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Time Zone Converter

What is a time zone?

A time zone is an area or region that is governed by a time standard. Time zones are generally associated with 24 imaginary bands that go from the north pole to the south pole. The 24 bands would correspond to the 24 hours of the day; however, the time zones do not strictly obey the segmentation of the meridians. Instead, they’re also shaped and adjusted for historical, political, geographical, economic, and social reasons.

How is time calculated or converted?

The time zones are calculated by adding or subtracting hours from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), whose baseline is along the Greenwich Meridian (which crosses the Arctic Ocean, the Greenland Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, the Royal Greenwich Observatory in the United Kingdom, the English Channel, France, Spain, the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica, from north to south). 

The earth spins from west to east, so places that are in time zones to the east of the zero meridian add hours; those to the west of it subtract hours. Time zones are usually expressed as UTC, followed by the + or – sign and the number of hours corresponding to the zone. For example, Los Angeles time in the United States is expressed as UTC-8 because it is eight time zones to the west of UTC. This means that when it is 12:00 p.m. (UTC) in London, it is 4:00 a.m. (UTC-8) in Los Angeles.

Some countries, given their size, use multiple time zones in their territory. The United States, for instance, covers six different time zones. Russia has a difference of nine time zones, from Kaliningrad in Eastern Europe (UTC+2) to Kamchatka (UTC+12). China, spanning 400 kilometers, keeps the Beijing time zone (UTC+8) for the entire country instead of the five different zones that would correspond to it.

Is there a difference between GMT and UTC?

It is common to see GMT instead of UTC. This acronym refers to Greenwich Mean Time. However, both acronyms mean the same thing for everyday purposes.

What is a time zone converter?

There are many apps and web solutions that let you calculate and compare what time it is in a certain place. Converters are more common than you might think, and they are integrated into many everyday services and applications. For example, when a user enters a website that offers live streaming and sees a particular event scheduled for the future, it is likely that the schedule they see is synchronized with the time zone where the user is connecting to the internet, despite the fact that the event will be held in a different time zone.

Some popular time zone converters are ScheduleOnce, Time and Date, and Timezone.io. Smartphones usually have a converter integrated into their clock application that shows the time of different places in the world.

What are time zone converters used for?

Time zone converters are absolutely necessary in a globalized world, especially for remote work teams, transnational businesses, communications, and transportation.

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