Coordinated Universal Time

Current UTC
January 21, 2020 18:21:22 (UTC) – Refresh
World map of current time zones

Coordinated Universal Time (or UTC) is the primary time standard by which the world regulates clocks and time. It is within about 1 second of mean solar time at 0° longitude, and is not adjusted for daylight saving time. In some countries, the term Greenwich Mean Time is used.

The co-ordination of time and frequency transmissions around the world began on 1 January 1960. UTC was first officially adopted as CCIR Recommendation 374, Standard-Frequency and Time-Signal Emissions, in 1963, but the official abbreviation of UTC and the official English name of Coordinated Universal Time (along with the French equivalent) were not adopted until 1967.[1]

The system has been adjusted several times, including a brief period where time coordination radio signals broadcast both UTC and "Stepped Atomic Time (SAT)" before a new UTC was adopted in 1970 and implemented in 1972. This change also adopted leap seconds to simplify future adjustments. This CCIR Recommendation 460 "stated that (a) carrier frequencies and time intervals should be maintained constant and should correspond to the definition of the SI second; (b) step adjustments, when necessary, should be exactly 1 s to maintain approximate agreement with Universal Time (UT); and (c) standard signals should contain information on the difference between UTC and UT."[2]

A number of proposals have been made to replace UTC with a new system that would eliminate leap seconds. A decision whether to remove them altogether has been deferred until 2023.[3]

The current version of UTC is defined by International Telecommunications Union Recommendation (ITU-R TF.460-6), Standard-frequency and time-signal emissions,[4] and is based on International Atomic Time (TAI) with leap seconds added at irregular intervals to compensate for the slowing of the Earth's rotation.[5] Leap seconds are inserted as necessary to keep UTC within 0.9 second of the UT1 variant of universal time.[6] See the "Current number of leap seconds" section for the number of leap seconds inserted to date.


The official abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time is UTC. This abbreviation arose from a desire by the International Telecommunication Union and the International Astronomical Union to use the same abbreviation in all languages. English speakers originally proposed CUT (for "coordinated universal time"), while French speakers proposed TUC (for "temps universel coordonné"). The compromise that emerged was UTC,[7] which conforms to the pattern for the abbreviations of the variants of Universal Time (UT0, UT1, UT2, UT1R, etc.).[8]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: UTC
azərbaycanca: Ümumdünya vaxtı
Bân-lâm-gú: UTC
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Унівэрсальны каардынаваны час
brezhoneg: UTC
Cymraeg: UTC
dansk: UTC
davvisámegiella: UTC
ދިވެހިބަސް: ޔޫ.ޓީ.ސީ.
eesti: UTC
Esperanto: UTC
euskara: UTC
føroyskt: UTC
한국어: 협정 세계시
Ido: UTC
íslenska: UTC
Latina: UTC
Lëtzebuergesch: Koordinéiert Weltzäit
Limburgs: UTC
မြန်မာဘာသာ: Coordinated Universal Time
Nederlands: UTC
Nedersaksies: UTC
日本語: 協定世界時
Nordfriisk: UTC
norsk: UTC
norsk nynorsk: UTC
Nouormand: UTC
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: UTC
саха тыла: UTC
Seeltersk: UTC
sicilianu: UTC
српски / srpski: UTC
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Koordinirano univerzalno vreme
ၽႃႇသႃႇတႆး : Coordinated Universal Time
Sunda: UTC
Tagalog: UTC
татарча/tatarça: Bötendönya kileşterelgän waqıtı
vepsän kel’: UTC
Võro: UTC
Zazaki: UTC