The universe we inhabit is filled with cycles. Night becomes day, planets rotate
around the Sun, seasons change, and so much more. We use these cycles to measure
the passage of time, but like the universe's cycles, that was only the
We've also created time zones, calculations down to the millisecond, and various
ways to measure them all. Our lives revolve around time which is why we've
created a rich and varied database of tools and information that we like to call
The Time Now.
The Time Now is an accurate tool providing multiple time-related services,
various in-depth articles, and more. You can find out what the current local time is,
in more than a hundred thousand cities around the world, as well as the UTC/GMT
offset, the time
zone full name and abbreviation.
You will know whether each location observes Daylight Saving Time (DST) or Summer
Time, right now or the near future. This database is updated with each new
decision of governments or astronomical institutions.
Know the local weather and forecast in most cities of the world. You have access to the current
conditions, the 48-hour forecast, the 2-week forecast, and an hour-by-hour
temperature forecast. Most websites would stop there, but we also provide you
with the sunrise and sunset times, the day's length, the moon phases, and even
the moonrise and moonset. Enjoy the many daily updates of these data, up to
every fifteen minutes.
The Time Now also offers comprehensive local business directories with opening
and closing times in many countries, such as United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, France and Italy. Each
country's local business directory is available from its translated version of
In case you need a specific conversion, we provide many useful tools such as:
The Time Now is currently available in 29 languages. It is used by millions of
people worldwide each month as a valuable resource for information, knowledge,
and a means of planning and understanding time around the world.
The Scientific and Philosophical Concept of Time
Before one can understand time zones, daylight savings, and other methods of
measuring time, it would be best to have a grasp of how science defines this
concept. Beyond science, this concept is also highly researched and discussed in
the realms of religion and philosophy.
We cannot reach out and grasp it, nor can we watch it pass, and yet time exists
anyway. It is defined as "a measure in which events can be ordered from the past,
through the present, and into the future. It also measures the durations of
events and the intervals between them."
What we can see, feel, and touch is known as the spatial dimensions. These are
the first, second and third that we all know. Time itself however is referred to
in science as the fourth dimension. When measuring things such as velocity and
repetition, we are using standard units of measurement such as seconds, minutes,
This is known as the "operational definition of time." It's purely scientific and
doesn't seek to understand the concept in any philosophical way. Of course, the
lines begin to blur when scientists try to measure space-time events and other
elements of the universe around us.
Trying to truly measure time is a goal that science continues to struggle with.
Proper measurement is crucial in all manners of scientific fields like
astronomy, navigation, and many more. Currently our international system of
measurement is based on events that repeat at certain intervals.
The movement of the sun through the sky, the phases of the moon, the beating of a
heart, these are all means of measuring time's apparent flow. In terms of
philosophy, there are two major beliefs regarding time and its existence or lack
This first approach is named after Sir Isaac Newton. He believed that time was a
part of the universe, that is exists as a separate dimension independent of our
own where events occur in sequence. In one of his works, Philosophiae Naturalis
Principia Mathematica, he spoke of absolute time and space.
The concept spoke of a "true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own
nature flows equally without regard to anything external." Things like motion
and the "feel" of time were not true concepts of the term. He called these
things "relative time" and they were the only concepts we could grasp as a
The other side of the coin is a theory posed by two famous philosophers by the
names of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant. This secondary theory is more
simplistic, it simply holds to the belief that time is not a thing or a place.
Given this truth, it cannot be measured accurately or traveled through.
A History of Measuring Time: Calendars and Clocks
Chronometry is the science of measuring time and it comes in two different forms:
the calendar and the clock. When seeking to measure a length that is less than a
day, the clock is used. Measuring something that is longer requires the use of a
calendar. Let's examine how these two fundamental tools came to be.
