The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of navigation on the surface of the Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next.It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups. (Times are approximate, since time zone boundaries generally do not exactly coincide with meridians.A 1995 realignment of the IDL made Caroline Island one of the first points of land on Earth to reach January 1, 2000 on the calendar (UTC 14).As a result, this atoll was renamed Millennium Island.Kiribati's easternmost islands, the southern Line Islands south of Hawaii, have the most advanced time on Earth, UTC 14 hours.South of Kiribati, the IDL returns westwards but remains east of 180°, passing between Samoa and American Samoa.(See § Cartographic practice and convention below.) A person who goes around the world from east to west (the same direction as Magellan's voyage) would gain or set their clock back one hour for every 15° of longitude crossed, and would gain 24 hours for one circuit of the globe from east to west if they did not compensate by setting their clock forward one day when they crossed the IDL.In contrast, a west-to-east circumnavigation of the globe loses an hour for every 15° of longitude crossed but gains back a day when crossing the IDL.
According to the clock, the first areas to experience a new day and a New Year are islands that use UTC 14.
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The IDL must therefore be observed in conjunction with the Earth's time zones: on crossing it in either direction, the calendar date is adjusted by one day.