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An EQUATOR is the intersection of the surface of a rotating spheroid (such as a planet ) with the plane perpendicular to the axis of rotation and midway between its poles . On Earth
Earth
, the Equator
Equator
is an imaginary line on the surface, equidistant from the North and South Poles , dividing the Earth
Earth
into Northern and Southern Hemispheres . It is about 40,075 kilometres (24,901 mi) long, of which 78.7% lies across water and 21.3% over land.

CONTENTS

* 1 Overview * 2 Equatorial seasons and climate * 3 Equatorial countries and territories * 4 Crossing-the- Equator
Equator
ceremonies

* 5 Geodesy
Geodesy

* 5.1 Precise location * 5.2 Exact length

* 6 Climate * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 Sources

OVERVIEW

Left: A monument marking the Equator
Equator
near the town of Pontianak, Indonesia Right: Road sign marking the Equator
Equator
near Nanyuki , Kenya
Kenya

The latitude of the Earth's equator is, by definition, 0° (zero degrees ) of arc. The Equator
Equator
is one of the five notable circles of latitude on Earth; the other four are the two Polar Circles (the Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
and the Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
) and the two Tropical Circles (the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
). The Equator
Equator
is the only line of latitude which is also a great circle — that is, one whose plane passes through the center of the globe. The plane of Earth's equator, when projected outwards to the celestial sphere , defines the celestial equator .

In the cycle of Earth's seasons , the plane of the equator passes through the Sun
Sun
twice per year : at the March and September equinoxes. To an observer on the Earth, the Sun
Sun
appears to travel North or South over the Equator
Equator
(or the celestial equator) at these times. Light rays from the center of the Sun
Sun
are perpendicular to the surface of the Earth
Earth
at the point of solar noon on the Equator. The Equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas
Ilhéu das Rolas
, in São Tomé and Príncipe
São Tomé and Príncipe
The Marco Zero monument marking the Equator
Equator
in Macapá
Macapá
, Brazil
Brazil
.

Locations on the Equator
Equator
experience the quickest sunrises and sunsets , because the sun moves nearly perpendicular to the horizon for most of the year. The length of daylight (sunrise to sunset) is almost constant throughout the year; it is about 14 minutes longer than nighttime due to atmospheric refraction and the fact that sunrise is begun (or sunset is ended) as the upper edge, not the centre, of the Sun's disk crosses the horizon .

The Earth
Earth
bulges slightly at the Equator
Equator
; the "average" diameter of the Earth
Earth
is 12,750 kilometres (7,922 mi), but the diameter at the Equator
Equator
is about 43 kilometres (27 mi) greater than at the poles.

Sites near the Equator, such as the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou
Kourou
, French Guiana , are good locations for spaceports as they have a faster rotational speed than other latitudes; the added velocity reduces the fuel needed to launch spacecraft. Because the Earth
Earth
spins to the east, spacecraft must also launch to the east (or to the southeast or northeast) to take advantage of this Earth-boost of speed.

EQUATORIAL SEASONS AND CLIMATE

Main articles: Seasons
Seasons
, Tropics
Tropics
, and Effect of sun angle on climate Diagram of the seasons, depicting the situation at the December solstice. Regardless of the time of day (i.e. the Earth
Earth
's rotation on its axis), the North Pole will be dark, and the South Pole will be illuminated; see also arctic winter . In addition to the density of incident light, the dissipation of light in the atmosphere is greater when it falls at a shallow angle.

Seasons
Seasons
result from the yearly revolution of the Earth
Earth
around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of revolution. During the year the northern and southern hemispheres are inclined toward or away from the sun according to Earth's position in its orbit. The hemisphere inclined toward the sun receives more sunlight and is in summer, while the other hemisphere receives less sun and is in winter (see solstice ).

At the equinoxes , the Earth's axis is not tilted toward the sun, instead it is perpendicular to the sun meaning that the day is about 12 hours long, as is the night, across the whole of the Earth.

Near the Equator
Equator
there is little temperature fluctuation throughout the year, though there may be dramatic differences in rainfall and humidity. The terms summer, autumn, winter and spring do not generally apply, and in many tropical regions people identify two seasons: the wet season and the dry season; although some areas remain wet or dry all year. Temperatures at sea level are usually high year-round, but some higher altitudes such as the Andes
Andes
and Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro
sustain glaciers.

