Does the International Date Line pass through Greenwich?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The International Date Line (180 degrees longitude) actually is half a world away from Greenwich, a borough and suburb of London, England. Greenwich is situated at 0 degrees longitude on the Prime Meridian, the companion opposite of the IDL. For this reason, and for its long maritime history and the observatory situated there, the town was used to name Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The term was derived from the mean solar time designated at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. The International Date Line is actually an imaginary line that runs opposite the Prime Meridian; the IDL does not run a totally straight course, however. It diverts around many Pacific islands and territories.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No, the International Date Line does not pass through Greenwich, England.  The International Date Line is only in the Pacific Ocean, on more or less the exact opposite side of the world from Greenwich.

The International Date Line is (more or less) the continuation (or the opposite side) of the Prime Meridian.  The Prime Meridian does pass through Greenwich.  However, the Date Line is confined to the other side of the world.  In other words, the Prime Meridian is at 0 degrees of longitude while (most of) the International Date Line is at 180 degrees.

For more details about the International Date Line, please follow the link that I have provided.


william1941 | Student

The International Date Line does not pass through Greenwich. The International Date Line is at a longitude of 180 degrees and has been drawn in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In fact it is not a straight line and has been drawn exclusively over the ocean. This is understandable because if one were to cross the international dateline the calendar day would change. (Imagine the misery that you or your teacher would have to face if the line passed through a class room of your school)

If you were looking at the Date Line, to the left the date is one day ahead than to the right.

The line that passes through Greenwich is called the Prime Meridian and is the 0 degree longitude.

krishna-agrawala | Student

International date line does not pass through Greenwich.

International Date Line is an imaginary line which marks the imaginary line on the earth's surface where beginning of each new day is accepted as the first beginning of a calendar day. The date of any day at any other place where day begins prior to that at international date line is one day behind that of date at international date line. Thus the date just to the west of the International Date Line is one day later than the date just to the east of the line.

The International Date Line corresponds to the the 180th meridian for most of its distance.  This line is exactly halfway around the world from Greenwich, which lies on the 0 degree of longitude. The meridian passing through Greenwich is used as the standard reference for comparing the local times at different places on the earth. Thus the local time of a place may be specified in terms of the the difference in time of that place and the time at Greenwich.