Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Equator'
- an imaginary line around the Earth forming the great circle that is equidistant from the north and south poles; "the equator is the boundary between the northern and southern hemispheres"
- a circle dividing a sphere or other surface into two usually equal and symmetrical parts
- Equator \E*qua"tor\, n. [L. aequator one who equalizes: cf. F.
['e]quateur equator. See Equate.]
- (Geog.) The imaginary great circle on the earth's surface, everywhere equally distant from the two poles, and dividing the earth's surface into two hemispheres.
- (Astron.) The great circle of the celestial sphere, coincident with the plane of the earth's equator; -- so called because when the sun is in it, the days and nights are of equal length; hence called also the equinoctial, and on maps, globes, etc., the equinoctial line. Equator of the sun or of a planet (Astron.), the great circle whose plane passes through through the center of the body, and is perpendicular to its axis of revolution. Magnetic equator. See Aclinic.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Equator'
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass. The capitalized term Equator refers to the Earth's equator.
In simpler language, the Equator is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole that divides the Earth into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere. The equators of other planets and astronomical bodies are defined analogously.
The latitude of the Equator is 0° (zero degrees). The length of Earth's equator is about 40,008.629 kilometres (24,860.2 mi). To calculate the actual length of the Equator would require taking into consideration that the Equator goes up and down various mountains and hills in South America, in Africa, and on various islands. This distance has never been surveyed. The Equator is one of the five notable circles of latitude on Earth, with the others being the two Polar Circles and the two Tropical Circles: the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The Equator is the only line of latitude which is also precisely a great circle. The imaginary circle obtained when the Earth's equator is projected onto the sky is called the celestial equator.[See more about Equator at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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