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Latitude, Longitude & Time

Lines of Latitude and Longitude are used to locate places accurately on the Earth's surface.

Lines of longitude run from the top of the Earth to the bottom. They are not parallel as lines of latitude are – they meet at a point at the north and south poles and are called meridians.

They divide the Earth into segments, like an orange. Some important details about these lines include:

  • The line which runs through Greenwich in London is called the Greenwich Meridian or Prime Meridian. The Prime Meridian is 0° longitude.
  • The Earth is then divided into 180° east and 180° west.

Lines of latitude circle the Earth in an east-west direction. They are parallel and differ in lengths:
  • the Equator is 40,075 km long
  • the Antarctic circle is 17,662 km long
  • the South Pole is 0 km long
Important lines of latitude:
  • the Equator (0°)
  • the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° north)
  • the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5° south)
  • the Arctic circle (66.5° north)
  • the Antarctic circle (66.5° south)
  • the North Pole (90° north)
  • the South Pole (90° south)

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