prime meridian

prime meridian, meridian that is designated zero degree (0°) longitude, from which all other longitudes are measured. By international convention, it passes through the site of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England; for this reason, it is sometimes called the Greenwich meridian. Universal time , the standard basis for determining time throughout the world, is civil time measured at the prime meridian.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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