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World Time Zones

  World Time Zones

Explanation, History and

Their use In Astrology

Time Conversions from/to GMT|UT

  Time Zones: Explanation, History & Their use In Astrology

A time zone is a region of the earth that has uniform standard time, usually referred to as the local time.  It is one of more than 24 divisions of the earth, based on sections 7.5 degrees east and west of every 15 degree increment of longitude. In other words, a standard time zone generally refers to any of the 24 regions of the earth’s surface  in which standard time is kept. There are 24 time zones (360 degrees divided by 15 degrees is 24) plus several offset time zones. Time zones allow the time to follow the rotation of the earth, providing a noon time at the approximate zenith of the sun in the sky of a given location.
Time zones' boundaries are not uniform. This is because, in several cases, political factors are also  involved. Time zones can be determined by how borders of countries and their states are positioned. However, this is not so simple. For example, some geographically large countries like India and China use only one time zone but many other large countries like the United States of America and Russia have more than one time zones. 

History of Time Zones
Time keeping used to be a local phenomenon before the late 19th century. Each town would set their clocks to noon when the sun reached its zenith each day.  This caused a lot of confusion when people travelled from one city to another. And soon time became very critical whe railroads began to operate and move people rapidly across great distances. So, the standardization of time was required to avoid confusion for  efficient operation of railroads.

Sir Sanford Fleming, a Canadian, proposed in 1878 the system of worldwide time zones that we use today. He suggested that the world should be divided into twenty four time zones, each spanning 15 degrees of longitude apart. Since the earth rotates once every 24 hours and there are 360 degrees of longitude, each hour the earth rotates 1/24th of a circle or 15 degrees of longitude.   In 1884 an International Prime Meridian Conference was held in Washington D.C. to standardize time and select the prime meridian. The conference selected the longitude of Greenwich, England as zero degrees longitude and established the 24 time zones based on the prime meridian. So in 1884, time zones were introduced and many countries adopted them but many did not immediately.

Until fairly recently, time zones were based on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT, also called UTC), the mean solar time at longitude 0° (also known as the prime meridian or international meridian). But as a mean solar time, GMT is defined by the rotation of the Earth, which is not constant in rate. So, the rate of atomic clocks was annually changed, or steered, to closely match GMT. In January 1972, however, atomic clock rates were fixed and predefined leap seconds replaced rate changes. This new time system is called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Leap seconds are inserted to keep UTC within 0.9 seconds of UT1. In this way, local times continue to correspond approximately to mean solar time, while the effects of variations in Earth's rotation rate are confined to simple step changes that can be more easily applied to obtain a uniform time scale (International Atomic Time or TAI). With the implementation of UTC, nations began to use it in the definition of their time zones instead of GMT. As of 2005, most but not all nations had altered the definition of local time in this way (though many media outlets fail to make a distinction between GMT and UTC).
(courtesy :
World Time Zones and Time Conversions in Astrology

Time Conversion based on time zones must be understood by astrologers so that they can use an ephemeris, which is used to calculate the position of the planets and tell the exact time a planetary event will happen in a particular place or area. Nowdays, all astrological calculations are done by computer softwares. Yet there are times when you want to calculate a time change in your mind. For example when you look at a weather map or travel from one country / place to another country / place or you want to cast a horoscope manually using ephemeris.

The time in an ephemeris is listed in Greenwich Mean (GMT) Time, for Greenwich meridian in England, which is at zero longitude. This is the time astronomers, navigators and astrologers have been using for years.

The following table shows the TIME ZONE or local standard time of various countries and places.

This is the + or - diffrence of the place from Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time.

How the time zones are referred to in technical terms are also given below:

Time zones are often represented by abbreviations such as "EST, WST, CST" but these are not part of the international time and date standard ISO 8601 and their uses as sole designator for a time zone is not recommended.
Such designation can be ambiguous as some abbreviations may refer to different timezone in other continents for example EST WST CST can refer to Eastern, Western or Central, Summer Time or Standard Time in both North America and Australia.

