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    Re: International Date Line --invented by Schedler
    From: UNK
    Date: 2011 Jul 10, 14:55 +0000

    On 2011-07-10 07:07, Frank Reed wrote:
    > Oh and to reiterate something that I wrote in a post to John, the fact
    > that the date line, however defined, is near 180 degrees longitude is
    > not necessarily connected with the choice of Greenwich as the Prime
    > Meridian. If Washington, DC had been chosen as the Prime Meridian,
    > would you really run the date line through 180 degrees from
    > Washington?? :)
    
    I think there is such a connection, and you are yourself making a strong
    argument for it, but the reasoning went the opposite way.
    
    If the proposal of the IGA conference in Rome (1883) would have been
    adopted (i.e. chosing Greenwich and counting the day from noon), the
    date line would run across Europe. This is probably the reason why
    nothing came of it. Be it that the astronomers meeting in Washington
    were more practically involved in time reckoning than the geodesists
    meeting a year earlier, or simply that the delegates in Washington had
    specific political mandates from their governments; the fact is that the
    problem of date brake became a concern at the conference in Washington.
    E.g. Struve proposed to place the prime meridian at the anti-meridian of
    Greenwich, to have it out of the way of civilization, where the
    discontinuity in date (and longitude, if counted from 0 to 360!) would
    inconvenience only a few Tschouktschis. Others recognized that the same
    goal could be achieved more elegantly by counting the "cosmopolitan" day
    from midnight instead of noon (and longitude in both directions).
    
    It was the combination of there having been a respectable transit
    instrument centered on the chosen meridian and no sign of civilization
    anywhere on its anti-meridian that won the day for Greenwich.
    
    Herbert Prinz
    
    
    
    
    
    

       
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