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A **great circle** is any **circle** that divides the earth into a circumference of two equal halves. Examples of small **circles** include all lines of latitude except the equator, the Tropical of **Cancer**, **Tropic of Capricorn**, the Arctic **Circle**, and Antarctic **Circle**.

A **Great Circle** is any **circle** that circumnavigates the Earth and passes through the center of the Earth. A **great circle** always divides the Earth in half, thus the Equator is a **great circle** (but no other latitudes) and all lines of longitude are **great circles**.

For **example**, the Prime Meridian at 0° is half of a **great circle**. On the opposite side of the globe is the International Date Line at 180°. The only line of latitude, or parallel, characterized as a **great circle** is the equator because it passes through the exact center of the Earth and divides it in half.

A **rhumb line**, also called a loxodrome, is a **line** of constant bearing. For example, if you steer your ship or airplane on a constant bearing of, say, 045°, you will be following a **rhumb line**. A **great circle** is the **line** formed by the intersection of a plane through the earth’s centre and the earth’s surface.

how many great circles are there? A **great circle** is created by any line that slices through the center of a sphere. **Great circles** on Earth are roughly 40,000 kilometers (24,855 miles) all the way around.

equator

What is the longest parallel?

equator

Why are latitudes parallel?

Latitude lines are parallel because they tell you how far away (in degrees of an angle rather than absolute distance) you are from an interesting circle, the Equator. The Equator is intrinsically interesting and physically relevant. It’s an imaginary line drawn between the poles and passing through Greenwich.

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Why do the two circles of latitude never touch?

Lines of Latitude are also called parallels because they are parallel to each other. They NEVER touch. The 0° Latitude line is called the Equator.

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Why is it called the Tropic of Cancer?

The Tropic of Cancer was named because at the time of its naming, the sun was positioned in the Cancer constellation during the June solstice. Likewise, the Tropic of Capricorn was named because the sun was in the constellation Capricorn during the December solstice.

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How many longitudes are there?

360

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Where is the Prime Meridian?

The Prime Meridian, as it passes through Greenwich, England, is considered 0 degrees longitude. Because both the equator and the Prime Meridian are imaginary lines, they were both established by mankind at some point in human history.

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What is great and small circle?

A great circle is the largest circle that can be drawn on the surface of a sphere. A small circle is any other circle that can be drawn on a sphere. So (on a spherical earth, all latitudes except the equator are small circles). Take a perfect sphere and cut into two unequal parts.

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Why do planes fly great circles?

Planes travel along the true shortest route in 3-dimensional space. This route is called a geodesic or great circle. While map projections distort these routes confusing passengers, the great circle path is the shortest path between two far locations. This is why pilots fly polar routes saving time and distance.

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At what point on earth does a great circle go through?

The Greenwich Meridian goes through Greenwich and also the North and South Poles and any line that goes through both the North and South Poles must be a great circle, because the Poles are opposite each other. (Remember: any circle that passes through two points opposite each other on a sphere is a great circle.)

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How many circles are in a sphere?

As a corollary, on a sphere there is exactly one circle that can be drawn through three given points. The proof can be extended to show that the points on a circle are all a common angular distance from one of its poles.

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Is a circle a sphere?

Key difference: Both, circles and spheres are circular objects. A circle is a two-dimensional figure, while a sphere is a three-dimensional figure. A circle is a round plane figure whose boundary (the circumference) consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the centre).

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How many miles does 1 degree equal along a great circle?

Well, there’s 360 degrees in a circle, so if we divide 24,901.92 miles by 360 degrees, we get 69.172 miles per degree! How’s that! And furthermore, the distance between two lines of latitude, from 0 degrees to 1 degree north, is also 69.2 miles – because it’s also 1/360th of the circumference of the earth!” ”

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What are the characteristics of great circle?

A great circle is the shortest path between two points along the surface of a sphere. The precise definition of a great circle is the intersection of the surface with a plane passing through the center of the planet. Thus, great circles always bisect the sphere. The equator and all meridians are great circles.

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What is the great circle of a sphere?

A great circle, also known as an orthodrome, of a sphere is the intersection of the sphere and a plane that passes through the center point of the sphere. The minor arc of a great circle between two points is the shortest surface-path between them.

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