Time Zones Why do we have time zones? and if we were at 8:00 central standard time, then why is the other end of the world just waking up? they say there is 365 days in a year, but wouldn't everybody in the 8:00 am time zone be behind? I don't understand this.

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We have time zones because the sun is hitting different point in the world at different times.  In some countries, it is Sunday when I write this, but it some countries it is already Monday.  I am in California, but it’s Sunday in Japan.

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The point of time zones is to help us accommodate the phenomenon described by pohnpei397.  If we didn't have time zones, 8am would mean something completely different to one side of the world.  As it is, 8am usually looks about the same for everyone.  Right now at 8am, the sun is up but not necessarily very bright yet.  This is usually the time when people are heading to work or waking up.  This is true no matter where we are in the world because we have time zones.  These zones allow for the curvature of the Earth and the differences created by that curve.

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Someone on the other end of the world is just waking up when it's 8 PM your time because the world is round and it spins on its axis.  When it spins, the sun appears to rise, move across the sky, and set.  But not every place on Earth is in the same place relative to the sun.  When it's 8 PM your time, the sun is about to set.  But around on the other side of the world, it's just rising.  That's why people there are just waking up.

 

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