1. A Brief History of The Calendar
The first calendars were used as early as 6,000 years ago, based on artifacts
discovered from the Paleolithic era, and were dependent on the phases of the
moon. Known as lunar calendars, these early versions had between twelve and
thirteen months to each year. These calendars weren't entirely accurate,
however, because they didn't account for the fact that a year is roughly 365.24
Calendars measure days in whole numbers so a method called intercalation was
introduced that adds a leap day, week, or month into the calendar when needed to
keep the measurements accurate. Julius Caesar decreed in 45 B.C that the Roman
Empire would use a solar calendar and it became known as the Julian
This version still suffered from a lack of accuracy because the intercalation it
used caused the annual solstices and equinoxes to throw off the measurements by
as much as 11 minutes per year. A second type of calendar was introduced by Pope
Gregory XIII in 1582. This was known as the Gregorian calendar and it is now the
most commonly used version today.
2. A Brief History of the Clock
Horology is the study of devices used to measure time. This pursuit dates back to
1500 BC when the Egyptians created the first sundial. This stationary device
uses a shadow cast by the sun to measure the passage of hours throughout the
day. These devices were accurate only during the day however.
A more accurate solution was something called a water clock that was also used by
the ancient Egyptians. The actual origin of these devices is not known, but
along with sundials these were the first tools used to measure time.
The water clock functioned by creating a set flow of water that could be used to
measure the passage of time. It required constant maintenance though, otherwise
the water would run out. Many ancient civilizations were very focused on keeping
accurate measurements of time because they used it to track their astronomical
Water clocks were used consistently until the middle ages. The use of incense,
candles and hourglasses were also prevalent. While mechanical clocks did make an
appearance as early as the 11th century, it wasn't until new methods like the
pendulum clock were made by individuals like Galileo Galilei and Christiaan
Huygens that they became reliable.
Today the most accurate tool for measuring time are atomic clocks. These
incredible devices can maintain a pitch-perfect
accuracy for millions of years. They are so accurate in fact, that they
are used to set other clocks and GPS systems. Instead of using mechanical or
repetitive methods, these clocks measure atoms as incredibly low temperatures.
atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado called NIST-F1 is used to define the
standard time for all of the United States. It is located in the National
Institute of Standards and Technology. This clock's accuracy means that it won't
be off by a single second for at least 100 million years. This is all based on
the internationally defined standard for what constitutes a single
"The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation
corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground
state of the caesium 133 atom."
By measuring these caesium atoms at incredibly low temperatures, atomic clocks
can track time almost perfectly based on this established standard.
International Time Measurements
Our modern society requires us to have a set standard for how we measure time.
The most basic means of doing this is known as International Atomic Time (TAI)
and measures seconds, minutes, and hours by coordinating atomic clocks around
Since 1972 we've utilized Coordinated Universal Time or UTC. It follows the TAI
standard with slight changes known as leap seconds to ensure that it remains
synchronized with the Earth's rotation. This standard replaced the Greenwich
Mean Time (GMT) but the two terms are still used interchangeably.
The reason for the replacement was because the GMT method used telescopes and
solar time to set the standard instead of the more accurate method of atomic
clocks. Despite the time standard changing, the location of Greenwich is still
used a basis for measuring coordinates.
While the measurement of time is standardized around the world, there is also a
means of defining the exact time of day in various regions known as time zones.
This is another internationally observed standard that offsets the UTC time
depending on the location.
These zones were implemented for legal, commercial, and social reasons and are
usually placed along the boundaries of countries or states in the U.S. For the
most part these zones offset the time by a whole number of hours but in some
cases the change is only thirty or forty-five minutes.
The concept of these time zones was first suggested 1858 in a book written by
Quirico Filopanti called Miranda! This concept was not used but it did lay the
groundwork for others to follow. The invention of them is attributed to Sir
Sanford Fleming but even his concept was modified heavily into what we use
The adoption of time zones was slow and gradual. The last country to implement
the use of today's standard was Nepal in 1986. All of today's modern countries
use time zones in some way, shape, or form. The idea is the same, as is the
standard measurement of time, but the implementation of them varies.
For example, China and India both utilize a single time zone despite the fact
that their countries are wider than the fifteen degrees of longitude that
usually dictates a time zone.
A Tool for the Ages
With technology and research we've continued to grow and expand our knowledge of
time, but we still have many questions unanswered. What we do have are very
specific methods of measuring it around the world though and The Time Now is
here to provide you with all of that information and more.
Our tools are always up-to-date and our database of information is constantly
expanding and growing. We are the penultimate resource now and into the