The Equator
Equator
lies mostly on the three largest oceans : the Atlantic Ocean
Ocean
, the Indian Ocean
Ocean
, and the Pacific Ocean
Ocean
. The highest point on the Equator
Equator
is at the elevation of 4,690 metres (15,387 ft), at 0°0′0″N 77°59′31″W / 0.00000°N 77.99194°W / 0.00000; -77.99194 (highest point on the Equator) , found on the southern slopes of Volcán Cayambe in Ecuador
Ecuador
. This is slightly above the snow line and is the only place on the Equator
Equator
where snow lies on the ground. At the Equator
Equator
the snow line is around 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) lower than on Mount Everest
Mount Everest
and as much as 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) lower than the highest snow line in the world, near the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
on Llullaillaco .

EQUATORIAL COUNTRIES AND TERRITORIES

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The Equator
Equator
traverses the land of 11 countries . Starting at the Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
and heading eastwards, the Equator
Equator
passes through:

CO-ORDINATES COUNTRY, TERRITORY OR SEA NOTES

0°N 0°E / 0°N 0°E / 0; 0 (Prime Meridian) ATLANTIC OCEAN Gulf of Guinea

0°0′N 6°31′E / 0.000°N 6.517°E / 0.000; 6.517 (São Tomé and Príncipe) SãO TOMé AND PRíNCIPE Ilhéu das Rolas
Ilhéu das Rolas

0°0′N 9°21′E / 0.000°N 9.350°E / 0.000; 9.350 (Gabon) GABON passes 8.9 km (5.5 mi) south of Ayem , 10.6 km (6.6 mi) north of Mayene , Booue

0°0′N 13°56′E / 0.000°N 13.933°E / 0.000; 13.933 (Republic of the Congo) REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO Passing through the town of Makoua .

0°0′N 17°46′E / 0.000°N 17.767°E / 0.000; 17.767 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO Passing 9 km (5.6 mi) south of central Butembo
Butembo

0°0′N 29°43′E / 0.000°N 29.717°E / 0.000; 29.717 (Uganda) UGANDA Passing 32 km (20 mi) south of central Kampala

0°0′N 32°22′E / 0.000°N 32.367°E / 0.000; 32.367 (Lake Victoria) LAKE VICTORIA Passing through some islands of Uganda
Uganda

0°0′N 34°0′E / 0.000°N 34.000°E / 0.000; 34.000 (Kenya) KENYA Passing 6 km (3.7 mi) north of central Kisumu
Kisumu

0°0′N 41°0′E / 0.000°N 41.000°E / 0.000; 41.000 (Somalia) SOMALIA

0°0′N 42°53′E / 0.000°N 42.883°E / 0.000; 42.883 (Indian Ocean) INDIAN OCEAN Passing between Huvadhu Atoll and Fuvahmulah of the Maldives
Maldives

0°0′N 98°12′E / 0.000°N 98.200°E / 0.000; 98.200 (Indonesia) INDONESIA The Batu Islands , Sumatra
Sumatra
and the Lingga Islands

0°0′N 104°34′E / 0.000°N 104.567°E / 0.000; 104.567 (Karimata Strait) KARIMATA STRAIT

0°0′N 109°9′E / 0.000°N 109.150°E / 0.000; 109.150 (Indonesia) INDONESIA Borneo
Borneo

0°0′N 117°30′E / 0.000°N 117.500°E / 0.000; 117.500 (Makassar Strait) MAKASSAR STRAIT

0°0′N 119°40′E / 0.000°N 119.667°E / 0.000; 119.667 (Indonesia) INDONESIA Sulawesi
Sulawesi
(Celebes)

0°0′N 120°5′E / 0.000°N 120.083°E / 0.000; 120.083 (Gulf of Tomini) GULF OF TOMINI

0°0′N 124°0′E / 0.000°N 124.000°E / 0.000; 124.000 (Molucca Sea) MOLUCCA SEA

0°0′N 127°24′E / 0.000°N 127.400°E / 0.000; 127.400 (Indonesia) INDONESIA Kayoa and Halmahera
Halmahera
islands

