Time Zones

Time zones help us tell time. Humans designed time zones to help tell time. The rotation of the earth tells us if it is day or night. We decided to have time zones to make it easier.

 Click on these questions to discover the answers! What are time zones? How many time zones to we have on earth? What do time zones have to do with the rotation of the earth? What is Greenwich Mean time? [GMT] What is the prime meridian? What is the international date line? What do degrees of Longitude have to do with Time Zones?

The earth is divided into time zones which are almost equal in size.   At the equator, time zones are perpendicular to each other but, they don’t stay perpendicular. The time zones meet at the North or South poles. They form a pizza like shape.

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We have 24 time zones just like we have 24 hours in a day.

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The rotation of the earth has an effect on how many time zones we have. The earth rotates every 24 hours which is why we have 24 hours in a day. We also have 24 time zones, each time zone stands for one hour. There are 360 degrees in a circle so it is 360 degrees around the earth. If we chopped the earth into hunks of 24, since there are 24 hours in a day, we would end up with each chunk being 15 degrees. Each time zone is 15 degrees wide at the equator. Here it is mathematically: 15 degrees x 24 hours = 360 degrees or 360 degrees/24 hours = 15 degrees.

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Greenwich Mean Time is the basis of calculating all times. Greenwich is in England.

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The prime meridian separates the world into 2 sections. The 2 sections that the prime meridian creates, are the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.The hemispheres that the equator creates are the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

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The International Date Line is a line that indicates where we change from one date to another. The line goes through the Pacific Ocean. It is half way around the world from the Prime Meridian.  It's longitude is 180 degrees.  360 degrees around the earth x 1/2 = 180 degrees.

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