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Encyclopedia > International date line
The International Date Line around 180°

The International Date Line (IDL), also known as just the Date Line, is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth opposite the Prime Meridian which offsets the date as one travels east or west across it. Roughly along 180° longitude, with diversions to pass around some territories and island groups, it mostly corresponds to the time zone boundary separating +12 and −12 hours GMT (UT1). Crossing the IDL traveling east results in a day or 24 hours being subtracted, and crossing west results in a day being added. Dateline has multiple meanings, including: In journalism, a dateline describes where a news article originated. ... Download high resolution version (495x1443, 171 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (495x1443, 171 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... Location of the Prime Meridian Prime Meridian in Greenwich A GPS receiver at the Greenwich Meridian Laser projected from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich marking the Prime Meridian The Royal Observatory, Greenwich (today a museum) The 24-hour clock at Greenwich The Prime Meridian, also known as the International Meridian... Longitude is the east-west geographic coordinate measurement most commonly utilized in cartography and global navigation. ... Timezone and TimeZone redirect here. ... For alternate meanings of GMT, see GMT (disambiguation). ...

The first date-line problem occurred in association with the circumnavigation of the globe by Magellan's expedition (1519–1522). The surviving crew returned to a Spanish stopover sure of the day of the week, as attested by various carefully maintained sailing logs. Nevertheless, those on land insisted the day was different. Although now readily understandable, this phenomenon caused great excitement at the time, to the extent that a special delegation was sent to the Pope to explain this temporal oddity to him. For the Presidential railcar named Ferdinand Magellan, see Ferdinand Magellan Railcar. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Pope (from Latin...



For a large part, the International Date Line follows the meridian of 180° longitude, roughly down the middle of the Pacific Ocean. However, because the date to the east of the line is one day earlier than that to the west of the line, the line deviates to pass around the far east of Russia and various island groups in the Pacific. Thus, the two largest deviations from this meridian both occur to keep the date line from crossing nations internally. On the earth, a meridian is a north-south line between the North Pole and the South Pole. ... “Pacific” redirects here. ...

In the north, the date line swings to the east through the Bering Strait and then west past the Aleutian Islands in order to keep Alaska (part of the United States) and Russia, which are due north and south of each other in that region, on opposite sides of the line and in agreement with the date of the rest of those countries. The date line passes equidistant between the two Diomede Islands, Little Diomede Island (US) and Big Diomede Island (Russia), at a distance of 1.5km (1mi) from each island. uyghvyugvuyg In 1995, the central Pacific Republic of Kiribati adopted the same date for all of its islands, effectively moving the date line to extend around, rather than through, its islands. As a British colony, Kiribati was centered in the Gilbert Islands, just west of the old date line. Upon independence in 1979, the new republic acquired the Phoenix and Line Islands from the United States and the country found itself straddling the date line. Government offices on opposite sides of the line could only communicate on the four days of the week when both sides experienced weekdays simultaneously. A consequence of this time zone revision was that Kiribati, by virtue of its easternmost possession, uninhabited Caroline Atoll at 150°25′ west, started the year 2000 on its territory before any other country on earth, a feature which the Kiribati government capitalized upon as a potential tourist draw. But Ariel and Berger comment that the international community have not taken this date line adjustment seriously, noting that world atlases still ignore this Kiribati dateline shift and continue to represent the International Date as a straight line in the Kiribati area.[1] Satellite photo of the Bering Strait Photo across the Bering Strait Nautical chart of the Bering Strait The Bering Strait (Russian: ) is a sea strait between Cape Dezhnev, Russia, the easternmost point (169°43 W) of the Asian continent and Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska, the westernmost point (168°05... Aleutians seen from space The Aleutian Islands (possibly from Chukchi aliat, island) are a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands forming an island arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying an area of 6,821 sq mi (17,666 km²) and extending about 1,200 mi (1,900... Official language(s) None[1] Spoken language(s) English 85. ... Satellite photo of the Bering Strait, with the Diomede Islands at center. ... It has been suggested that Central Gilberts be merged into this article or section. ... The Phoenix Islands are a group of eight atolls, plus two submerged coral reefs in the central Pacific Ocean, east of the Gilbert Islands and west of the Line Islands. ... The Line Islands are a group of eleven atolls and low coral islands in the central Pacific Ocean south of the Hawaiian Islands, eight of which belong to Kiribati, while three are United States territories that are grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. ... Caroline Island should not be confused with the Caroline Islands in the western Pacific. ...