0°0′N 127°53′E / 0.000°N 127.883°E / 0.000; 127.883 ( Halmahera
Halmahera
Sea) HALMAHERA SEA

0°0′N 129°20′E / 0.000°N 129.333°E / 0.000; 129.333 (Indonesia) INDONESIA Gebe and Kawe islands

0°0′N 129°21′E / 0.000°N 129.350°E / 0.000; 129.350 (Pacific Ocean) PACIFIC OCEAN Passing between Aranuka and Nonouti atolls, Kiribati (at 0°0′N 173°40′E / 0.000°N 173.667°E / 0.000; 173.667 )

0°0′N 80°6′W / 0.000°N 80.100°W / 0.000; -80.100 (Ecuador) ECUADOR Passing 24 km (15 mi) north of central Quito
Quito
, near Mitad del Mundo , and precisely at the location of Catequilla , a pre-Columbian ruin Also, Isabela Island in the Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Islands

0°0′N 75°32′W / 0.000°N 75.533°W / 0.000; -75.533 (Colombia) COLOMBIA Passing 4.3 km (2.7 mi) north of the border with Peru
Peru

0°0′N 70°3′W / 0.000°N 70.050°W / 0.000; -70.050 (Brazil) BRAZIL Amazonas Roraima
Roraima
Pará Amapá (passing slightly south of the city center of the state capital Macapá
Macapá
)

0°0′N 49°21′W / 0.000°N 49.350°W / 0.000; -49.350 (Atlantic Ocean) ATLANTIC OCEAN At the Perigoso Canal on the mouth of the Amazon River
Amazon River

Despite its name, no part of Equatorial Guinea 's territory lies on the Equator. However, its island of Annobón is 155 km (96 mi) south of the Equator, and the rest of the country lies to the north.

Singapore
Singapore
is close to the Equator, but not on it. The city-nation is 60 nautical miles (110 km; 69 mi) north of the line. GPS reading taken on the Equator
Equator
close to the Quitsato Sundial , at Mitad del Mundo , Ecuador
Ecuador
.

CROSSING-THE-EQUATOR CEREMONIES

Main article: Line-crossing ceremony

Certain navies, such as the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
, Russian Navy , and US Navy , have a tradition of holding ceremonies aboard ships to mark sailors' first crossing of the Equator. These rites of initiation have in the past been notorious for their brutality. Milder line-crossing ceremonies, typically featuring King Neptune , are also held for passengers' entertainment on some civilian ocean liners and cruise ships.

GEODESY

Further information: Earth
Earth
ellipsoid and Reference ellipsoid
Reference ellipsoid

PRECISE LOCATION

The precise location of the Equator
Equator
is not truly fixed; the true equatorial plane is perpendicular to the Earth's spin axis, which drifts about 9 metres (30 ft) during a year. This effect must be accounted for in detailed geophysical measurements.

EXACT LENGTH

In two widely used geodetic standards, the Equator
Equator
is modelled as a circle whose radius is a whole number of metres. In 1976 the IAU chose a radius of 6,378.140 kilometres (3,963.192 mi), later refined by the IUGG to 6,378.137 kilometres (3,963.191 mi) and adopted in WGS-84 , though the yet more recent IAU-2000 has retained the old IAU-1976 value. If it were really circular the length of the Equator
Equator
would be exactly 2π times the radius, namely 40,075.036 kilometres (24,901.473 mi). However, due to the effect of tidal force on the Earth's surface the actual circumference at the equator is 40,075.16 kilometres (24,901.55 mi).

The geographical mile is defined as one arc minute of the Equator, so it has different values depending on which radius is assumed, e.g., 1,855.3248 metres (6,087.024 ft) for WGS84 or 1,855.3257 metres (6,087.027 ft) for IAU-2000.

The earth is modelled commonly as a sphere flattened 0.336% along its axis. This makes the Equator
Equator
0.16% longer than a meridian (a great circle passing through the two poles). The IUGG standard meridian is, to the nearest millimetre, 40,007.862917 kilometres (24,859.733480 mi), one arc minute of which is 1,852.216 metres (6,076.82 ft), explaining the SI standardization of the nautical mile as 1,852 metres (6,076 ft), more than 3 metres (9.8 ft) less than the geographical mile .

