Time

Why do we need time zones?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. In order for each place in the world to have the sun directly overhead at the noon hour and to standardize the times that people get up, eat and go about their lives, the world is divided into multiple time zones. Each zone is an hour different from its neighboring time zones, with a total of 24 time zones corresponding to the 24 hours in a day. The continental United States consists of four time zones: Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time and Pacific Time. When New Yorkers are thinking about lunchtime at 12 p.m., it's 11 a.m. in Chicago, 10 a.m. in Denver, and Californians have just arrived at the office at 9 a.m. The time zones have been measured from the Greenwich Observatory in England since 1884. This area is known as the Greenwich Meridian or the Prime Meridian, and the time zone it's in is called Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time. The International Date Line is on the other side of the Earth, 12 time zones away from the Prime Meridian.

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