THE LATITUDE STORY

"Give me some latitude, Lulu! What's it all about!"

"Hmmmn! Well, let's look at it this way... Think of the earth as a ball or a sphere, spinning about an imaginary axis. In the drawing I've made, the ends of the axis are labeled N for North Pole and S for South Pole!"
"Imagine that 180 equally spaced, parallel circles are painted on the earth. The N-S axis of the earth runs right through the center of each circle. The further the circles are from the poles, the larger they are. The two circles that are right at the poles are so small they are actually just points. All these circles are called PARALLELS or LINES OF LATITUDE!"
"The largest circle, the one equally distant from each of the poles, is called the equator. It is called 'zero' degrees latitude. (The '0' is shown in red on the diagram.) The other lines of latitude are numbered from 0 to 90 degrees going towards each of the poles. The ones going from the equator towards the North Pole (shown in blue) are 'north' latitude, and each of the numbers is followed by the letter 'N'. The ones going the other way, from the equator towards the South Pole (you can't see them all, but I've shown the ones you can see in shocking pink) are 'south' latitude, and each of the numbers is followed by the letter 'S'. The equator (zero latitude) is the only one without any letter following the number! Notice that the poles are 90 N and 90 S! And that, in a nutshell, is the latitude story, Lou!"
"That's a likely story! I suppose to find out about longitude, I should go back to the 'Latitude and Longitude Menu' and click on 'Longitude'!"


© 2010 David Leveson/Revised by G. Rocha and Michelle O'Dea