Friday, April 14, 2017

Daylight Savings, Time Zone and the Prime Meridian

A Different Way to Look at Geography

When you think about time zones you probably don't think about globes but here is a new application for geography. All around the world there are different time zones. Time zones aren’t something that you think about very much unless you travel or have friends or relatives in other parts of the world. The biannual confusion associated with Daylight Savings Time is a reminder of this fact. The most familiar time zone is Greenwich Mean Time, Greenwich Mean Time sets the standard for all other time zones. The Prime Meridian serves as a guideline for navigation, commerce, shipping and transportation. The concept of Greenwich Mean Time was first established in 1675 by the Royal Observatory, to assist navigators and explorers while at sea. By using different navigation instruments experienced seamen could identify their location while in the middle of the ocean.

Greenwich Mean Time and the Prime Meridian 

Before the Greenwich Mean Time was established, the time of day would be calculated with a sun dial using solar time. The time in each location would be different, but using the sun dial provided an accurate representation of local time. Throughout the 17th -19th centuries mechanical clocks and watches began to increase in popularity, sun dials weren’t exactly something you could transport. As technology increased additional methods of establishing time were developed. This lead to official time zones all around the globe, these time zones were determined by the Earth’s orbit around the sun and the 24-hour periods which we call a day.  Each time zone covers approximately 15 degrees of width on the map or globe. Technically there are 24 time zones, the International Date Line is considered to be Time Zone by some, that is up for scientific debate.

 Daylight Savings Time and the International Date Line

Just like with Daylight Savings Time, there is not a universal consensus regarding the implementation of time zones. The International Date Line is not an exact, straight line, rather it is a general guideline that helps travelers know when they have crossed gone forward or backward a day. This is an imaginary line that exists at about 180 degrees east or west of the Greenwich Meridian.

If you take a globe or map and look at the Prime Meridian that can help you determine where the different time zones lie. Not only is a globe a great way of learning about countries and various landmarks. A globe can be used to help figure out what time it is in a different part of the world.

A One of a Kind Globe, the Starlight

Check out a globe like the Starlight below and brush up on your knowledge of different places. You will gain a better understanding of time zones, landmarks and the ever-changing world around you. 
This stylish and unique globe features black oceans, which are a striking contrast to the brightly colored continents. The Starlight features a 12 inch sphere with jet black oceans mounted on a satin chrome finished metal stand. A full swing meridian and geopolitical boundaries and description in raised relief complete this one of a kind look. The combined height of both sphere and stand reach 16 inches. What a great conversation piece for a desktop or coffee table!


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