Latitudes and Longitudes

Earth’s surface is extremely vast that unless and until a mathematical method is used, it is impossible to locate places on earth. Due to this reason, imaginary lines have been drawn on the globe in the form of Latitudes & Longitudes.

 What are Latitudes?

These are the imaginary lines running from east to west, parallel to the equator. It is the angular distance of a point on the surface of earth measured in degrees from the centre of earth as shown below.

 

 

LATITUDELatitudes are parallel to the equator (hence called Parallels of Latitude) which lies midway between the poles. (Equator is a imaginary line which  divides the earth into two equal halves).Equator is denoted as 00 while north and south poles are denoted 900 N and 900 S Respectively.

Between these points Latitudes are drawn at an interval of 10 which is again divided into 60 minutes and each minute is divided into 60 seconds for precise location on the map.

All Latitudes are circles of 3600, except the Poles which are Points.

 

 

LONGITUDEWhat are Longitudes?

These are the imaginary lines running from North to South, passing through the poles. It is the angular distance measured in degrees along the equator east or west of the Prime Meridian.

 

 

What is Prime Meridian?

Longitudes are shown as a series of semi circles that run from pole to pole passing through the equator. Such lines are called Meridians. In 1884, it was decided by international agreement to choose as zero meridian the line (Longitude) which passes through the Royal Astronomical Observatory at Greenwich, near London. This is the Prime Meridian from which all other Meridians radiate eastwards and westwards up-to 1800.

The intersection of Latitude and Longitude pin points any place on earth. For example London is 51030’ N and 005’ W.

 

What is Tropic of Cancer?

The imaginary line running from east to west 23½  0 N latitude is termed as Tropic of Cancer.

Countries through which Tropic of Cancer Passes.

 

 

 

 

What is Tropic of Capricorn?

The imaginary line running from east to west 23½  0 S latitude is termed as Tropic of   Capricorn.

Countries through which Tropic of Capricorn Passes.

 

 

What is Arctic Circle?

The imaginary line running from east to west 66½  0 N latitude is termed as Arctic Circle.

What do you mean by Antarctic Circle?

The imaginary line running from east to west 66½  0 S latitude is termed as Antarctic Circle.

 What do you understand by Latitudinal Zones?

Depending upon the area enclosed between the latitudes, earth has been divided into following Latitudinal Zones.

Latitudinal Zone Latitudinal Extent Characteristic Features
Equatorial Zone 100 N to 100 S Hot & humid throughout the year
Tropical Zone 23 ½ 0 Nto 23 ½ 0 S Winterless
Sub Tropical Zone 23 ½ 0 to 350 in both Hemisphere. Winter short and Mild
Temperate Zone 350 to 450 in both Hemisphere. Distinct Winters
Sub Polar Zone 450 to  66 ½ 0 in both Hemisphere. Winter long and Severe, summer short & Cool
Polar Zone 66 ½ 0 to 90 ½ 0 in both Hemisphere. Summer- less

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