Millennium Dome at dusk - QA Photos/NMEC

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the Millennium start in Greenwich?

The millennium starts in Greenwich because in 1884 at an International conference in Washington, DC, USA it was agreed to have a Universal Day. The day begins at the Prime Meridian of the World (Zero Longitude) - The Greenwich Meridian - an imaginary line from North Pole to South Pole through the primary transit instrument (telescope) at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Hence each and every day begins in Greenwich including of course 1 January 2000 (although the Millennium officially starts on 1 January 2001).

Full details of the 1884 Conference, the delegates and main resolutions passed are all on site.

How many seconds are left until the Year 2000 & Millennium?

See: Countdown Clock to 2000 or Countdown Clock to 2001

Which place has the first sunrise in the Millennium?

Prepare for a shock!

There has been a lot of speculation about which country, city, town will be the one to see the first sun-rise of the new millennium. Countries have even been jumping the international date line in order to achieve this status. If you really want to see the first sunrise then get your thermals on and head for Antarctica.

Is the Year 2000 a Leap Year?

This has been the subject of a lot a debate. When the year is a century (I.E. ends in 00). The century rule applies. The century has to divide by 4. So 1900 was NOT a leap year. The year 2000 WILL be a leap year. Nobody has worked out if there will need to be a correction for the year 4000. But I guess we won't be around to worry about that!


  When does the Millennium start?

The millennium officially starts on 1 January 2001 at Greenwich. But most people are regarding 1 January 2000 as a good day to start the party!

If you have a question about the Millennium why not email:


US Naval Observatory

US Naval Observatory

The US Naval Observatory has put together a series of pages part of the White House Millennium program to answer many of the millennium questions such as:

Historic Greenwich

There is a thousand years of history in Greenwich. This millennium started with the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Greenwich in 1012 and has seen many famous events and characters in history visit here. King Henry VIII was born in Greenwich as were his children including Queen Elizabeth I.  See Greenwich Past: Heritage

PS Apologies to those of you who spell millennium with one 'N' - Millenium


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