Daylight saving time (Summer Time):    
Many countries, or even parts of some countries, adopt daylight saving time (DST) (also known as Summer Time) during a part of the year. This involves advancing clocks by an hour near the start of spring (summer) and adjusting back in autumn ("spring" forward, "fall" back). Daylight Saving Time is a way of getting more light out of the day. During Daylight Saving Time, the sun appears to rise one hour later in the morning,  and sets one hour later in the evening. This seems to stretch the day longer. The benefit is that this saves energy due to less artificial light (electricity) required during the evening hours. Many countries observe DST and many do not. When DST or summer time is in force, you  need to subtract one hour (in some cases 1/2 hour or 2 hours) from the birth time.

All good astrology softwares can automatically determine if daylight savings is in effect for a place of birth at the time of birth. But this programming is not always correct. Besides, the laws governing daylight savings are sometimes changed by the countries. Therefore, one must be very particular about DST. Entrying incorrect DST in astrology softwares data entry means incorrect ascendant and incorrect planetary degrees, particularly of the fastest moving planets like the moon. Full details of DST or summer time being observed in various countries is given here on our website.

examples of Summer Time being observed in various countries are given below:

European Union Summer Time applicable to most states in Europe:

Summer Time (Daylight Saving Time)

Starts: Last Sunday in March
Ends: Last Sunday in October
Time: 1.00 am (01:00) Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

United States of America (USA), Canada, Mexico - Daylight Saving Time -

(From 1987 - 2006)
Starts: First Sunday in April
Ends: Last Sunday in October
Time: 2 am local time

(From 2007 to 2015)
Starts: Second Sunday in March
Ends: First Sunday in November
Time: 2 am local time
For latest information on current DST, visit this site.

What is GMT ?

GMT is an abbreviation for Greenwich Meantime

GMT is the time zone from which all other time zones are measured against. Other time zones will be either ahead (+) or behind (-) Greenwich Meantime.

So if you live to the East of Greenwich, then the sun rises earlier and you get your noon before Greenwich does. If you live to the West of Greenwich, then you get your noon later than Greenwich. Therefore, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is later for those in the West and earlier for those in the East.

For example, Paris is GMT +1 hours. This means that when it is 12 noon in Greenwich, England, it is 1 PM in Paris. Los Angeles is GMT -8 hours. So when it is 12 noon in Greenwich (London), it is 4 AM in Los Angeles.

Greenwich Meantime is also known as Greenwich Meridian Line as Greenwich Meantime is measured against the line at the Royal Observatory  in Greenwich (London).

Greenwich Meantime is 0º longitude which is an imaginary line that goes from the North Pole to the South Pole.

GMT is also known as UTC which is the abbreviation of Coordinated Universal Time. However, GMT is no longer the basis for civil time but is now loosely interchanged with UTC to refer to time kept on the Greenwich meridian (longitude zero).

Rules for determining the GMT (UT - Universal Time) of birth (East and West)

Since each time zone is theoretically 15 degrees wide, civil time changes by one hour forward and backward respectively for every 15 degrees east or west of the Greenwich Meridian. So GMT or UT is derived by adding the Time Zone if the birth was West of Greenwich, or by subtracting the time zone if the birth was East of Greenwich. To find the appropriate time zone in hours, the longitude (in degrees) is divided by 15. For example:

If the longitude of a place is 60 degrees east (or 60° E), the time would be 60 degrees divided by 15 degrees = 4 hours ahead of UTC/GMT (or UTC+4).

If the longitude of a place is 105 degrees west (or 105° W), the time would be 105 degrees divided by 15 degrees = 7 hours behind UTC (UTC/GMT) (or UTC-7).

Note : You also need to subtract any summer time (daylight saving time).

Study these examples:

(a) Eastern Birth

Suppose a person was born in Amritsar, India on 1st April 2009 at 1 pm (13.00). The longitude is 74E56 and the time zone is 5.5. Daylight saving is not observed in India. The birth occurred in the East, so we subtract the time zone. The UT was:

13 hours - 5.30 hours = 7.30 hours (am)

So GMT or Universal Time was 7.30 am.

