The transfer of territory from Russia to the United States, The cession of Russian America to the United States, "Samoa to Jump Forward in Time by One Day", Tokelau: Wrong local time for over 100 years, "In Marshall Islands, Friday Is Followed by Sunday", "Samoa Seventh Day Adventists diverge over impact of Dateline switch", "Ramadan and Prayer Times in the Lands under Midnight Sun", "A Traveller's Guide To The International Dateline", "The Sabbath, the International Date Line and Jewish Law". In maritime and aviation travel, the location of the International Date Line (nautical date line) is critical and therefore dictated by an international agreement made during the 1917 Anglo-French Conference on Time-keeping at Sea. However, scientists thought it would be best to have a longitude to be the basis of the change in date. But there are exceptions. The easternmost island of Kiribati was renamed to Millennium Island, because it was the first part of the world which saw the new millennium. The decision was an economic one. Fortunately, GPS apps know all the rules and exceptions, so keep your smart phone on the right time, day and date wherever you travel. There are many groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Watch what happens when the IDL returns to midnight and the next day and date begins. Being 21 hours behind made business difficult because having weekends on backward days meant only four days of the week were shared workdays.[21]. In the north the date line turns to the east through the Bering Strait and then west past the Aleutian Islands in order to keep Alaska and Russia on opposite sides of the line. )[4] It then passes through the Bering Strait between the Diomede Islands at a distance of 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from each island at 168°58′37″ W.[5] It then bends considerably west of 180°, passing west of St. Lawrence Island and St. Matthew Island. Countries simply choose what works best for them. It then bends southeast again to return to 180°. But we can ignore that for now. Anglo-French Conference on Time-keeping at Sea, Seventh-day Adventist Church of Tonga § Date Line controversy, "Arctic Expeditions Commanded by Americans", "United States – Russian Maritime Boundary and Exclusive Economic Zones", "Kiribati's Caroline Island renamed Millennium Island", "Standard Time Zones of the World by the CIA", "Standard Time Zones by HM Nautical Almanac Office", "International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. Accordingly, Samoa, Tokelau, Wallis and Futuna, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, and New Zealand's Kermadec Islands and Chatham Islands are all west of the IDL and have the same date. Since the meridians of longitude converge at the poles, it's possible to walk across multiple time zones on an arbitrarily short hike. Since Alaska moved to the eastern side of the International Date Line, the date also moved back to Friday, 18 October 1867, now known as Alaska Day. At that time a new day begins to unreel. [34], As a practical matter, the conventional International Date Line—or another line in the Pacific Ocean close to it—serves as a de facto date line for purposes of Jewish law, at least in existing Jewish communities. Project Gutenberg, "Around the World in Eighty Days". Receive mail from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors? The Samoan Independent Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is not affiliated to the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, has decided to continue worshiping on Saturday, after a six-day week at the end of 2011. Most cities on the planet set their clocks to that cycle, and all was good — at least within any specific city. There are a few Islands, east of the 180°, which belong to New Zealand. Forward by one hour for every 15° of longitude crossed, and. Over the three years of their voyage, those slight differences added up to an entire day. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups. In much of this area, the IDL follows the 165°W meridian. It's the best mess ever, scientists say. Around the June solstice, the first area would be any place within the Kamchatka Time Zone (UTC+12:00) that is far enough north to experience midnight sun on the given date. As a result, the country straddled the IDL. Sunday as observed in Tonga (West of the Date Line, as with Kiribati, Samoa, and parts of Fiji and Tuvalu) is considered by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be the same day as Saturday observed East of the Date line.[25][26]. It is located halfway round the world from the prime meridian—the zero degrees longitude established in Greenwich, England, in 1852. The International Date Line, established in 1884, passes through the mid-Pacific Ocean and roughly follows a 180 degrees longitude north-south line on the Earth. The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of demarcation on the surface of Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. Unfortunately, there will always be some inconvenience living so close to the IDL: Now there is a 24-hour difference between Samoa — located on the western part of the Samoa island chain — and American Samoa on the eastern side. Scientists estimate a magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Japan in 2011 shifted enough mass away from the equator to shorten the day by 1.8 microseconds (0.0000018 s). Originally, the date line ran along the 180° meridian. The