White House wants Moon to have its own time zone

The White House wants US space agency Nasa to develop a new time zone for the Moon – Coordinated Lunar Time (CLT). Because of the different gravitational field strength on the Moon, time moves quicker there relative to Earth – 58.7 microseconds every day. This might not seem like much, but it can have a significant impact when trying to synchronise spacecraft.

The US government hopes the new time will help keep national and private efforts to reach the moon co-ordinated. Prof Catherine Heymans, Scotland’s Astronomer Royal, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This fundamental theory of gravity in our Universe has an important consequence that time runs differently in different places in the Universe.

Time is currently measured on Earth by hundreds of atomic clocks stationed around our planet which measure the changing energy state of atoms to record time to the nanosecond.

Credit: bbc.com


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