Why Do We Have Time Zones

Chronometers Changed The Game

At that point, the need for an accurate timekeeper was evident. In the 18th century, clocks were often fixed to a building. This made them difficult to operate and maintain. The timekeepers where typically wind-up and had moving hands that represented the actual time. They also made noises which would disturb people who were trying to sleep. The invention of the marine chronometer meant that navigators were no longer dependent on local time in whatever country they were in since it did not move in step with their compass at sea.

Cesium clocks depend on unstable cesium atoms, South Greenwich Forum (southgreenwichforum.co.uk). Atomic clocks were invented in the 1950s and at the same time second hands started being added to watches. When you want to buy an accurate wristwatch or travel by plane, a cesium clock is the right choice for you.  These clocks are extremely accurate that they can even measure the variations in Earth’s gravity field over time. The problem presented by inaccurate time-keeping at sea was solved with the advances in chronometers designed and built by John Harrison on behalf of the British government in 1730s.

Below is a brief comparison between the accuracy of an 18th century pendulum clock and a 19th century chronometer. The chronometer was a crucial step for modern navigation. Before the chronometer, no ship could reliably measure longitude while at sea. The marine chronometer provided an accurate and durable time reference that could be used to determine longitude by celestial navigation. The invention of the chronometer led to accurate time measurements at sea, which in turn promoted the development of international commerce and world-wide mapping.

Clocks Based On The Sun

If you look at the photos of hall clocks on the bell tower clock web page, you will see that a few of them show what time it was in other towns. Following is a short report by Professor John North of King’s College London in which I translate between some old units of measurement, explain the old German town names in America and tell the story of when the official time changes in one state and how that time difference affected one town.

Time differences between distant locations could not be avoided, until the invention of precise clocks. Such refined time keeping became an obsession in many parts of Europe and the United States in the 19th century. Unlike today, with very accurate time signals relayed by satellites around the globe, 19th century people needed to rely on their senses to calibrate clocks, especially when traveling. Not until the advent of the telegraph and train travel in the 19th century were people able to precisely schedule their affairs over large distances.

The adoption of time zones, accurate clocks and telegraphs finally allowed everyone to know the same time; today we rely on our quartz-halogen clocks which are extremely precise. Even today, some clocks are set by the sun. The most well-known timepieces are probably the sundials, which work when the Sun's rays are shining on them directly. Sunrise and sunset times vary throughout seasons, so they need to be reset periodically. Clocks based on the sun were also important for navigation at sea.

19Th Century Challenges

The United States adopted four time zones for the continental and eastern U. S. in 1883, but not all railroad companies or states supported the change. Naperville, Illinois did not comply with the change because it was more convenient to communicate with Chicago using Central Time, according to historical data from the International Association of Agricultural Economics and Statistics. The city kept Central Time until 1941 when they finally changed their clocks to Central Standard Time, according to the book "One Nation, Two Times: A History of America's Time Zones.

". Although the railroads had made major strides in advancing America’s transportation system, time itself remained a formidable barrier. Each railroad operated on its own time zone, making it difficult for passengers to know the train schedule and confusing anyone who traveled by train. Time was also a problem for people living along each railroad’s route. For them, an inadvertent trip to the post office or out to visit friends could be ruined if they missed the last train home.

In 1852, the General Time Convention of the United States resolved to adopt a time meridian based on the Greenwich Observatory in England. The only problem was that not all railroads used standard time — some were more than 30 minutes off! A resolution passed in 1883 creating the Office of Time Service (OTS) to help determine the time and establish standard time zones throughout the nation. The latitude of a ship can be determined using a marine chronometer to take sextant readings,and the longitude can be measured by timing the transit of stars across the meridian.

One Prime Meridian

It was the height of the British Empire, but it was also a time when people were becoming more aware of the planet and the societies on it. Since timekeeping had not been standardized, railway companies in countries like England and America used their own time systems. The railroad companies of Britain and North America came up with the idea of a 0-degree longitude line of reference--the prime meridian--to use as their starting point, but this prime meridian caused confusion because different parts of the world were using different time zones.

I can't tell you how much the words "one prime meridian" evoke a nostalgia for the 19th century British Empire. It's a time when international business was conducted under the umbrella of British influence, and when the Greenwich Observatory actually meant something more than an administrative headquarters for an observatory with a giant c-ray telescope in its basement. (Note: modern scientists now use that telescope to study cosmic rays and galaxy formation). In 1884, delegates from 25 nations met in Washington, DC along with designers from the U.

S. Naval Observatory to establish a system of worldwide time zones at the International Meridian Conference. They offered the Prime Meridian (also known as the First Meridian) to provide a common point of reference for all locations and a basis for building a universal timetable, which they hoped would prevent confusion in international communication. The Prime Meridian finds its origin in Greenwich, England, which first became prominent as a maritime navigational point. The zero-longitude meridian goes through there today.