(b) Western Birth (Change in Day of Birth)

Suppose a person was born in New York, USA on 29 June 1991 at 20:10. The latitude is  40N44 and the longitude is 74W00. The time zone is 5 and daylight saving was in operation. Since the birth is in the West, the time zone is added. Taking into account summer saving the UT of birth is:

20 hours 10 minutes + 5 (Time Zone) - 1 (Daylight Saving) = 24 hours 10 minutes

Because the time is greater than 24, we subtract 24 and add one to the day. So the UT birth time is:

0:10 am on 30 June, 1991

So the UT at Greenwich is 10 minutes past midnight on 30 June 1991, which is the day after!

It is important that when the day of birth changes, we use the new date to calculate or find the sidereal time in the ephemeris and positions of the planets.

In short, Time Zones Conversion steps or rules are:

1. Convert the UT/GMT time to your locality : If you are west of Greenwich, England you must subtract from UT/GMT. If you are east of Greenwich, England you must add. Or conversely, convert the local time to GMT. GMT or UT is derived by adding the Time Zone if the time (birth) was West of Greenwich, or by subtracting the time zone if the birth was East of Greenwich. 

2. Convert to AM or PM : If UT/GMT is higher than 1200, it is PM. If the time is lower than 1200 it is AM.

3. Adjust for Daylight Savings Time : When summer time is in force, you  need to subtract one hour (in some cases 1/2 hour or 2 hours) from the birth time.

4. Adjust the day : There are times when the day will change. Study the examples given above.

Time Zones applicable and used in various countries of the world are given below:

Country                          Time Zone

-------                          ---------

Afghanistan:                     4.5 hours(East)

Albania:                         1 hours (East)

Algeria:                         1 hours (East)

American Samoa:                 11 hours (West)

Andorra:                         1 hours (East)

Angola:                          1 hours (East)

Anguilla:                        4 hours (West)

Antarctica:                      2 hours (West)

Antigua:                         4 hours (West)

Argentina:                       3 hours (West)

Argentina western prov:          4 hours (West)

Armenia:                         4 hours (East)

Aruba:                           4 hours (West)

Ascension:                       0 hours (West) 

Australia Western:               8 hours (East)

Australia South:                 9.5 hours (East)

Australia Northern Territory:    9.5 hours (East)

Australia New South Wales:      10 hours (East)

Australia Queensland:           10 hours (East)

Australia Victoria:             10 hours (East)

Australian Capital Territory:   10 hours (East)

Australia Tasmania:             10 hours (East)

Australia Lord Howe Island:     10.5 hours (East)

Austria:                         1 hours (East)

Azerbaijan:                      3 hours (East)

Azores:                          1 hours (West)


Bahamas:                         5 hours (West)

Bahrain:                         3 hours (East)

Balearic Islands:                1 hours (East)

Bangladesh:                      6 hours (East)

Barbados:                        4 hours (West)

Belarus:                         2 hours (East)

Belgium:                         1 hours (East)

Belize:                          6 hours (West)

Benin:                           1 hours (East)

Bermuda:                         4 hours (West)

Bhutan:                          6 hours (East)

Bolivia:                         4 hours (West)

Bonaire:                         4 hours (West)

Bosnia Hercegovina:              1 hours (East)

Botswana:                        2 hours (East)

Brazil West:                     4 hours (West)

Brazil Acre:                     4 hours (West)

Brazil East:                     3 hours (West)

Brazil Atlantic Islands:         1 hours (West)

British Virgin Islands:          4 hours (West)

Brunei:                          8 hours (East)

Bulgaria:                        2 hours (East)

Burkina Faso:                    0 hours (West) 

Burundi:                         2 hours (East)


Cambodia:                        7 hours (East)

Cameroon:                        1 hours (East)

Canada Yukon & Pacific:          8 hours (West)

Canada Mountain:                 7 hours (West)

Canada Central:                  6 hours (West)

Canada Eastern:                  5 hours (West)

Canada Atlantic:                 4 hours (West)

Canada Newfoundland:             3.5 hours (West)

Canary Islands:                  0 hours (West)

Canton Enderbury Islands:       11 hours (West)

Cape Verde:                      1 hours (West)

Caroline Island:                11 hours (East)

