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For example, what would this be for July 1st, 2020, in New York (Eastern Time)?

Is UTC-12 the same as AoE ("Anywhere on Earth")?

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3 Answers 3

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"UTC-12" is a timezone 12 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time, which is (more or less) the time in Greenwich, UK. Nobody actually lives there, though.

A day is 24 hours, and the Earth is divided into 27 major timezones from UTC-12 to UTC+141, with the UK in the middle(ish). Therefore, someone in UTC-12 is the very last person to reach a time. At the time it is 12:01 AM UTC-12, it's 12:01 PM UTC+0, and 11:01 PM UTC+11.

So by setting the submission deadline to 11:59 PM UTC-12 on a given day, it ensures that anyone anywhere in the world who submits on the appropriate day will be on time. Hence, "anywhere on Earth."

New York is UTC-4 during the summer, which means the deadline is 7:59 AM the following day.


1: It would seem like only 24 timezones would be necessary, but a few regions chose to move to UTC+13 and UTC+14 for their own reasons. Someone in UTC+13 is 25 hours ahead of UTC-12 (so 1:01 AM the next day). The details aren't important, but in case you'd like to do your own reading.

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Since UTC-12:00 is the westernmost/'latest' timezone on Earth, this is indeed another way to denote 'Anywhere on Earth'.

Eastern Standard Time (EST) is not used in New York on July 1st; instead, they use Eastern Daylight Time which is UTC-04:00, so July 1st 11:59PM UTC-12:00 is July 2nd 7:59AM EDT.

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  • I learned this in doing my own research: "Latest" may be confusing; as the time in UTC-12 is the earliest within a given day (see how Wiki refers to UTC+14: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC%2B14:00). Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 21:57
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    That's why it is in quotes; 'latest' as in 'the last timezone to reach a certain date/time'.
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 4:09
  • Note that Wikipedia refers to both UTC+14 and UTC-12 as the earliest and latest timezone: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTC%E2%88%9212:00 ...
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Jul 2, 2020 at 4:51
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UTC-12 means that it's 12 hours behind UTC. That's the maximum distance in our 24 hour day clock. So UTC-12 is the timezone where calendars end.

That's probably the motivation behind using it as a deadline. For example, if the deadline is January 31st UTC-12, then as soon as it's not January anymore anywhere, the deadline has passed.


Is UTC-12 the same as AoE ("Anywhere on Earth")?

AoE could be interpreted to apply daylight savings time. UTC never applies daylight savings time.

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    note that while UTC-12 is the maximum distance in that direction, going the other direction there is an UTC+14 timezone, meaning there's actually a 26 hour difference between the two ends of the timezone map
    – SztupY
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 23:42
  • @SztupY I didn't know that, but reading about it it's pretty interesting.
    – ObscureOwl
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 23:46
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    (+1) For those of us more geographically minded, this time zone is in the central Pacific, and is two hours behind Honolulu Standard Time.
    – cag51
    Commented Jan 21, 2020 at 23:53

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