an International Date Line is beneficial to understanding how time is delineated. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Infoplease is a reference and learning site, combining the contents of an encyclopedia, a dictionary, an atlas and several almanacs loaded with facts. This has the result (as explained in the section The Seasons) that Earth moves faster in January and slower in July. As you cross the International date line moving in the westbound direction, you will in effect "loose" time as Thailand is "forward" of the US in timezones.. Earth needs 365 days plus about 6 hours to go around the Sun once, so a year does not consist of a round number of days; the fractional day has to be taken care of by an extra day every fourth year. The International Date Line (IDL) on the map. A traveler going eastward across the Date Line from one island to another would not have to reset his watch because he would stay inside the time zone, but it would be the same time of the previous day. Time Measurement, Time Zones, and the International Date Line, Leap Year 101 – Next, When, List, Days, Calendar, Years, Calculation, Last, Rules, This List of Favorite Islands will Make You Remember Why You Loved Poptropica So Much. Infoplease knows the value of having sources you can trust. Or, in the open ocean, along the 180 [sup]o [/sup] degree of longitude. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Also called: date line. The International Date Line, established in 1884, passes through the mid-Pacific Ocean and roughly follows a 180 degrees longitude north-south line on the Earth. South of the Equator, another eastward deviation allows certain island groups to have the same day as New Zealand. It begins when the Sun is invisible by being 12 hours from its zenith. As a result, a star will appear to rise about 4 minutes earlier every night, and different stars will be visible at different times of the year. The International Date Line provides a standard means of making the needed readjustment: travelers moving eastward across the line set their calendars back one day, and those traveling westward set theirs a day ahead. But the movement of Earth around the Sun is not regular because Earth's orbit is an ellipse. The Date Line. Moscow. The standard time of each zone is the mean astronomical time of one of 24 meridians, 15 degrees apart, beginning at the Greenwich, England, meridian and extending east and west around the globe to the International Date Line. The International Date Line has no astronomical or physical meaning. The International Date Line is located at 180 degrees east or west of the Greenwich Meridian and is an imaginary line of longitude that differentiates between two different days. Learn about one of the world's oldest and most popular religions. This, averaged out over the year, produces the customary 24-hour day. The logical place for changing the date is 12 hours, or 180°, from Greenwich. The International date line is a fictive line describing boundaries of time zones (roughly round 180° longitude) with time zone differences of roughly one day. The International Date Line is a consequence of the worldwide use of timekeeping systems arranged so that local noon corresponds approximately to the time at which the sun crosses the local meridian of longitude (see Standard Time). This is an imaginary line on the surface of the earth. The meridians are traditionally counted from the meridian of the observatory of Greenwich, in England, which is called the zero meridian. The Reservists traveled for 22 days as they chased time zones, then crossed the international date line on their way to Hawaii and the continental United States. The problem is this — there are not many places where that line actually touches land. Astronomers use the so-called Julian Day, which runs from noon to noon; the concept was invented by the astronomer Joseph Scaliger, who named it after his father, Julius. What is Time Zone. Tokyo. They are often based on boundaries of countries or lines of longitude. Related Time Calculator | Date Calculator. We've got you covered with our map collection. For practical purposes, this convention is sometimes altered. When you cross the IDL, the day and date change. Check our encyclopedia for a gloss on thousands of topics from biographies to the table of elements. Consequently, there is no time (i.e., hourly) change when crossing the International Date Line – only the calendar changes, not the clock. Otherwise, the Date Line is the same as 180° from Greenwich. However, don't despair, as when you come back to the US crossing the dateline again EASTBOUND, you'll get that same amount of time back, as you'll be moving backwards against the timezones.. How the IDL Location Was Chosen The International Date Line is located halfway around the world from the prime meridian (0° longitude) or about 180° east (or west) of Greenwich, London, UK, the reference point of time zones. A sidereal day is the time that it takes the Earth to complete one rotation on its axis so that a particular star can be observed twice at the meridian that runs directly overhead. But because Earth, while turning upon its axis, also moves around the Sun, there are two kinds of days. Where is the International Date Line. While the time zones are based on the natural event of the Sun crossing a meridian, the date must be an arbitrary decision. In 1983, by act of Congress, the entire state (except the westernmost Aleutians) was united into the 6th zone, Alaska standard time. C-130J circumnavigates the globe On the opposite side of the Earth at 180 degrees is the International Date Line . Since its beginning, it has zigzagged to avoid splitting apart countries into two days. A day may be defined as the interval between the highest point of the Sun in the sky on two successive days. Though it is Earth that changes velocity, it looks to us as if the Sun does. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/International-Date-Line, LiveScience - The International Date Line, Explained, National Geographic Society - Encyclopedic Entries - Date Line, Spartacus Educational - Biography of King Charles I, International Date Line - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). For example, Alaska, for a time, consisted of four of the eight U.S. time zones: the Pacific standard time zone (east of Juneau) and the 6th (Juneau), 7th (Anchorage), and 8th (Nome) zones, encompassing the 135°, 150°, and 165° meridians, respectively. (This system was actually put into use a year earlier by the railroad companies of the U.S. and Canada, who, until then, had to contend with some 100 conflicting local sun times observed in terminals across the land.). GMT-12:00 or a time offset of GMT minus 12 hours is also called the international date line. Apparent solar time is the time based directly on the Sun's position in the sky. and suggested just counting days without regard to weeks, months, and years. Here are the facts and trivia that people are buzzing about. The International Date Line (IDL), also known as just the Date Line, is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, going from north to south in the Pacific Ocean. Our editors update and regularly refine this enormous body of information to bring you reliable information. But if all clocks were actually set by mean solar time we would be plagued by a welter of time differences that would be “correct” but a major nuisance. A time zone is a region on Earth that uses a uniform time. The International Date Line is a consequence of the worldwide use of timekeeping systems arranged so that local noon corresponds approximately to the time at which the sun crosses the local meridian of longitude (see Standard Time). The International Date Line was established in 1884 during the Internataional Meridian Conference. Coordinated Universal Time was formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and is still sometimes written with this abbreviation. Need a reference? Learn more about the mythic conflict between the Argives and the Trojans. Paris. The International Conference in 1884 deemed that there would be a single Universal Day and that this would begin at mean midnight at Greenwich. In short, every location falling on the east of this line is one day earlier in time if compared to the locations in the west. The Date Line makes a zigzag in the north to incorporate the eastern tip of Siberia into the Siberian time system and then another one to incorporate a number of islands into the Hawaii-Aleutian time zone. For a large part, the International Date Line follows the meridian of 180° longitude, roughly down the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The difference between the real Sun and the fictitious mean sun is called the equation of time. The International Date Line falls directly opposite the Prime Meridian in the time zones UTC +12 and UTC -12. 05:16am. 11:16pm. This is to account for the many time zones around the world to make it easier for people to know what time it is in various countries and to keep days uniform based on daylight hours. A global map including time zone divisions. The two natural cycles on which time measurements are based are the year and the day. Last updated 26-Sep-2018. The International Date Line defines the boundary between calendar dates. In ordinary life the day runs from midnight to midnight. Earth's surface was divided into 24 zones. Because the Earth is moving around the Sun as it rotates on its axis, the sidereal day is about 4 minutes shorter than the solar day, being equivalent to 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4 seconds in mean solar time. The mean solar time is based on the position of a fictitious “mean sun.” The reason why this fictitious sun has to be introduced is the following: Earth turns on its axis regularly; it needs the same number of seconds regardless of the season. The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary — and arbitrary — line on Earth's surface that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole. Omissions? Never understood the International Date Line? At the international date line, the west side of the line is always one day ahead of the East side, No matter what time of day it is when the line is crossed. