Template World Time Clock
Classes start on time. A train leaves the station on time. The news broadcast of the radio begins punctually. Behind all this punctuality is the clock. It keeps us informed of the exact time.
When we stand on a hill above the city at four o'clock in the afternoon and listen to the buzzing of the traffic, it is suddenly drowned out by the beats of a church clock. A second one announces itself. A third one follows. Each announces: Now it's 4 o'clock! Not only with us, on Lake Geneva as safe as outside in Schaffhausen, down in Ticino just like above in Appenzellerland. Everywhere it's 4 o'clock. Everywhere? In any case all around us in the country. We are even allowed to go further: Also in Germany and also in Italy one has just heard 4 hour strikes. If, however, we were to go to the west or east for observation instead of north or south, there would be considerable time differences.
Let us turn to the picture above! It represents our globe. So it is illuminated, if it beats 4 o'clock with us. Arrows around the globe indicate that it is then at the same time "elsewhere on earth" morning, noon, evening or night. While we sit in the sun, so to speak, on the front side of the earth, all inhabitants of the other half of the earth are shrouded in darkness.
It is therefore impossible for 4 o'clock to be everywhere at the same time. If we could gather a number of clocks on a lightning journey from west to east, we would get a strange collection.
Which of these clocks is working correctly? All show correct local time!
Now let's return to our first picture! A broad arrow there indicates that the globe is constantly turning. Our country, which is indicated by a Swiss cross on it, approaches therefore soon the evening shadow edge. It will then remain in darkness for hours. Other countries that have been in the shadows so far will come to light.
Within 24 hours the globe revolves once around itself. It changes thus its situation constantly, in the course of one hour around 1/24 of the circumference of the earth. The American Sandfort Fleming suggested in 1883 that one should (to simplify the time of day calculation) think of the earth's surface divided into 24 equal stripes (reaching from pole to pole). For each strip then a certain day-hour is valid; i.e. it differs from the neighboring strip always around a full hour.
Let us call these stripes time zones. On our sketch, there are three such zones next to each other. If the clock shows 4 o'clock to all inhabitants of the middle (grey) zone, it is only 3 o'clock for the neighbours to the left (west), and 5 o'clock for the neighbours to the right (east). Most countries of the world have joined this proposed zone time calculation in the course of the years.
From the series of those who have chosen their own time calculation, we would like to mention India as an example. There one aligns the clocks in the whole realm alike, although it extends over several zones, and besides in such a way that its time lies exactly between two zone times. Several countries have adopted a so-called summer time, they advance their clocks for the time from April to October each by one hour.
Our large, colourful world map of the model sheet shows all 24 zones as vertical bands next to each other. If we assign a certain hour of the day to each field that lies between brown-red dividing lines, there is room for all 24 hours of the day between the blue line on the left and the blue line on the right. This blue line (it was deliberately drawn on both sides of the map) is called the date boundary. If you cross it from west to east, you may set the same date 2 days in a row; if you cross the date line from east to west, however, you must skip a full day in the calendar.
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