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What Is the International Date Line for?

Ever heard of the International Date Line or IDL? What about the Greenwich Meridian, or Prime Meridian as it's called?   The International Date Line is an imaginary boundary that runs from east to west along the 180-degree meridian. Depending on which direction you travel - east or west - it's exa... read more

Are There Any Alternate Time Systems in Place?

Besides the most common time standards – such as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) – there are other time systems used.   Terrestrial Time is one example, as astronomers use it to calculate the position and distance of an object in relation to the Earth’s center and rotation.    There are other t... read more

What is Terrestrial Time?

If you’ve ever heard of Terrestrial Time you might be confused as to why it exists and what it is used for.   What Is Terrestrial Time Used For?   Terrestrial Time (TT) or Terrestrial Dynamical Time – as it used to be called – has been adopted by astronomers to calculate the location or planetar... read more

Where Does the Standard Division of Hours and Minutes Come From?

A minute is divided into 60 seconds, while an hour is divided into 60 minutes. These numbers seem to be a far cry from the 24 and 12 hour time increments we use alongside them.     So, where did the 60 minute division come from, and why do we still use it today?    The Ancient Babylonians Used ... read more

Why Do We Use Latitude and Longitude?

The Earth is divided into degrees of longitude and latitude which helps us measure location and time using a single standard.   When used together, longitude and latitude define a specific location through geographical coordinates. These coordinates are what the Global Position System or GPS uses ... read more

How Do Time Zones in Antarctica Work?

Both the north and south poles of the Earth are outside the boundaries of an official time zone, and as such they are considered to be in all time zones. This is because the longitude lines that are used to separate the individual time zones converge at the two poles.   How Does Time Work There?  ... read more

What Do the Abbreviations AM and PM Mean?

Did you know that AM stands for “ante meridiem” which means before noon in Latin? What about the fact that PM stands for “post meridiem” which means after noon in Latin?    They are called post and ante meridiem because theanalog clock we currently use in the modern world is divided into two 12-ho... read more

Where Does the 24 Hour Clock Format Come from?

Today, we use a type of clock that is referred to as an analog clock in order to tell time. It displays time in 12-hour increments, even though there are actually 24 hours in a day. To differentiate between the two 12-hour time periods, we include a suffix of either AM, which stands for before noon,... read more

10 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Leap Day

2016 is a leap year because we add an extra day to the year to sync up with the Earth’s revolution around the sun. The month of February will have 29 days this year, and February 29 is Leap Day. Leap Days are added to the calendar about every four years – the last occurred on February 29, 2012 – be... read more

Everything You Need to Know About Leap Day

Did you know 2016 is a leap year?  It is because a leap day will be added to the calendar in February, so February will actually have 29 days this year. This also means that February 29, 2016, is a Leap Day. The last one occurred four years ago on February 29, 2012. Why Do Leap Days Exist? Our c... read more


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