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Coordinated Universal Time

The UTC is acronym for "Coordinated Universal Time".

The times of various events, particularly astronomical and weather phenomena, are often given in "Universal Time" (abbreviated UT) which is sometimes referred to, now colloquially, as "Greenwich Mean Time" (abbreviated GMT). The two terms are often used loosely to refer to time kept on the Greenwich meridian (longitude zero)

However, in the most common civil usage, UT refers to a time scale called "Coordinated Universal Time" (abbreviated UTC), which is the basis for the worldwide system of civil time. This time scale is kept by time laboratories around the world, including the U.S. Naval Observatory, and is determined using highly precise atomic clocks. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures makes use of data from the timing laboratories to provide the international standard UTC which is accurate to approximately a nanosecond (billionth of a second) per day. The length of a UTC second is defined in terms of an atomic transition of the element cesium under specific conditions, and is not directly related to any astronomical phenomena.

UTC is equivalent to the civil time for Iceland, Liberia, Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, and several other countries. During the winter months, UTC is also the civil time scale for the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Why is UTC used as the acronym for Coordinated Universal Time instead of CUT?

In 1970 the Coordinated Universal Time system was devised by an international advisory group of technical experts within the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU felt it was best to designate a single abbreviation for use in all languages in order to minimize confusion. Since unanimous agreement could not be achieved on using either the English word order, CUT, or the French word order, TUC, the acronym UTC was chosen as a compromise.

How I can watch the UTC time?

There is a lot of clocks that can help you. And, certainly, our AlphaClock also allow this.

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© Last modified: Last modified:    November 30, 2006 

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