coordinated universal time

American Heritage
Science Dictionary
coordinated universal time   (kō-ôr'dn-ā'tĭd)  Pronunciation Key 
A highly accurate time scale based on time measured by an atomic clock. Because coordinated universal time is unaffected by the gradual slowing of Earth's rotation, leap seconds are added as needed to synchronize it with the sidereal (rotation-based) universal time. Coordinated universal time is used internationally for scientific and technical purposes. Compare universal time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

Coordinated Universal Time definition

time, standard
(UTC, World Time) The standard time common to every place in the world. UTC is derived from International Atomic Time (TAI) by the addition of a whole number of "leap seconds" to synchronise it with Universal Time 1 (UT1), thus allowing for the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit, the rotational axis tilt (23.5 degrees), but still showing the Earth's irregular rotation, on which UT1 is based.
Coordinated Universal Time is expressed using a 24-hour clock and uses the Gregorian calendar. It is used in aeroplane and ship navigation, where it also sometimes known by the military name, "Zulu time". "Zulu" in the phonetic alphabet stands for "Z" which stands for longitude zero.
UTC was defined by the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR), a predecessor of the ITU-T. CCIR Recommendation 460-4, or ITU-T Recommendation X.680 (7/94), contains the full definition.
The language-independent international abbreviation, UTC, is neither English nor French. It means both "Coordinated Universal Time" and "Temps Universel Coordonné".
BIPM (http://bipm.fr/enus/5_Scientific/c_time/time_1.html).
The Royal Observatory Greenwich (http://rog.nmm.ac.uk/leaflets/time/time.html).
History of UTC and GMT (http://ecco.bsee.swin.edu.au/chronos/GMT-explained.html).
U.S. National Institute of Standards & Technology (http://its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/dir-009/_1277.htm).
UK National Physical Laboratory (http://npl.co.uk/npl/ctm/time_scales.html).
US Naval Observatory (http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/systime.html).
International Telecommunications Union (http://itu.int/radioclub/rr/arts02.htm).
Earth's irregular rotation (http://foldoc.org/pub/misc/earth_rotation).
(2001-08-30)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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