What is Moon Time Zone?

Moon Time Zone has been proposed for establishing a universal timekeeping system that will simplify communication and coordination among different lunar missions. The proposal has come in response to the increasing number of lunar missions being planned and launched by different countries and entities- with some of the upcoming missions including Japan’s M1 lunar lander and the Nova-C lander of Houston-based Intuitive Machines. Its creation will help in future space explorations, including the possibility of establishing a Martian time zone.

Why is Moon Time Zone in News?

The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently proposed the need for a lunar time zone. It has called for international coordination and consensus to establish it. One of the questions that need to be settled is whether lunar time should be set on the moon or synchronized with Earth.

What is Moon’s Time Zone?

Like the GMT of the earth which has 24 different time zones, a moon time zone is the need of the moment. The earth time zone is divided into 24. The difference between the consecutive zones of the earth is one hour and each time zone is 15 degrees wide. The zero time zone starts at Greenwich Meridian. Similarly, based on the rotations and revolutions of the moon, a time zone should be created for the moon. This is referred to as Moon Time Zone.

How to establish Moon Time Zone?

The European Space Agency that initiated the Moon Time zone concept says that the moon time zone shall be established in two ways. One is to set the time based only on the rotations of the moon. The second way is to synchronize its timings with the earth. For instance, if the time in London is 12 AM, then it is 5:30 AM in India. Because India is ahead of London by five and a half hours. Similarly, if the time on the earth is X, then what will be the time on the moon? Ahead or Behind?




1 Comment

  1. David

    March 13, 2023 at 4:16 am

    I think it should be easy. Initially we set Lunar Time to be GMT +25. We will need some computers and GPS satellites to correct for Lunar Time drift. This way since each time zone on earth has a definite offset from GMT then it is easy to figure out Lunar Time by simply adding or subtracting the difference between the two offsets. Giving the moon an offset of 25 ensures that no place on earth has the same time as Lunar Time and everyone equally has to do offset calculations.


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