The sea-level surface of the Earth
Earth
(the geoid ) is irregular, so the actual length of the Equator
Equator
is not so easy to determine. Aviation Week and Space Technology on 9 October 1961 reported that measurements using the Transit IV-A satellite had shown the equatorial "diameter" from longitude 11° West to 169° East to be 1,000 feet (300 m) greater than its "diameter" ninety degrees away.

CLIMATE

Lowlands around the Equator
Equator
generally have a tropical rainforest climate , also known as an equatorial climate, though cold currents cause some regions to have tropical monsoon climates with a dry season in the middle of the year. Average annual temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) during the day and 23 °C (73 °F) at night. Rainfall is very high, from 2,500 to 3,500 mm (98 to 138 in) per year. Average rainy days are around 200 per year and average annual sunshine hours around 2,000.

CLIMATE DATA FOR MACAPá , BRAZIL IN SOUTH AMERICA

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 29.7 (85.5) 29.2 (84.6) 29.3 (84.7) 29.5 (85.1) 30.0 (86) 30.3 (86.5) 30.6 (87.1) 31.5 (88.7) 32.1 (89.8) 32.6 (90.7) 32.3 (90.1) 31.4 (88.5) 30.71 (87.28)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 26.4 (79.5) 26.2 (79.2) 26.3 (79.3) 26.5 (79.7) 26.8 (80.2) 26.8 (80.2) 26.8 (80.2) 27.4 (81.3) 27.8 (82) 28.1 (82.6) 27.9 (82.2) 27.4 (81.3) 27.03 (80.65)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 23.0 (73.4) 23.1 (73.6) 23.2 (73.8) 23.5 (74.3) 23.5 (74.3) 23.2 (73.8) 22.9 (73.2) 23.3 (73.9) 23.4 (74.1) 23.5 (74.3) 23.5 (74.3) 23.4 (74.1) 23.29 (73.92)

AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES) 299.6 (11.795) 347.0 (13.661) 407.2 (16.031) 384.3 (15.13) 351.5 (13.839) 220.1 (8.665) 184.8 (7.276) 98.00 (3.8583) 42.60 (1.6772) 35.50 (1.3976) 58.40 (2.2992) 142.5 (5.61) 2,571.5 (101.2393)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.1 MM) 23 22 24 24 25 22 19 13 6 5 6 14 203

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 148.8 113.1 108.5 114.0 151.9 189.0 226.3 272.8 273.0 282.1 252.0 204.6 2,336.1

Source: World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
(UN ), Hong Kong Observatory

CLIMATE DATA FOR PONTIANAK, INDONESIA IN ASIA

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 32.4 (90.3) 32.7 (90.9) 32.9 (91.2) 33.2 (91.8) 33.0 (91.4) 33.2 (91.8) 32.9 (91.2) 33.4 (92.1) 32.6 (90.7) 32.6 (90.7) 32.2 (90) 32.0 (89.6) 32.7 (90.9)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 27.6 (81.7) 27.7 (81.9) 28.0 (82.4) 28.2 (82.8) 28.2 (82.8) 28.2 (82.8) 27.7 (81.9) 27.9 (82.2) 27.6 (81.7) 27.7 (81.9) 27.4 (81.3) 27.2 (81) 27.7 (81.9)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 22.7 (72.9) 22.6 (72.7) 23.0 (73.4) 23.2 (73.8) 23.4 (74.1) 23.1 (73.6) 22.5 (72.5) 22.3 (72.1) 22.6 (72.7) 22.8 (73) 22.6 (72.7) 22.4 (72.3) 22.7 (72.9)

AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES) 260 (10.24) 215 (8.46) 254 (10) 292 (11.5) 256 (10.08) 212 (8.35) 201 (7.91) 180 (7.09) 295 (11.61) 329 (12.95) 400 (15.75) 302 (11.89) 3,196 (125.83)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.1 MM) 15 13 21 22 20 18 16 25 14 27 25 22 238

Source: World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
(UN )