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. It bends through the Bering Strait to avoid placing far northeastern Russia in a different day than the rest of the country. Learn more about the world with our collection of regional and country maps. If we calculate by latitude, each minute is 1/60th of a degree, i.e. Fortunately, the 180th meridian runs mostly through the open Pacific. Beijing. It is located halfway round the world from the prime meridian—the zero degrees longitude established in Greenwich, England, in 1852. People traveling westward around the world must set their clocks: Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. it is an imaginary line drawn at the 180 o longitude avoiding the continuous line parts. The International Date Line, established in 1884, passes through the mid-Pacific Ocean and roughly follows a 180 degrees longitude north-south line on the Earth. The International Date Line serves as the “line of demarcation” between two consecutive calendar dates. How the international date line works.Song: "Summer", by Arts and Kraphts Galleries (found on AudioSwap). T he International Date Line is in the middle of the time zone defined by the 180° meridian. Find out more about timezones, time change dates, summer time, daylight saving time 2021 The Newark clock would be slightly ahead of a clock in Trenton, N.J., which, in turn, would be ahead of a clock in Philadelphia. This condition prevailed until 1884, when a system of standard time was adopted by the International Meridian Conference. But one might also define a day as the time interval between the moments when a certain point in the sky, say a conveniently located star, is directly overhead. International Date Line, also called Date Line, imaginary line extending between the North Pole and the South Pole and arbitrarily demarcating each calendar day from the next. It corresponds along most of its length to the 180th meridian of longitude but deviates eastward through the Bering Strait to avoid dividing Siberia and then deviates westward to include the Aleutian Islands with Alaska. A clock on Long Island, correctly showing mean solar time for its location (this would be local civil time), would be slightly ahead of a clock in Newark, N.J. The International Date Line sits on the 180º line of longitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and is the imaginary line that separates two consecutive calendar days. To avoid the problems caused by leap-year days and so forth, Scaliger picked a conveniently remote date in the past (4713 B.C.) Updates? Twenty five time zones were established to the east and west of Greenwich with the International Date Line lying along the 180° line of longitude. 09:16pm. This is called: Sidereal time. T he International Date Line is in the middle of the time zone defined by the 180° meridian. The International Date Line, shown here as a yellow line, defines the boundary between calendar dates. The mean sun of time measurements, then, is a sun that moves regularly all year round; the real Sun will be either ahead of or behind the mean sun. The reason for having the Julian Day run from noon to noon is the practical one that astronomical observations usually extend across the midnight hour, which would require a change in date if the astronomical day, like the civil day, ran from midnight to midnight. It marks the time zone border where the date is actually changed by a whole day. The Date Line. The International Date Line exists for a specific reason. FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. Or, today and tomorrow, depending on what side of the line you’re standing on. However, because the date to the east of the line is one day earlier than that to the west of the line, the line deviates to pass around the far east of Russia and various island groups in the Pacific, no country wanting to have — at least during ordinary daytime hours — its citizens functioning on two different dates. The eight U.S. standard time zones are: Atlantic (includes Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), eastern, central, mountain, Pacific, Alaska, Hawaii-Aleutian (includes all of Hawaii and those Aleutians west of the Fox Islands), and Samoa standard time. Brush up on your geography and finally learn what countries are in Eastern Europe with our maps. As we go towards east from the International Date Line, we are reducing one day from our prior location in the west. International Date Line. Check current local time in the world with World Time Map. In January, when Earth moves faster, the apparent movement of the Sun looks faster. It’s drawn between those areas whose legal times are about 24 hours apart [sup]1 [/sup]. approximately one mile. At points to the east of the Date Line the calendar is one day earlier than at points to the west of it. Thus, the two largest deviations from this meridian both occur to keep the date li… Not sure about the geography of the middle east? The year is defined as the time required for Earth to complete one revolution around the Sun, while the day is the time required for Earth to complete one turn upon its axis. The International Date Line does not exist! Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).

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