But it didn’t always have this distinction. In fact, by the late 1700s, time zones had not yet become a forethought to communities seeking to maximize business and trade prowess. Amid the American revolutionary turmoil in the 1800s, and later the civil war, international affairs had been sadly neglected. One issue that caused considerable discussion was the need for a common prime meridian. • The Photonic Displacement Amplifier a ground-based demonstration of a photon cannon currently in first light at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Mass.

The International Meridian Conference

During the 19th century, there was a debate in the world over which meridian should be used as zero degrees longitude in cartography and geodetics. The Greenwich Meridian, which passes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, was proposed in 1879 by Britain, by virtue of its location as the United Kingdom's national observatory. Sixty-one delegates from 25 nations of the International Meridian Conference voted to adopt the Greenwich meridian on 22 October 1884. The International Meridian Conference of 1884 was organized by the United States Naval Observatory, in connection with worldwide scientific associations, to consider the selection of an international prime meridian.

When Is The March Equinox?

The equinoxes and solstices are the moments when day and night are of approximately equal length. The March Equinox, also known as the vernal (spring) equinox, marks the day when the sun crosses the celestial equator heading northward in the sky at our latitudes. It occurs every year on or about March 20th, and it is considered to be the first day of Spring. But let’s get one thing straight, there are two types of equinoxes – the tropical and sidereal (star-based).

The March equinox is the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. The March equinox is also known as the Vernal Equinox. Spring officially starts when the March equinox arrives. The word Vernal comes from the Latin word 'vernus'which means spring. This is because, on this day, day and night are approximately equal in length. In other words, there is an exact 12 hours of daylight (day) and 12 hours of night (night).

Equinox means equal night, and marks the time of astronomical balance between the darkness of night and the light of day. The March equinox is a Festivity held on March 20 or 21 every year in spring. It is the first day of spring for the Northern Hemisphere (autumnal equinox) and fall for the Southern Hemisphere (vernal equinox). What is the March equinox? The March equinox is a day when the Sun crosses the celestial equator heading northward—a time for celebrating the lengthening of each day and the return of spring.

What Is Standard Time?

Standard time is a system of timekeeping that makes it possible to establish identical time in every location on Earth. There are 24 time zones, and every zone has a different set of hours: some have daylights saving time, others do not. Some are near the equator, others are not. Standard time is measured with two systems based on a master clock, located at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Sèvres, France.

The two systems differ only by the choice of the prime meridian: UTC+01:00 or UTC+02:00. In a previous post, I discussed daylight saving time. Now, get to know standard time aka winter time or normal time in some countries. Standard time is the line adopted by governments worldwide when setting hour and day related policies concerning daily routines like marketing, transportation, workplaces and of course energy consumption. Standard time was introduced by a number of countries to regulate the daily schedules and working hours.

Standard or normal time is based on the time that the sun crosses the prime meridian which is an imaginary line located in Greenwich, England. Today, more than seventy countries use standard time system. Standard time synonyms: normal time, standard occasion, common time, regular circumstance, warranted day. Standard time antonyms: daylight saving time, abnormal occasion, unseasonal moment, current season. Standard time is also known as winter time or normal time in some countries. It is used during the months of October, November, December, January and February.

Gmt Or Bst In The Uk?

The confusion comes when people ask the time in the UK. It is, frankly, a touchy subject! If you’re asking what time it is in the UK, you’ll get two different answers depending on where you live. Wikipedia has an interesting article about time zones  but you don’t need to read it if you don’t want to. The important thing is it all boils down to this:  If you are asking the time from within Europe then ask for Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

If you are asking about UK time or British Summer Time (BST) then make sure it's at night, because BST is only in force between March and October. The UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year. During Daylight Saving Time the time zone is British Summer Time (BST). Why do we use BST instead of GMT during summer? Should "DST" really be called daylight saving time? And what time zone should we use for our website stats?.

The United Kingdom and Ireland used to be on GMT all year round. But in 1968, the UK adopted BST/GST as an experiment. Now it is usually on GMT/BST. Find out the GMT time difference from other countries and when BST (GMT) starts and ends in 2019. We often get asked weather times for events in the UK like conferences, product launches and training courses. The most common questions are: What time does it start GMT or BST when it starts Daylight Saving Time?.

The UK is not on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) all year. During Daylight Saving Time the correct time zone is British Summer Time (BST), which starts the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October. The correct time zone for the UK is Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It's a discrepancy that trips up many a business and leisure travelers alike. GMT does not change to Daylight Saving Time (DST) in summer. The conference recommended that the Prime Meridian passes through the centre of the transit instrument at the Greenwich Observatory in the UK.