In the South Pacific, the dateline swings east such that various islands administered by New Zealand (which lies west of 180°) are on the same date with New Zealand.

The International Date Line can cause confusion among airline travelers. The most troublesome situation usually occurs with short journeys from west to east. For example, to travel from Tonga to Samoa by air takes approximately two hours, but involves crossing the international date line, causing the passenger to arrive the day before they left. This often causes confusion in travel schedules.

If someone circumnavigates the globe in an airplane from east to west (the same direction as Magellan), he should subtract one hour for every 15° of longitude crossed, losing 24 hours for one circuit of the globe. But 24 hours are added when crossing the International Date Line (from east to west). The International Date Line must therefore be observed in conjunction with earth's time zones: the net adjustment to one's watch is zero. If one crosses the date line at precisely midnight, going westward, one skips an entire day; while going eastward, one repeats the entire day. For the Presidential railcar named Ferdinand Magellan, see Ferdinand Magellan Railcar. ...

Cultural references

The effect of ignoring the date line is also seen in Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which the travelers, led by Phileas Fogg, return to London after a trip around the world, thinking that they have lost the bet that is the central premise of the story. Having circumnavigated in the direction opposite Magellan's, they believe the date there to be one day later than it truly is. Jules Gabriel Verne (February 8, 1828–March 24, 1905) was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. ... Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, first published in 1873. ... Phileas Fogg is the main fictional character in the 1872 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. ...

Lest anyone accuse Fogg of cheating by obtaining one extra day, this is not so. Assuming a constant eastward speed, each travel day was 18 minutes short of a full 24 hours, accumulating to one full day, which they failed to correct as we would by setting our calendar back a day in mid-Pacific.

Anyone traveling west and passing the line must add a day to what they would otherwise expect the date and time to be. Correspondingly, those going east must subtract a day. Magellan's crew and Verne's travelers neglected to make those respective adjustments. A compass rose with west highlighted This article refers to the cardinal direction; for other uses see West (disambiguation). ... The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST, internally called HT-7U) is a project being undertaken to construct an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province, in eastern China. ...

De facto and de jure date lines

The IDL drawn on the map on this page and all other maps is now and always has been an artificial construct of cartographers—it is de facto. No international organization nor any treaty between nations has fixed the 'straight line' segments and their junctions. All nations unilaterally determine their standard time zones, which are applicable only on land and adjacent territorial waters. These national zones do not extend into international waters. Indeed, the 1884 International Meridian Conference explicitly refused to propose or agree to any time zones, despite 'common knowledge' that they did, stating that they were outside its purview. The conference resolved that the Universal Day (midnight-to-midnight Greenwich Mean Time), which it did agree to, "shall not interfere with the use of local or standard time where desirable." De facto is a Latin expression that means in fact or in practice. It is commonly used as opposed to de jure (meaning by law) when referring to matters of law or governance or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without... Timezone and TimeZone redirect here. ... The Prime Meridian, Greenwich The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) passing through the Royal Greenwich Observatory, Greenwich, England; it is the meridian at which longitude is 0 degrees. ... “GMT” redirects here. ...

However, the nautical date line which governs ships is determined by international agreement—it is de jure. It is the result of the 1917 Anglo-French Conference on Time-keeping at Sea, which recommended that all ships, both military and civilian, adopt hourly standard time zones on the high seas. The United States, for example, adopted its recommendation for US military and merchant marine ships in 1920. This date line is implied but not explicitly drawn on time zone maps. It follows the 180° meridian except where it is interrupted by territorial waters adjacent to land, forming gaps—it is a pole-to-pole dashed line. Ships must adopt the standard time of a country if they are within its territorial waters, but must revert to international time zones (15° wide pole-to-pole gores) as soon as they leave its territorial waters. In reality they use these time zones only for radio communication etc. Internally in the ship, e.g. for work and meal hours they use a suitable time zone of their own wish. The 15° gore that is offset from GMT or UT1 (not UTC) by twelve hours is bisected by the nautical date line into two 7.5° gores that differ from GMT by ±12 hours. Look up De jure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... ...

