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Coordinates : 23°26′14″N 0°0′0″W / 23.43722°N -0.00000°E / 23.43722; -0.00000 (Prime Meridian) World map showing the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer

The TROPIC OF CANCER, also referred to as the NORTHERN TROPIC, is currently 23°26′13.2″ (or 23.437°) north of the Equator
Equator
. It is the most northerly circle of latitude on Earth
Earth
at which the Sun
Sun
can be directly overhead . This occurs on the June solstice , when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun
Sun
to its maximum extent.

Its Southern Hemisphere counterpart, marking the most southerly position at which the Sun
Sun
can be directly overhead, is the Tropic of Capricorn . These tropics are two of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of Earth, besides the Arctic and Antarctic Circles and the Equator
Equator
. The positions of these two circles of latitude (relative to the Equator) are dictated by the tilt of Earth's axis of rotation relative to the plane of its orbit .

CONTENTS

* 1 Name * 2 Geography * 3 Climate * 4 Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
* 5 External links * 6 See also * 7 References

NAME

Sign marking the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
a few miles from Rann of Kutch , Gujarat
Gujarat
Road sign south of Dakhla , Western Sahara marking the Tropic of Cancer. The sign was placed by Budapest-Bamako rally participants; thus, the inscription is in English and Hungarian . Sign marking the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
on National Highway 34 in Nadia District , West Bengal
West Bengal

When this line of latitude was named some 2,000 years ago, the Sun was in the constellation Cancer ( Latin
Latin
for _crab _) at the June solstice , the time each year that the Sun
Sun
reaches its zenith at this latitude. Due to the precession of the equinoxes , this is no longer the case; today the Sun
Sun
is in Taurus at the June solstice. The word "tropic" itself comes from the Greek "trope (τροπή)", meaning turn (change of direction, or circumstances), inclination, referring to the fact that the Sun
Sun
appears to "turn back" at the solstices. Sign marking the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh

GEOGRAPHY

Carretera 83 (Vía Corta) Zaragoza-Victoria, km 27+800. Of all crossings of the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
with Mexican federal highways, this is the only place where the latitude is marked with precision and where the annual drift between the years 2005 and 2010 can be appreciated. Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
mark in Ruisui Township , Hualian County , Taiwan
Taiwan

The Tropic of Cancer's position is not fixed, but varies in a complicated manner over time. Currently, it gradually drifts south almost half an arcsecond (0.47″) of latitude, or 15 metres, per year (it was at exactly 23° 27′ in 1917 and will be at 23° 26' in 2045). See axial tilt and circles of latitude for further information.

North of the tropic are the subtropics and the North Temperate Zone . The equivalent line of latitude south of the Equator
Equator
is called the Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
, and the region between the two, centered on the Equator, is the tropics .

Starting at the prime meridian and heading eastward, the Tropic of Cancer passes through 16 countries:

CO-ORDINATES COUNTRY, TERRITORY OR SEA NOTES

23°26′N 0°0′E / 23.433°N 0.000°E / 23.433; 0.000 (Prime Meridian) ALGERIA

23°26′N 11°51′E / 23.433°N 11.850°E / 23.433; 11.850 (Niger) NIGER

23°26′N 12°17′E / 23.433°N 12.283°E / 23.433; 12.283 (Libya) LIBYA The Tropic touches on the northernmost point of Chad
Chad
at 23°26′N 15°59′E / 23.433°N 15.983°E / 23.433; 15.983 (Northernmost point of Chad)

23°26′N 25°0′E / 23.433°N 25.000°E / 23.433; 25.000 (Egypt) EGYPT The Tropic passes through Lake Nasser
Lake Nasser

23°26′N 35°30′E / 23.433°N 35.500°E / 23.433; 35.500 (Red Sea) RED SEA

23°26′N 38°38′E / 23.433°N 38.633°E / 23.433; 38.633 (Saudi Arabia) SAUDI ARABIA

23°26′N 52°10′E / 23.433°N 52.167°E / 23.433; 52.167 (United Arab Emirates) UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Abu Dhabi emirate only

23°26′N 55°24′E / 23.433°N 55.400°E / 23.433; 55.400 (Oman) OMAN

23°26′N 58°46′E / 23.433°N 58.767°E / 23.433; 58.767 (Indian Ocean) INDIAN OCEAN Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea

23°26′N 68°23′E / 23.433°N 68.383°E / 23.433; 68.383 (India) INDIA States of Gujarat
Gujarat
, Rajasthan
Rajasthan
, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
, Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh
, Jharkhand
Jharkhand
and West Bengal
West Bengal

23°26′N 88°47′E / 23.433°N 88.783°E / 23.433; 88.783 (Bangladesh) BANGLADESH Khulna , Dhaka , and Chittagong Divisions

23°26′N 91°14′E / 23.433°N 91.233°E / 23.433; 91.233 (India) INDIA State of Tripura

23°26′N 91°56′E / 23.433°N 91.933°E / 23.433; 91.933 (Bangladesh) BANGLADESH Chittagong Division

23°26′N 92°19′E / 23.433°N 92.317°E / 23.433; 92.317 (India) INDIA State of Mizoram
Mizoram

