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Facts About The Equator For Kids


  • 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.
  • Notably, the Equator refers to the Earth’s equator, per above: an imaginary line on the Earth’s surface equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole, dividing the Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere.
  • 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 imaginary circle obtained when the Earth’s equator is projected onto the sky is called the celestial equator.
  • The Sun, in its seasonal apparent movement across the sky, passes directly over the Equator twice each year, at the March and September equinoxes.
  • Such places also have a theoretical constant 12 hours of day and night throughout the year, though in practice there are variations of a few minutes due to the effects of atmospheric refraction and because sunrise and sunset are measured from the time that the edge of the Sun’s disk is on the horizon, rather than the center of the disk.
  • It has an average diameter of 12,750 kilometers (7,922 mi), but at the Equator the diameter is approximately 43 kilometers (27 mi) greater than the polar diameter.
  • Locations near the Equator are theoretically good sites for spaceports, such as the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana, as they are already moving faster than any other point on the Earth due to the Earth’s rotation, and the added velocity reduces the amount of fuel needed to launch spacecraft.
  • Although this axis is relatively stable, its position drifts about 9.0 meters (30 ft) north-south over the course of a year.
  • The temperatures there are usually high year-round—with the distinct exception of parts of the Equator that cross high mountains in South America and in Africa.
  • The temperature at the Equator can also plummet during the extensive rainstorms in many locations.
  • These oceanic, rainy, and mountainous locations mean that the equatorial climate is not the hottest in the world.
  • The surface of the Earth at the Equator lies mostly on three of the oceans: the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.
  • This place is a short distance above the snow line, and this immediate vicinity forms the only section of the Equator where snow lies on the ground.
  • Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the Equator passes through: Despite its name, no part of Equatorial Guinea’s territory lies on the Equator.
  • In either case, the length of the Equator is by definition exactly 2π times the given standard, which to the nearest millimeter is 40,075.016686 kilometers (24,901.460897 mi) in WGS-84 and 40,075.035535 kilometres (24,901.472609 mi) in IAU-1976 and IAU-2000.
  • Although millimeter precision can be important up to the scale of a mile, it has negligible physical significance at the scale of a geographic feature such as the Equator.
  • The geographical mile is defined as one arc minute of the Equator, and therefore has different values depending on which standard Equator is used, namely 1,855.3248 meters (6,087.024 ft) or 1,855.3257 metres (6,087.027 ft) for respectively WGS-84 and IAU-2000, a difference of nearly a millimeter.
  • Aviation Week and Space Technology on 9 October 1961 reported that measurements using the Transit IV-A satellite had shown the equatorial “diameter” from longitude 11 deg West to 169 East to be 1000 feet greater than its “diameter” ninety degrees away.
  • Lowlands around the Equator generally have a tropical rainforest climate, also known as an equatorial climate, though cold currents cause some regions to have tropical monsoon climates with a dry season in the middle of the year.