CLIMATE DATA FOR LIBREVILLE , GABON IN AFRICA

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 29.5 (85.1) 30.0 (86) 30.2 (86.4) 30.1 (86.2) 29.4 (84.9) 27.6 (81.7) 26.4 (79.5) 26.8 (80.2) 27.5 (81.5) 28.0 (82.4) 28.4 (83.1) 29.0 (84.2) 28.58 (83.44)

DAILY MEAN °C (°F) 26.8 (80.2) 27.0 (80.6) 27.1 (80.8) 26.6 (79.9) 26.7 (80.1) 25.4 (77.7) 24.3 (75.7) 24.3 (75.7) 25.4 (77.7) 25.7 (78.3) 25.9 (78.6) 26.2 (79.2) 25.95 (78.71)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 24.1 (75.4) 24.0 (75.2) 23.9 (75) 23.1 (73.6) 24.0 (75.2) 23.2 (73.8) 22.1 (71.8) 21.8 (71.2) 23.2 (73.8) 23.4 (74.1) 23.4 (74.1) 23.4 (74.1) 23.30 (73.94)

AVERAGE RAINFALL MM (INCHES) 250.3 (9.854) 243.1 (9.571) 363.2 (14.299) 339.0 (13.346) 247.3 (9.736) 54.10 (2.1299) 6.600 (0.25984) 13.70 (0.5394) 104.0 (4.094) 427.2 (16.819) 490.0 (19.291) 303.2 (11.937) 2,841.7 (111.87614)

AVERAGE RAINY DAYS (≥ 0.1 MM) 17.9 14.8 19.5 19.2 16.0 3.70 1.70 4.90 14.5 25.0 22.6 17.6 177.4

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 176.7 182.7 176.7 177.0 158.1 132.0 117.8 89.90 96.00 111.6 135.0 167.4 1,720.9

Source: World Meteorological Organization
World Meteorological Organization
(UN ), Hong Kong Observatory

SEE ALSO

* Geography portal

* 1st parallel north * 1st parallel south * Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
* Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
* Coriolis effect
Coriolis effect
* Intertropical Convergence Zone
Intertropical Convergence Zone
* Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian
* Thermal equator * Tropic of Cancer * Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn

REFERENCES

* ^ "Equator". National Geographic - Education. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ Instituto Geográfico Militar de Ecuador
Ecuador
(24 January 2005). "Memoria Técnica de la Determinación de la Latitud Cero" (in Spanish). * ^ "Weather Information for Macapa". * ^ Climatological Information for Macapa, Brazil
Brazil
- Hong Kong Observatory * ^ "Weather Information for Pontianak". * ^ "Weather Information for Libreville". * ^ Climatological Information for Libreville, Gabon - Hong Kong Observatory

SOURCES

Wikimedia Commons has media related to EQUATOR .

* Moritz, H (September 1980). "Geodetic Reference System 1980". Bulletin Géodésique. Berlin
Berlin
: Springer-Verlag. 54 (3): 395–405. Bibcode :1980BGeod..54..395M. doi :10.1007/BF02521480 . (IUGG/WGS-84 data) * Taff, Laurence G (1981). Computational Spherical Astronomy. New York : Wiley. ISBN 0-471-06257-X . OCLC
OCLC
6532537 . (IAU data)

* v * t * e

Circles of latitude / Meridians

EQUATOR Tropic of Cancer Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
EQUATOR Tropic of Cancer Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
EQUATOR Tropic of Cancer Tropic of Capricorn Arctic Circle
Arctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
Antarctic Circle
W 0° E 30° 60° 90° 120° 150° 180° 30° 60° 90° 120° 150° 180° 5° 15° 25° 35° 45° 55° 65° 75° 85° 95° 105° 115° 125° 135° 145° 155° 165° 175° 5° 15° 25° 35° 45° 55° 65° 75° 85° 95° 105° 115° 125° 135° 145° 155° 165° 175° 10° 20° 40° 50° 70° 80° 100° 110° 130° 140° 160° 170° 10° 20° 40° 50° 70° 80° 100° 110° 130° 140° 160° 170° 0° 10° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80° 90° 10° 20° 30° 40° 50° 60° 70° 80° 90° 5° N 15° 25° 35° 45° 55° 65° 75° 85° 5° S 15° 25° 35° 45° 55° 65° 75° 85° 45x90 45x90 45x90