International Date Line has no international legal status with countries free to choose their own. To eliminate this anomaly, Kiribati introduced a change of date for its eastern half by removing Saturday, 31 December 1994 from its calendar. [10] This approach is consistent with the principle of national and nautical time zones: the islands of eastern Kiribati are actually "islands" of Asian date (west side of IDL) in a sea of American date (east side of IDL). Unable to swim, the protagonist indulges in increasingly imaginative speculation regarding the physical, metaphysical and religious importance of the date line. Monday, 30 December 1844 was followed immediately by Wednesday, 1 January 1845. The most problematic situation usually occurs with short journeys from west to east. Now feel free to hit "play." So that it does not cross nations, it passes around the far east of Russia and other archipelagos in the Pacific. These groups belong to states, who do not want some islands on one side of the date line, and the rest on the other. The red part (which will appear later) will be Sunday. The International Date Line is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface, with local deviations, along longitude 180° from Greenwich. For the sake of labels, let's say the green wedge represents the first hour of Saturday. First, at any point in time, there are two sequential days and dates in effect on the Earth. International convention accepts the line as the location where one day is divided from the next, with the area in the Eastern Hemisphere one day ahead of the Western Hemisphere. The IDL happened for much the same reasons as the emergence of the Internet — it works, and it makes life a little bit easier. Near the equator, traveling westward by about 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) delays the arrival of noon by one hour. Trick question. The bottom line is that time zones are so jumbled in this region that many "rules" are broken. (See § Cartographic practice and convention below.). The ISS makes one trip around the Earth every 90 minutes. In truth, it is for an infinitesimal "instant," — when the IDL hits midnight. The theory was applied in 1900 and used to date. During that period it was west of the IDL. That difference will depend on how far east or west one is located within a time zone, and also on the equation of time, which depends on the date. [2] Cardinal Gasparo Contarini, the Venetian ambassador to Spain, was the first European to give a correct explanation of the discrepancy.[3]. As the Earth rotates, each day first begins and ends on the line. Nation by nation, the world bought into Fleming's idea. Because of that, Kwajalein used the Hawaiian date, so was effectively east of the International Date Line (unlike the rest of the Marshalls). The IDL is roughly based on the meridian of 180° longitude, roughly down the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and halfway around the world from the Greenwich meridian. UTC, while synchronized to GMT, takes account of slight variations in Earth's rotation rate. Jews and Muslims and Christians regard particular days of the week as holy. Before discussing how and why the International Date Line came to be, we should first review the matter of keeping time. Updates? The 15° gore that is offset from UTC by 12 hours is bisected by the nautical date line into two 7.5° gores that differ from UTC by ±12 hours. The IDL circumscribes Kiribati by swinging far to the east, almost reaching the 150°W meridian. As the clock struck 12:00 a.m., the people of Samoa, along with their neighbors on the island of Tokelau, leaped ahead to Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 — skipping Friday entirely. Kwajalein returned to the west side of the IDL by removing Saturday, 21 August 1993 from its calendar. By 1900, the global system of time zones we use today was fairly well established. International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service,, Articles with dead external links from January 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Back by one hour for every 15° of longitude crossed, and. The International Date Line provides a standard means of making the needed readjustment: travelers moving eastward across the line set their calendars back one day, and those traveling westward set theirs a day ahead. The crew was surprised, as they had recorded each day of the three-year journey without omission. The agreement makes the IDL a de jure determination and strictly follows the 180-degree longitude from pole to pole with few alterations in areas with territorial waters being close to land. And then there's that fractional time zone complication. ), The concept of an international date line in Jewish law is first mentioned by 12th-century decisors. The International Date Line can cause confusion among airline travelers. Ferdinand Magellan claimed the Philippines for Spain on Saturday, 16 March 1521, having sailed westward from Seville across the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The International Date Line then divides the Aleutian Islands of the United States and the Commander Islands of Russia effectively making all of Russia to be west of the International Date Line and all of the United States (except a few islands) to be east of the International Date Line. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. © Britain "ruled the waves" at the time, and took the early lead in this endeavor.