Our planet Earth consists of some imaginary lines going from east to west and north to south. Theses line are known as Latitude and Longitude. Latitudes are horizontal lines going across east to the west whereas longitudes aro going down from north to south. These imaginary lines help us by finding an accurate position, distance, time, etc. Read more on Geography topics here.

What is Latitude?

The latitude lines calculate position north-south between the poles. The equator is defined at 0 degrees. The north pole is north of the Equator and the south pole is south of the Equator. All lines are parallel to each other and are thus also known as parallels.

What is Latitude? Facts and characteristics of Latitude

It is a calculation of position north or south of the Equator on a globe or map. Latitude has three different kinds

  1. Geocentric
  2. Astronomical
  3. Geographic

Here we are talking about the geocentric kind. Geocentric latitude, defined in degrees, minutes, and seconds, is the arc subtended by an angle at the center of the Earth and measured from the Equator on a north-south plane pole-ward. Therefore, a point at 45 ° 35′25′′ S subtends an angle of 45 ° 35′25′′ at the middle of the globe; likewise, the arc between the Equator and each geological pole is 90 ° or right angle and thus the largest latitudes imaginable are 90 ° N and 90 ° S.

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In comparison, a somewhat different method is used to measure geographic latitude, which is the type used in modeling. Since Earth isn’t a perfect sphere, the curvature of the globe at the poles is flatter. It is an arc define by an equatorial plane and a normal line that can be traced on the surface of the earth at a given point.

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What is Longitude? Facts About Longitudinal Lines

Units of Latitude

Latitude is presented in degrees (°). Per degree is 1/360 of a complete circle’s 360 degrees. By extension, latitude at the equator is 0 °. The distance from the equator to either the North Pole or the South Pole is one-fourth of the Earth. About one-fourth of a 360 ° sphere is 90 °. Thus the latitude of the North Pole is 90 ° N and South Pole is 90 ° S.

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Facts and characteristics of Latitude

  • It is an imaginary, parallel line extending from East to West across the World. It starts at the Equator where its value is 0 degrees.
  • The Equator splits the World into two hemispheres north and south.
  • A point halfway between the equator and the poles is 45 °.
  • A 30-degree latitude is one-third of the way from the equator to the pole.
  • Usually measured and expressed in degrees, the latitude is conveniently converted to miles.
  • The distance from each pole to the equator is 6,222 statute miles or 10,013 km.
  • Each degree of latitude is equal to 111km.
  • The equator passes over 13 countries. Following are the countries Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia, and Kiribati.
  • Lines of latitudes run parallel to the Equator.
  • One degree = 60 nautical miles, 69 statute miles or 111 km.
  • One minute = 1 nautical mile, 1.15 statute miles, or 1.85 km.
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