Difference between Latitudes and Longitudes
Latitudes and Longitudes are imaginary lines drawn on the surface of earth (globe or map) for the ease of identifying some place to a proper co-ordinate. Latitude is an imaginary line north or south of the equator. Longitude is an imaginary line drawn east ot west of Prime Meridian. Prime Meridian is also called 0 degree longitude which pass through from north to south at Greenwich. Latitude of any point on earth must be some degrees north or south in between 0 to 90 degrees. Similarly Longitude of that point must be either east or west between 0 to 180 degrees. With proper latitude and longitude it becomes easier to properly mark a point on earth. These lines also provide benefit in studying world climates, seasons and other geographical features.
Facts about Latitudes
- The latitude of a place on earth is defined as its angular orientation north or south from the equator. It is measured in degrees.
- If all the places having same latitude are joined by a straight line, then this line will be parallel to equator which is at zero degree and they are counted up to poles which are at 90 degree north or 9 degrees south.
- The lines of latitudes are called parallels because all latitudes are parallel to each other.
- Line of Equator is the longest parallel on Earth.
- Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn are symmetrically opposite parallels (latitudes) in North and South hemisphere with angle of 23.5 degree north and 23.5 degree south respectively.
- Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle are symmetrically opposite parallels (latitudes) in North and South hemispheres with angle of 66.50 north and 66.50 south respectively.
- Longitudes are also called as Meridians.
- The longitudes show the distance of a point on earth east or west of the Prime Meridian.
- Prime Meridian is taken to be passing from Greenwich (near London) which is considered zero degree longitude.
- The meridian just opposite to the Prime Meridian (1800 apart) is called International date line.
- International Date Line passes through central Pacific Ocean.
- International Date Line is not straight like other meridians as it is drawn to avoid passing through major landmasses on a single island. Straight line would have resulted in two different dates on one a single island which would become quite inconvenient in use.
- Longitudes are not parallel like latitudes and they converge on poles.