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Site MapLesboy planGlossary TimelineQuestions & AnswersCentral Home Page (5) Latitude and also Longitude Index4. The Moon (1) 4a. The Moon (2)4b. Moon Libration5.Latitude and also Longitude5a. Navigation 5b. Cross-Staff 5c. Coordinates6. The Calendar6a. Jewish Calendar7.Precession8. The Round Earth8a. The Horizon Any place on Planet can be figured out by 2 numbers--its latitude and its longitude. If a pilot or a ship's captain desires to specify a place on a map, these are the "coordinates" they would certainly use.

Actually, these are two angles, measured in levels, "minutes of arc" and also "secs of arc." These are deprovided by the signs (°, ', " ) e.g. 35° 43' 9" indicates an angle of 35 degrees, 43 minutes and also 9 secs (carry out not confuse this via the notation (', ") for feet and also inches!). A degree has 60 minutes of arc and a minute has 60 seconds of arc--and also you may omit the words "of arc" wbelow the context renders it absolutely clear that these are not systems of time. Calculations regularly reexisting angles by small letters of the Greek alphabet, and also that method latitude will certainly be stood for by λ (lambda, Greek L), and longitude by φ (phi, Greek F).Here is exactly how they are characterized.PLEASE NOTE: Charts used in sea navigating regularly use the OPPOSITE notation--λ for LONGITUDE and also φ for LATITUDE. The convention adhered to below resembles the one used by mathematicians in 3 dimensions for spherical polar collaborates. Latitude

The latitude angle lambda Imagine the Planet was a transparent spbelow (actually the shape is slightly oval; bereason of the Earth's rotation, its equator bulges out a little). Thturbulent the transparent Earth (drawing) we have the right to view its equatorial plane, and also its middle the point is O, the facility of the Earth. To specify the latitude of some suggest P on the surface, attract the radius OP to that point. Then the elevation angle of that suggest above the equator is its latitude λ--northern latitude if north of the equator, southern (or negative) latitude if south of it.
Lines of latitude If on a globe of the Earth we connect all points via the exact same latitude, we gain circles of various dimension. These are "lines of latitude" (drawing). The longest is the equator, whose latitude is zero, while at the poles, at latitudes 90° north and 90° southern (or –90°), the circles shrink to a suggest.


On the globe, lines of consistent longitude ("meridians") extend from pole to pole, favor the segment limits on a peeled oarray. Every meridian have to cross the equator. Due to the fact that the equator is a circle, we deserve to divide it--favor any circle--into 360 levels, and also the longitude φ of a suggest is then the marked worth of that division wbelow its meridian meets the equator. What that value is counts of course on where we start to count--on wright here zero longitude is chosen to be. For historic reasons, the meridian passing the old Royal Astronomical Observatory in Greenwich, England, is the one liked as zero longitude. Located at the eastern edge of London, the British resources, the observatory is now a public museum and a brass band also stretching throughout its yard marks the "prime meridian." Tourists often get photographed as they straddle it--one foot in the eastern hemisphere of the Planet, the other in the western hemisphere.
Lines of longitude or "meridians" A line of longitude is also referred to as a meridian, obtained from the Latin, from meri, a variation of "medius" which denotes "middle", and also diem, meaning "day." The word once meant "noon", and also times of the day before noon were well-known as "ante meridian", while times after it were "write-up meridian." Today's abbreviations a.m. and also p.m. come from these terms, and also the Sun at noon is occasionally said to be "passing meridian". All points on the same line of longitude knowledgeable noon (and also any type of various other hour) at the very same time and were therefore said to be on the same "meridian line", which came to be "meridian" for brief (however, read likewise below about time zones).

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About time--Local and Universal

Two essential ideas, concerned latitude and (especially) longitude are Local time (LT) and Universal time (UT) Local time is actually a meacertain of the position of the Sun relative to a locality. At 12 noon neighborhood time the Sun passes to the southern and also is furthest from the horizon (northern hemisphere). Somewright here about 6 am it rises, and roughly 6 pm it sets. Local time is what you and I usage to control our lives locally, our work-related times, meals and sleep-times. But mean we wanted to time an expensive event--e.g. the moment as soon as the 1987 supernova was first detected. For that we need a solitary agreed-on clock, marking time world-wide, not tied to our locality. That is universal time (UT), which deserve to be identified (via some slight imprecision, no problem here) as the neighborhood time in Greenwich, England also, at the zero meridian.