Cayman Islands:                  5 hours (West)

Central African Rep:             1 hours (East)

Chad:                            1 hours (East)

Channel Islands:                 0 hours (West)

Chile:                           4 hours (West)

China People's Rep:              8 hours (East)

Christmas Islands:              10 hours (West)

Colombia:                        5 hours (West)

Congo:                           1 hours (East)

Cook Islands:                   10 hours (West)

Costa Rica:                      6 hours (West)

Cote d'Ivoire:                   0 hours (West) 

Croatia:                         1 hours (East)

Cuba:                            5 hours (West)

Curacao:                         4 hours (West)

Cyprus:                          2 hours (East)

Czech Republic:                  1 hours (East)


Dahomey:                         1 hours (East)

Denmark:                         1 hours (East)

Djibouti:                        3 hours (East)

Dominica:                        4 hours (West)

Dominican Republic:              4 hours (West)


Easter Island:                   6 hours (West)

Ecuador:                         5 hours (West)

Egypt:                           2 hours (East)

El Salvador:                     6 hours (West)

England:                         0 hours (West)

Equatorial Guinea:               1 hours (East)

Eritrea:                         3 hours (East)

Estonia:                         2 hours (East)

Ethiopia:                        3 hours (East)


Falkland Islands:                4 hours (West)

Faroe Island:                    0 hours (West)

Fiji:                           12 hours (East)

Finland:                         2 hours (East)

France:                          1 hours (East)

French Guiana:                   3 hours (West)

French Polynesia:               10 hours (West)


Gabon:                           1 hours (East)

Galapagos Islands:               5 hours (West)

Gambia:                          0 hours (West) 

Gambier Island:                  9 hours (West)

Georgia:                         4 hours (East)

Germany:                         1 hours (East)

Ghana:                           0 hours (West) 

Gibraltar:                       1 hours (East)

Greece:                          2 hours (East)

Greenland:                       3 hours (West)

Greenland Thule:                 4 hours (West)

Greenland Scoresbysun:           1 hours (West)

Grenada:                         4 hours (West)

Grenadines:                      4 hours (West)

Guadeloupe:                      4 hours (West)

Guam:                           10 hours (East)

Guatemala:                       6 hours (West)

Guinea:                          0 hours (West) 

Guinea Bissau:                   1 hours (West)

Guyana:                          3 hours (West)


Haiti:                           5 hours (West)

Honduras:                        6 hours (West)

Hong Kong:                       8 hours (East)

Hungary:                         1 hours (East)


Iceland:                         0 hours (West) 

India:                           5.5 hours(East)

Indonesia West:                  7 hours (East)

Indonesia Central:               8 hours (East)

Indonesia East:                  9 hours (East)

Iran:                            3.5 hours (East)

Iraq:                            3 hours (East)

Ireland Republic of:             0 hours (West)

Israel:                          2 hours (East)

Italy:                           1 hours (East)


Jamaica:                         5 hours (West)

Japan:                           9 hours (East)

Johnston Island:                10 hours (West)

Jordan:                          2 hours (East)


Kazakhstan:                      6 hours (East)

Kenya:                           3 hours (East)

Kiribati:                       12 hours (East)

Korea Dem Republic of:           9 hours (East)

Korea Republic of:               9 hours (East)

Kusaie:                         12 hours (East)

Kuwait:                          3 hours (East)

Kwajalein:                      12 hours (East)

Kyrgyzstan:                      5 hours (East)


Laos:                            7 hours (East)

Latvia:                          2 hours (East)

Lebanon:                         2 hours (East)

Leeward Islands:                 4 hours (West)

Lesotho:                         2 hours (East)

Liberia:                         0 hours (West) 

Libya:                           2 hours (East)

Lithuania:                       2 hours (East)

Luxembourg:                      1 hours (East)


Macedonia:                       1 hours (East)

Madagascar:                      3 hours (East)

Madeira:                         0 hours (West)

Malawi:                          2 hours (East)

Malaysia:                        8 hours (East)

Maldives:                        5 hours (East)

Mali:                            0 hours (West) 

Mallorca Islands:                1 hours (East)

