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Time Zone Facts: The Biggest Time Difference Between Two Places


Dealing with people who live in a different time zone could sometimes be challenging. For instance, setting a meeting with them needs consideration, especially if you are facing the biggest time difference. If you have a relative, friend, or workmate who lives on the other side of the world, it's time to discover how you can easily set a meeting even if there are big time zone differences.

Understanding Time Zones

The term time zone could mean many things, but usually, it refers to a place's local time. For example, the time in California is 10 a.m., which refers to its local time. It is defined by an offset from the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which refers to the world's time standard. It is essential to understand that the UTC changes either one hour forward or backward. Each change corresponds to a one-hour time difference in mean solar time. 

Initially, there are 24 time zones considering the prime meridian's 15-degree distance, either east or west. This zero-degree longitude is found in Greenwich, London, United Kingdom. When writing time zones, you can add UTC- or UTC+ before the number of hours and minutes. More time zones were added because the actual borders on the time zone map rarely match up precisely with the 15-degree longitudes.

The Biggest Time Zone Difference Between Two Places

If you consider the UTC system, take note that not all places use international time zones. Therefore, they do not utilize the +12 and -12 hours UTC. Aside from that, some areas on earth use time zones that are not defined by the current time convention. In other words, they use a time zone of +13 hours UTC or even +14 hours UTC. Considering the 12 hours UTC and +14 hours UTC, the biggest time difference would be 26 hours, even beyond the theoretical 24 hours.

So which places have a timezone difference of 26 hours? The answer would be the Howland Islands and the Republic of Kiribati's Line Islands. Howland Islands is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States that uses a time zone of -12 hours UTC on the far west of the earth. On the other hand, the Republic of Kiribati's Line Islands use a time zone of +14 hours UTC and are on the far east of the earth.

Significant time differences could bring challenges when setting meetings with your family, friends, and workmates. If you want to avoid these problems, you can use time tools like the Meeting Planner. It can help you find the most convenient time in the day when everyone is in their business hours.

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