If it's 6 a.m. in New York, what time is it at the South Pole? At the North Pole? On the International Space Station? Earth's time zones, like lines of longitude, converge at the poles. Visitors can spin around the five-foot-tall, thin metal pole that marks the South Pole and "visit" all the world's time zones in a flash. But what time is it really? Answer: If it's 6 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, it's 11 a.m. at the North Pole, at the South Pole, and on the International Space Station. That's because they all keep Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the time at the Zero Meridian running through Greenwich, England. Two interesting exceptions: McMurdo Station in Antarctica, the year-round science research outpost, keeps New Zealand time. Space shuttles, before they dock at the space station, run on Houston time.
Sources: United States Naval Observatory; former Antarctic journalist Alexander Colhoun; Valerie Carroll, communications manager for Raytheon Polar Services; NASA; about.com.