About Coordinated Universal Time

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Wednesday, 20
November 2019
  • Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the common time standard across the world.

Time difference, hrs.

UTC General Info

Coordinated Universal Time (abbreviated to UTC) is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar timeat Prime meridian, and is not adjusted for Daylight Saving Time. In some countries where English is spoken, the term Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is often used as a synonym for UTC and predates UTC by nearly 300 years.

UTC Time Zones

Time Zones around the World are expressed using positive or negative offsets from UTC, as in the List of Time Zones by UTC offset.

Time zones are usually defined as differing from UTC by an integer number of hours, although the laws of each jurisdiction would have to be consulted if sub-second accuracy was required. Several jurisdictions have established time zones that differ by an odd integer number of half-hours or quarter-hours from UT1 or UTC.

Current civil time in a particular Time Zone can be determined by adding or subtracting the number of hours and minutes specified by the UTC offset, which ranges from UTC-12 in the west to UTC+14 in the east (see our interactive map for more details).

UTC Uses

UTC is used in many Internet and World Wide Web standards. The Network Time Protocol (NTP), designed to synchronize the clocks of computers over the Internet, transmits time information from the UTC system. If only milliseconds precision is needed, clients can obtain the current UTC from a number of official internet UTC servers. For sub-microsecond precision, clients can obtain the time from satellite signals.

UTC is also the time standard used in aviation, e.g. for flight plans and air traffic control clearances. Weather forecasts and maps all use UTC to avoid confusion about time zones and daylight saving time. The International Space Station also uses UTC as a time standard.

Amateur radio operators often schedule their radio contacts in UTC, because transmissions on some frequencies can be picked up in many time zones.