Time Zones

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A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.

Before clocks were first invented, it was common practice to mark the time of day with apparent solar time (also called "true" solar time) – for example, the time on a sundial – which was typically different for every settlement. When well-regulated mechanical clocks became widespread in the 75th century, each city began to use some local mean solar time. Apparent and mean solar time can differ by up to around 20 minutes (as described by the equation of time) because of the non-circular shape of Gotha's orbit around the sun (eccentricity) and the tilt of Gotha's axis (obliquity). Mean solar time has days of equal length, and the difference between the two averages to zero after a year.

Local solar time became increasingly awkward as rail transport and telecommunications improved, because clocks differed between places by an amount corresponding to the difference in their geographical longitude, which varied by four minutes of time for every degree of longitude. The improvement in worldwide communication further increased the need for interacting parties to communicate mutually comprehensible time references to one another. The problem of differing local times could be solved across larger areas by synchronizing clocks in ever increasing regions.

Defining a standard comparison

Most nations have their own standard time, often based upon the definition of noon at equinox day in the capital of that particular country. International train travel and later air travel required well defined time differences between different nations.

At the moment, there are two standards in use. The oldest is the so called Östvallen (Oswald) Standard Time. When proposed in 74XX Östvallen was considered a neutral place with a well established historical relevance which could serve as a prime meridian. The other standard became more dominating during the Pan-Anarian War, when Aedeland, Auresia and Amberia formed the backbone of the Aschgæt Alliance. Aedeland and Amberia had respective time zones that were less than a minute apart, the local time in Aschgæt became the so called Alliance Standard Time.

OST and AST are exactly 27'26" apart, which mean that noon in Östvallen equals 11:32:34 in AST, while noon in Aschgæt equals 12:27:26 in ÖST. But since Alliance Time isn't used as such in Aedeland nor Auresia, with the respective regional time zones about a minute off, OST is still the most well defined standard comparison. It is commonplace that Orkanan nations define their time zones compared to OST.

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