23°26′N 93°23′E / 23.433°N 93.383°E / 23.433; 93.383 (Myanmar) MYANMAR Chin State , Sagaing Division , Mandalay Division , Shan State

23°26′N 98°54′E / 23.433°N 98.900°E / 23.433; 98.900 (China) CHINA Provinces of Yunnan
Yunnan
(passing about 7 km north of the border with Vietnam
Vietnam
), Guangxi , and Guangdong
Guangdong

23°26′N 117°8′E / 23.433°N 117.133°E / 23.433; 117.133 ( Taiwan
Taiwan
Strait) TAIWAN STRAIT

23°26′N 120°8′E / 23.433°N 120.133°E / 23.433; 120.133 (Taiwan) TAIWAN Chiayi County , Hualien County

23°26′N 121°29′E / 23.433°N 121.483°E / 23.433; 121.483 (Philippine Sea) PHILIPPINE SEA

23°26′N 142°00′E / 23.433°N 142.000°E / 23.433; 142.000 (Pacific Ocean) PACIFIC OCEAN Passing just south of Necker Island , Hawaii
Hawaii
, United States
United States

23°26′N 110°15′W / 23.433°N 110.250°W / 23.433; -110.250 (Mexico) MEXICO State of Baja California Sur
Baja California Sur

23°26′N 109°24′W / 23.433°N 109.400°W / 23.433; -109.400 (Gulf of California) GULF OF CALIFORNIA

23°26′N 106°35′W / 23.433°N 106.583°W / 23.433; -106.583 (Mexico) MEXICO States of Sinaloa
Sinaloa
, Durango , Zacatecas , San Luis Potosí , Nuevo León , and Tamaulipas

23°26′N 97°45′W / 23.433°N 97.750°W / 23.433; -97.750 (Gulf of Mexico) GULF OF MEXICO

23°26′N 83°0′W / 23.433°N 83.000°W / 23.433; -83.000 (Atlantic Ocean) ATLANTIC OCEAN Passing through the Straits of Florida and the Nicholas Channel Passing just south of the Anguilla Cays ( Bahamas ) Passing through the Santaren Channel and into the open ocean

23°26′N 76°0′W / 23.433°N 76.000°W / 23.433; -76.000 (Bahamas) BAHAMAS Exuma
Exuma
Islands and Long Island

23°26′N 75°10′W / 23.433°N 75.167°W / 23.433; -75.167 (Atlantic Ocean) ATLANTIC OCEAN

23°26′N 15°57′W / 23.433°N 15.950°W / 23.433; -15.950 (Western Sahara) WESTERN SAHARA Claimed by Morocco
Morocco
and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

23°26′N 12°0′W / 23.433°N 12.000°W / 23.433; -12.000 (Mauritania) MAURITANIA

23°26′N 6°23′W / 23.433°N 6.383°W / 23.433; -6.383 (Mali) MALI

23°26′N 2°23′W / 23.433°N 2.383°W / 23.433; -2.383 (Algeria) ALGERIA

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Relationship between Earth's axial tilt (ε) to the tropical and polar circles

CLIMATE

Excluding cooler highland regions in China, the climate at the Tropic of Cancer is generally hot and dry except for easterly coastal areas where orographic rainfall can be very heavy, in some places reaching 4 metres (160 in). Most regions on the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
experience two distinct seasons: an extremely hot summer with temperatures often reaching 45 °C (113 °F) and a warm winter with maxima around 22 °C (72 °F). Much land on or near the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
is part of the Sahara Desert , whilst to the east the climate is torrid monsoonal with a short wet season from June to September and very little rainfall for the rest of the year.

The highest mountain on or adjacent to the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
is Yushan in Taiwan
Taiwan
; though it had glaciers descending as low as 2,800 metres (9,190 ft) during the Last Glacial Maximum , none survive and at present no glaciers exist within 470 kilometres (290 mi) of the Tropic of Cancer; the nearest currently surviving are the Minyong and Baishui in the Himalayas
Himalayas
to the north and on Iztaccíhuatl to the south.

CIRCUMNAVIGATION

According to the rules of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale , for a flight to compete for a round-the-world speed record, it must cover a distance no less than the length of the Tropic of Cancer, cross all meridians , and end on the same airfield where it started.

Length of the Tropic on 11 December 2015, at 23°26′14″N is 36,788 KILOMETRES (22,859 MI).

For an ordinary circumnavigation the rules are somewhat relaxed and the distance is set to a rounded value of at least 36,770 kilometres (22,850 mi).

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Look up TROPIC OF CANCER _ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* Article on the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
in Oman * Temporal Epoch Calculations * Useful constants See: Obliquity of the ecliptic

SEE ALSO

* 23rd parallel north * 24th parallel north * Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn
* Antarctic Circle * Arctic Circle * Axial tilt
Axial tilt
* Equator
Equator
* Milankovitch cycles * Ducking and shaving

REFERENCES

* ^ "PHP Science Labs". Retrieved 2014-01-01. * ^ Montana State University: Milankovitch Cycles

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