Local Time (LT) and Time Zones

Longitudes are measured from zero to 180° east and 180° west (or –180°), and also both 180-degree longitudes share the exact same line, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. As the Planet rotates roughly its axis, at any kind of moment one line of longitude--"the noon meridian"--faces the Sun, and at that minute, it will be noon everywhere on it. After 24 hours the Planet has actually undergone a full rotation via respect to the Sun, and the same meridian aget faces noon. Therefore each hour the Earth rotates by 360/24 = 15 levels. When at your place the moment is 12 noon, 15° to the east the time is 1 p.m., for that is the meridian which challenged the Sun an hour ago. On the various other hand also, 15° to the west the time is 11 a.m., for in an hour's time, that meridian will face the Sun and also endure noon. In the middle of the 1ninth century, each area throughout the US characterized in this manner its own neighborhood time, by which the Sun, on the average, reached the farthest suggest from the horizon (for that day) at 12 oclock. However, travelers crossing the US by train had to re-adjust their watches at every city, and long distance telegraph operators had to coordinate their times. This confusion led railroad companies to take on time areas, broad strips (around 15° wide) which observed the exact same local time, differing by 1 hour from bordering zones, and the device was embraced by the nation overall. The continental US has actually 4 major time zones--eastern, main, hill and western, plus numerous more for Alaska, the Aleut islands and also Hawaii. Canadian provinces eastern of Maine observe Atlantic time; you may uncover those areas outlined in maps of the Planet. Other nations of the world have actually their very own time zones; just Saudi Arabia provides regional times, bereason of religious considerations. In enhancement, the clock is primarily shifted one hour forward between April and October. This "daylight saving time" shifts the "clock time" of sunincrease and also suncollection one hour forward, e.g. from 7 to 8. The change of suncollection permits human being whose job-related hours follow the clock to gain sunlight one hour much longer in late afternoon. The Date Line and also Universal Time (UT) Suppose it is noon where you are and you proceed west--and mean you can take a trip instantly to wherever before you wanted. Fifteenager levels to the west the time is 11 a.m., 30 degrees to the west, 10 a.m., 45 degrees--9 a.m. and also so on. Keeping this up, 180 degrees ameans one must reach midnight, and still even more west, it is the previous day. This way, by the moment we have covered 360 degrees and have come earlier to wright here we are, the moment must be noon again--yesterday noon. Hey--wait a minute! You cannot travel from today to the exact same time yesterday! We acquired right into trouble because longitude determines only the hour of the day--not the date, which is figured out independently. To prevent the kind of difficulty encountered above, the international date line has been established--a lot of of it complying with the 180th meridian--wbelow by prevalent agreement, whenever before we cross it the day advancements one day (going west) or goes back someday (going east). That line passes the Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia, which hence have actually various days, however for many of its course it runs in mid-ocean and does not inconvenience any type of neighborhood time keeping. Astronomers, astronauts and also people taking care of satellite information might require a time schedule which is the very same all over, not tied to a locality or time zone. The Greenwich intend time, the astronomical time at Greenwich (averaged over the year) is primarily supplied right here. It is occasionally referred to as Universal Time (UT).

Right Ascension and Declination

The globe of the heavens resembles the world of the Planet, and also positions on it are marked in a comparable means, by a network-related of meridians extending from pole to pole and also of lines of latitude perpendicular to them, circling the sky. To examine some specific galaxy, an astronomer directs the telescope to its coordinates. On Earth, the equator is divided right into 360 levels, through the zero meridian passing Greenwich and also via the longitude angle φ measured east or west of Greenwich, depending upon wbelow the matching meridian meets the equator. In the sky, the equator is also split right into 360 levels, however the count begins at one of the 2 points where the equator cuts the ecliptic--the location of the Sun approximately March 21. It is called the vernal equinox ("vernal" implies related to spring) or periodically the first allude in Aries, because in prehistoric times, once first observed by the Greeks, it was in the zodiac constellation of Aries, the ram. It has actually given that then moved, as is questioned in the later on section on precession. The celestial globe, but, uses terms and also notations which differ somewhat from those of the world of the Earth. Meridians are noted by the angle α (alpha, Greek A), referred to as appropriate ascension, not longitude. It is measured from the vernal equinox, yet just eastward, and also rather of going from 0 to 360 degrees, it is specified in hrs and other departments of time, each hour equal to 15 levels. Similarly, where on Planet latitude goes from 90° north to 90° south (or -90°), astronomers favor the co-latitude, the angle from the polar axis,equal to 0° at the north pole, 90° on the equator, and also 180° at the south pole. It is dubbed declination and also is denoted by the letter δ (delta, Greek tiny D). The 2 angles (α, δ), provided in specifying (for instance) the place of a star, are jointly referred to as its celestial coordinates. The following section tells exactly how the stars, the Sun and also accurate clocks enabled seafarers to uncover their latitude and also longitude.Additional ExploringA site with star maps.Questions from Users: Why execute orbits curve (on a map of Earth)? *** The Four Corners Monument *** Which among the brightest stars is closest to N Pole? *** Local Solar Time in Iceland also *** Distances to the Equator *** The Prime Meridian *** Defining the Equator *** Distance in between two points on a sphereTeachers using this web web page will certainly uncover a connected lesson setup at Llatlong.htm It belongs to a set of leskid plans whose home page is at Lintro.htm.Next off Stop: #5a. Navigation Timeline Glossary Back to the Master ListAuthor and also Curator: Dr. David P. SternMail to Dr.Stern: stargaze("at" symbol) .Last updated: 10 October 2016