Historical alterations

The Philippines, a Spanish colony until 1898, decidedly on the west side of the date line today, historically was on the east side, being in communication by ocean transport with Acapulco, Mexico. At 00:00 in London, Great Britain, 17:20 in Acapulco was about 08:04 in Manila. A 9 hour, 16 minute difference, Manila ran nearly a half-day behind Acapulco. This article is about a type of political territory. ... Year 1898 (MDCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Acapulco, also known as Acapulco de Juárez, is a city and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, 190 miles S.S.W. of Mexico City, at 16. ... For other meanings of the word, see Manila (disambiguation). ...

During the 1840s, trade interests turned to China, the Dutch Indies and adjacent areas, and the Philippines was changed to the west side of the date line. Monday, 30 December 1844 (ending up as a 365-day year) was followed by Wednesday, 1 January 1845. is the 364th day of the year (365th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Jan. ... is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1845 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...

Until 1867, Alaska began Russia's day, with the date line following the partially-defined border between Russian Alaska and British North America, including the colony of British Columbia. The day before the purchase by the United States took effect, it was Friday, 6 October 1867, in the Julian calendar (used by Russia at the time), which would have been 18 October in the Gregorian calendar. The time in New Archangel would have been 12:00 when it was 12:02, Thursday, 17 October, at the future site of Whitehorse, Yukon and 12:49, 17 October, at the future site of Vancouver, British Columbia. Official language(s) None[1] Spoken language(s) English 85. ... British North America was an informal term first used in 1783, but uncommon before the Report on the Affairs of British North America (1839), called the Durham Report. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour Without Sunset (diminishment)) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area  Ranked 5th - Total 944,735... Check used to pay for Alaska The Alaska purchase from Russia by the United States occurred in 1867 at the behest of Secretary of State William Seward. ... is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Cunt BAg Twat Fuk suck my penis ring 0778851865!!!!!!Year 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Julian calendar was introduced in 46 BC by Julius Caesar and came into force in 45 BC (709 ab urbe condita). ... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar in the world. ... Coordinates: , Borough City and Borough of Sitka Founded 1799 Incorporated December 2, 1971 Government  - Mayor Marko Dapcevich Area  - City 12,461. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Whitehorse (IPA: /ʍaɪt. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article refers to the city in British Columbia, Canada. ...

With the transfer of governance, the date line was shifted (moving Alaska back a day), and the calendar was changed (moving Alaska ahead 12 days), and being effective at midnight, the calendar moved ahead one day as well, for a net change of 11 days. Friday, 6 October was followed by Friday, 18 October, not Saturday, 7 October. is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 291st day of the year (292nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Samoa changed in 1892, eight years following the international conference that would result in de facto development of the Date Line. The king was persuaded by American traders to adopt the American date, being three hours behind California, to replace the former Asian date, being four hours ahead of Japan. The change was made at the end of the day, Monday, 4 July 1892, so that year, there were 367 days, including two occurrences of Monday, July 4. For other uses, see Monarch (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Kiribati introduced a change of date for its eastern half, on January 1, 1995, from time zones −11 and −10 to +13 and +14. Before this, the country was divided by the date line. This meant that the date line in effect moved eastwards to go around this country. is the 1st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full 1995 Gregorian calendar). ...


  1. ^ Ariel, Avraham; Berger, Nora Ariel (2005). Plotting the Globe: Stories of Meridians, Parallels, and the International Date Line. Greenwood Press, 149. ISBN 0275988953. 

External link

  • A History of the International Date Line

Coordinates: 0° N 180° W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

  Results from FactBites:
The International Date Line (0 words)
That is the date in the Eastern hemisphere, to the left of the line, is always one day ahead of the date in the Western hemisphere.
Thus Indonesia was to the west of the International Date Line.
The most recent change in the line was in 1995 when Kiribati moved a large segment of it to the east, so that the entire nation would be on the same side of the International Date Line.
international date line — FactMonster.com (366 words)
The date line is necessary to avoid a confusion that would otherwise result.
The apparent paradox is resolved by requiring that the traveler crossing the date line change his date, thus bringing the travelers into agreement when they meet.
The international date line does not follow the 180° meridian along its entire course but bends eastward around the eastern tip of Siberia, westward around the Aleutian Islands, and eastward again around various island groups in the South Pacific in order to avoid a time change in populated areas.
  More results at FactBites »



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