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Latitude Definition

Latitude measures distance north or south of the equator using imaginary east-west lines. For example, the equator is at 0° latitude.

View Lesson on Causes of Seasons
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Causes of Seasons

Fun Facts

  • The equator divides Earth equally into two hemispheres and is found at 0 degrees latitude.
  • The Arctic Circle is found at a latitude of 66.5 degrees N, and the Antarctic Circle is found at 66.5 degrees S.
  • The larger the degree of latitude, the longer the hours of daylight.

Why Do We Need To Know About Latitude

Learning about latitude helps us know why weather changes with seasons and why this is important for farming and city planning. Knowing how the strength of sunlight changes with latitude helps us put solar panels in the best places, making solar energy projects work better.

This knowledge also affects global trade and travel because different parts of the world have opposite seasons. It’s important for sending goods to other countries and for tourism.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is latitude and what are some important lines of latitude on Earth?
Latitude are the imaginary lines that measure the distance north or south of the equator. The equator divides Earth equally into two hemispheres and is found at 0° latitude. The Arctic Circle is found at 66.5°N, and the Antarctic Circle is found at 66.5°S. The Tropic of Cancer is found at 23.5°N and the Tropic of Capricorn is found at 23.5°S.
Describe the cause-and-effect relationship between latitude from the equator and temperature.
The further you travel north or south of the equator, the more extreme the differences are between the seasons, including temperatures and hours of daylight. At the equator, there are very few differences between the seasons, with warmer temperatures all year long and hours of daylight always being 12 hours a day. The regions north of the equator experience winter in December and summer in June, whereas the opposite is true for regions south of the equator.
How does the intensity of light change for a location depending on the season?
In the summer, light intensity is higher than in the winter.
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