Earth is surrounded is by some imaginary lines to help us find an accurate position, distance, etc. These lines are Latitude and Longitude. Latitudes are Horizontal imaginary lines. And Longitudes are vertical lines. The Equator is the main latitude line passing through the middle of the Earth horizontally. Read more on Geography topics here.
What is the Equator?
The Equator is an arbitrary line dividing the Earth between the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. This is one of those lines known as a latitude line. The word ‘equator’ means ‘even-maker’ in Latin. Simply, it is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth equidistant from the north and south poles, separating the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. The value of Equator is 0 Degrees.
It can also be described as the great ring around the Planet that is equidistant from the geographical poles and lies in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the Planet. This spatial, hypothetical line separates the Earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. And represents the hypothetical reference line on the surface of the Earth on which latitude is measured. It’s the latitude of 0 degrees.
Facts and characteristics of the Equator
Here are some interesting facts about the Equator:
- It is located midway between the North and the South Pole.
- At the equator, the planet’s surface is parallel to the rotation axis.
- It is 40,075 km in length or 24,901 Mile
- It passe through 79% of water and 21% of land approximately.
- The precise position of the equator isn’t really specified.
- The four seasons are not encountered by countries near this imaginary line, so the atmosphere is typically very warm.
- The length of night and day near this line is approximately the same.
- Daylight is almost the same around the year.
- Nighttime is approximately 14 minutes shorter than daylight.
- Locations on this latitude witness the shortest sunrises and sunsets, and for much of the year, the normal direction of the Sun is nearly perpendicular to the horizon.
- Earth’s bulging is near the equator, therefore Earth’s radius is slightly longer than the normal. Earth’s radius is 12,750 km but it is 43 km longer near this line.
- It has the fastest rotational speed among any latitude, nearly 460m/s.
- This gives extra velocity to the spacecraft launched eastward.
- The equator passes over 13 countries.
- These countries are Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Sao Tome & Principe, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Maldives, Indonesia, and Kiribati.