Malta:                           1 hours (East)

Mariana Island:                 10 hours (East)

Marquesas Islands:               9.5 hours (West)

Marshall Islands:               12 hours (East)

Martinique:                      4 hours (West)

Mauritania:                      0 hours (West) 

Mauritius:                       4 hours (East)

Mayotte:                         3 hours (East)

Melilla:                         1 hours (East)

Mexico:                          6 hours (West)

Mexico Baja Calif Norte:         8 hours (West)

Mexico Nayarit:                  7 hours (West)

Mexico Sinaloa:                  7 hours (West)

Mexico Sonora:                   7 hours (West)

Midway Island:                  11 hours (West)

Moldova:                         2 hours (East)

Moldovian Rep Pridnestrovye:     2 hours (East)

Monaco:                          1 hours (East)

Mongolia:                        8 hours (East)

Morocco:                         0 hours (West) 

Mozambique:                      2 hours (East)

Myanmar:                         6.5 hours (East)


Namibia:                         1 hours (East)

Nauru Republic of:              12 hours (East)

Nepal:                           5.75 hours (East)

Netherlands:                     1 hours (East)

Netherlands Antilles:            4 hours (West)

Nevis Montserrat:                4 hours (West)

New Caledonia:                  11 hours (East)

New Hebrides:                   11 hours (East)

New Zealand:                    12 hours (East)

Nicaragua:                       6 hours (West)

Niger:                           1 hours (East)

Nigeria:                         1 hours (East)

Niue Island:                    11 hours (West)

Norfolk Island:                 11.5 hours (East)

Northern Ireland:                0 hours (West)

Northern Mariana Islands:       10 hours (East)

Norway:                          1 hours (East)


Oman:                            4 hours (East)


Pakistan:                        5 hours (East)

Palau:                           9 hours (East)

Panama:                          5 hours (West)

Papua New Guinea:               10 hours (East)

Paraguay:                        4 hours (West)

Peru:                            5 hours (West)

Philippines:                     8 hours (East)

Pingelap:                       12 hours (East)

Poland:                          1 hours (East)

Ponape Island:                  11 hours (East)

Portugal:                        1 hours (East)

Principe Island:                 0 hours (West) 

Puerto Rico:                     4 hours (West)


Qatar:                           3 hours (East)


Reunion:                         4 hours (East)

Romania:                         2 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone one:     2 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone two:     3 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone three:   4 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone four:    5 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone five:    6 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone six:     7 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone seven:   8 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone eight:   9 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone nine:   10 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone ten:    11 hours (East)

Russian Federation zone eleven: 12 hours (East)

Rwanda:                          2 hours (East)


Saba:                            4 hours (West)

Samoa:                          11 hours (West)

San Marino:                      1 hours (East)

Sao Tome e Principe:             0 hours (West) 

Saudi Arabia:                    3 hours (East)

Scotland:                        0 hours (West)

Senegal:                         0 hours (West) 

Seychelles:                      4 hours (East)

Sierra Leone:                    0 hours (West) 

Singapore:                       8 hours (East)

Slovakia:                        1 hours (East)

Slovenia:                        1 hours (East)

Society Island:                 10 hours (West)

Solomon Islands:                11 hours (East)

Somalia:                         3 hours (East)

South Africa:                    2 hours (East)

Spain:                           1 hours (East)

Sri Lanka:                       5.5 hours (East)

St Christopher:                  4 hours (West)

St Croix:                        4 hours (West)

St Helena:                       0 hours (West) 

St John:                         4 hours (West)

St Kitts Nevis:                  4 hours (West)

St Lucia:                        4 hours (West)

St Maarten:                      4 hours (West)

St Pierre & Miquelon:            3 hours (West)

St Thomas:                       4 hours (West)

St Vincent:                      4 hours (West)

Sudan:                           2 hours (East)

Suriname:                        3 hours (West)

Swaziland:                       2 hours (East)

Sweden:                          1 hours (East)

Switzerland:                     1 hours (East)

Syria:                           2 hours (East)


Tahiti:                         10 hours (West)

Taiwan:                          8 hours (East)

Tajikistan:                      6 hours (East)

