Time in Antarctica

Map of approximate time zones on the continent of Antarctica. Stations could use time zones not matching the map.

Antarctica sits on every line of longitude, due to the South Pole being situated on the continent. Theoretically, Antarctica would be located in all time zones; however, areas south of the Antarctic Circle experience extreme day-night cycles near the times of the June and December solstices, making it difficult to determine which time zone would be appropriate. For practical purposes time zones are usually based on territorial claims; however, many stations use the time of the country they are owned by or the time zone of their supply base (e.g. McMurdo Station and Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station use New Zealand time due to their main supply base being Christchurch, New Zealand).[1] Nearby stations can have different time zones, due to their belonging to different countries. Many areas have no time zone since nothing is decided and there are not even any temporary settlements that have any clocks. They are simply labeled with UTC time.[2][failed verification]

TZ databaseEdit

The file zone.tab of the tz database contains the following zones, columns marked with * contain data from the file zone.tab. Only permanently inhabited stations are tracked by the tz database staff. Some summer only stations with different time might exist.

  Country code* Coordinates* Zone name* Comment* UTC offset
standard time
DST Area covered
AQ -6448-06406 Antarctica/Palmer Palmer Station, Anvers Island −03:00 No Palmer Land
AQ -6734-06808 Antarctica/Rothera Rothera Station, Adelaide Island −03:00 No Graham Land
AQ -7200+00232 Antarctica/Troll Troll Station, Queen Maud Land +00:00[3] Doubly so Queen Maud Land
AQ -690022+0393524 Antarctica/Syowa Syowa Station, E Ongul I +03:00 No Queen Maud Land, Enderby Land
AQ -6736+06253 Antarctica/Mawson Mawson Station, Holme Bay +05:00 No Mac. Robertson Land
AQ -7824+10654 Antarctica/Vostok Vostok Station, Lake Vostok +06:00 No Inland Antarctica, Queen Maud Land
AQ -6835+07758 Antarctica/Davis Davis Station, Vestfold Hills +07:00 No Wilkes Land
AQ -6617+11031 Antarctica/Casey Casey Station, Bailey Peninsula +08:00 No Wilkes Land
AQ -6640+14001 Antarctica/DumontDUrville Dumont-d'Urville Station, Adélie Land +10:00 No Adélie Land, Victoria Land
AQ -5430+15857 Antarctica/Macquarie Macquarie Island +11:00 No Macquarie Island
AQ -7750+16636 Antarctica/McMurdo McMurdo, South Pole, Scott (New Zealand time) +12:00 Yes Ross Dependency
-- -9000+00000 Antarctica/South_Pole +12:00 Yes South Pole

The coordinates are latitude and longitude, and for each there are 2 or 3 digits for degrees, 2 digits for minutes and for some 2 digits for seconds.

Palmer (-3)
Rothera (-3)
Vostok (+6)
Syowa (+3)
Mawson (+5)
Davis (+7)
Casey (+8)
Dumont-d'Urville (+10)
McMurdo (+12)
South Pole (+12)
Troll (0)
Locations of the reference bases (Not shown:Macquarie (+11) on Macquarie Island )

Daylight saving timeEdit

For the most part, daylight saving time (DST) is not observed in Antarctica because 95 percent of the continent is located south of the Antarctic Circle and the midnight sun phenomenon renders the use of DST unnecessary, and it would further complicate communication with the claimant countries in the northern hemisphere.

However, a few regions such as the Ross Dependency and, formerly, Palmer Land, observe the time and use of DST of the countries they are supplied from, New Zealand and Chile, respectively.[1] The areas have DST during the southern summer, when there is the northern winter, including January.


  1. ^ a b "Local Time → Antarctica @ Time Genie". Timegenie.com. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  2. ^ "Current local time in Antarctica – South Pole". Timeanddate.com. 2013-04-07. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  3. ^ Forskingsstasjonen Troll (Norwegian Polar Institute) (The Norwegian text under the webcamera says "The time zone where Troll is located, UTC+0, is 1 hours behind Norwegian time". Contacts with the Norwegian Polar Institute has revealed that they use UTC+2 (Norwegian DST) during the dark winter, for communication simplicity, since no airplanes fly anyway then)

External linksEdit