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Why do we have different time zones?

Updated on June 3, 2012

The Sun Rise

The Reason For Time Zones

If you have ever wondered why there are different time zones, the answer is quite simple. It is because in the 19th century we decided that there should be a standard that is set to the position of the sun. When the sun is at the highest point in the sky it is considered twelve noon. Depending on geographic location the sun can be at the highest point of the sky different times during each day. Time correlates with the position of the sun.

It was mutual between everyone when timezones were created. People call this Greenwich Mean Time or universal time. GMT is the first point for calculating times, and all time zones start either forward or behind the starting point. Using this, time zones are cut into fifteen degree slices all around the world. The fifteen degrees were first created in the late 1800's and is the reason for the twenty-four time zones.

Since interaction between countries has become a daily occurrence, timezones are important for establishing the start and end of each day. It contributes to business, fun, and communications between different areas in the world.


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