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Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Greenwich Meridian

Have you heard of GMT? Greenwich Mean Time!? I believe this term is very familiar to you at least if you have learned about geography in your school or if you search for a place’s current time, you will find ‘Standard Time + (number) GMT'. Although the term Universal Time (UT) is used to replace GMT, the term GMT has been and is still in use since over 300 years until now.

Because of the infamous GMT, then, I spent one day to visit Greenwich when I was in London. Greenwich is in South-East London and very famous with its Greenwich Meridian (0 degrees longitude). I went there by boat from Thames Barrier Pier and arrived at Greenwich Pier. I visited the Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory. The park is huge and I love it! It is beautiful ... and the Royal Observatory is in the centre of the park.


The Greenwich Pier

The Royal Observatory is a historical place. It was established by King Charles II in 1675. It was built to calculate the longitude of places for navigation purposes. The longitude was calculated from the Greenwich meridian, which was regarded as zero degrees longitude. Greenwich meridian is claimed as the standard for world time. I managed to see and take pictures of the famous Prime Meridian ‘line’ in the Royal Observatory. The Prime Meridian line represents the zero degrees longitude and divides the western and eastern hemispheres of the earth.


Indonesia (Jakarta) Longitude: 106 degrees, 45 seconds East

If you come to London, spend one day to go and take picture of the line. You can stand with one foot on the eastern hemisphere and the other on the western. The line lies on the ground and walls of the Observatory yard.


The Shepherd Gate Clock


The Greenwich Meridian Line

So, what time is it now? Mine is +7 GMT ...

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