Tanzania:                        3 hours (East)

Thailand:                        7 hours (East)

Togo:                            0 hours (West) 

Tonga:                          13 hours (East)

Trinidad and Tobago:             4 hours (West)

Tuamotu Island:                 10 hours (West)

Tubuai Island:                  10 hours (West)

Tunisia:                         1 hours (East)

Turkey:                          2 hours (East)

Turkmenistan:                    5 hours (East)

Turks and Caicos Islands:        5 hours (West)

Tuvalu:                         12 hours (East)


Uganda:                          3 hours (East)

Ukraine:                         2 hours (East)

United Arab Emirates:            4 hours (East)

United Kingdom:                  0 hours (West)

USA Aleutian:                   10 hours (West)

USA Hawaii:                     10 hours (West)

USA Alaska:                      9 hours (West)

USA Pacific:                     8 hours (West)

USA Mountain:                    7 hours (West)

USA Arizona:                     7 hours (West)

USA Central:                     6 hours (West)

USA Eastern:                     5 hours (West)

USA Indiana East:                5 hours (West)

Uruguay:                         3 hours (West)

Uzbekistan:                      5 hours (East)


Vanuatu:                        11 hours (East)

Vatican City:                    1 hours (East)

Venezuela:                       4 hours (West)

Vietnam:                         7 hours (East)

Virgin Islands:                  4 hours (West)


Wake Island:                    12 hours (East)

Wales:                           0 hours (West)

Wallis and Futuna Islands:      12 hours (East)

Windward Islands:                4 hours (West)


Yemen:                           3 hours (East)

Yugoslavia:                      1 hours (East)


Zaire Kinshasa Mbandaka:         1 hours (East)

Zaire Kasai:                     2 hours (East)

Zaire Haut Zaire:                2 hours (East)

Zaire Kivu:                      2 hours (East)

Zaire Shaba:                     2 hours (East)

Zambia:                          2 hours (East)

Zimbabwe:                        2 hours (East)

Europe - Standard Time Zones

There are three different time zones across the EU:

1. Western Europe Time (Standard Time = GMT)

(United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal)

2. Central Europe Time   (Standard Time = GMT + 1)

(Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, (Non-EU:) Norway, Switzerland)

3. Eastern Europe Time (Standard Time = GMT + 2)

(Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania,

(Non-EU:) Belarus, Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine)

USA Time Zones

The United States has six time zones.  It shares four time zones with Canada viz. Eastern Time, Central Time, Mountain Time and Pacific Time.

Hawaii Time and Alaska Time are separate Time zones.

USA - Eastern EST/EDT

EST -5 hours

EDT -4 hours

USA - Central

CST -6 hours

CDT -5 hours

USA - Mountain

MST -7 hours

MDT -8 hours

USA - Pacific

PST -8 hours

PDT -7 hours

USA - Alaska Yukon

AKST -9 hours

AKDT -8 hours

USA - Hawaii

AHST -10 hours

Standard       Time Zone      Description

Abbreviation  (+ or - GMT)     ( Name )


GMT              0           Greenwich Mean

WAT              1           West African

AZT              2           Azores

BZT              3           Brazil (zone 2)

AST              4           Atlantic

EST              5           Eastern

CST              6           Central

MST              7           Mountain

PST              8           Pacific

YST              9           Yukon

AHT              10          Alaska-Hawaii

NAT              11          Nome, Alaska

NZT              -12         New Zealand

Z11              -11         Zone11(USSR zone10)

GST              -10         Guam

JST              -9          Japan

CCT              -8          China Coast

SST              -7          Southern Sumatra

R5T              -6          Russion Zone 5

R4T              -5          Russion Zone 4

R3T              -4          Russion Zone 3

BGT              -3          Baghdad

EET              -2          Eastern European

CET              -1          Central European

NFT              3.5         Newfoundland

HST              10.5        Hawaiian Standard

KET              -2.5        Kenya

IRT              -3.5        Iran

IST              -5.5        India Standard Time

NST              -6.5        North Sumatra

SAT              -9.5        South Australia

OZT              -11.5       Old New Zealand

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