Northern and Southern Hemispheres

We draw latitudes and longitudes across the globe to locate places on it. Imaginary lines running east to west, parallel to the Equator, are known as lines of latitude. Lines of latitude are the imaginary lines joining all places having the same latitude towards north or south of the Equator. These are also called parallels of latitudes as they run parallel to the Equator. Here you will find a brief note on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.


Main Latitudes

  • The Equator is the longest latitude.
  • The North Pole is located at 90°N.
  • The South Pole is located at 90°S.
  • The Tropic of Cancer is located at 23 ½° N in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The Tropic of Capricorn is located at 23 ½° S in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The Arctic Circle is located at 66 ½° N of the Equator.
  • The Antarctic Circle is located at 66 ½° S of the Equator.

Each latitude forms a full circle. The Equator is a great circle. The length of the circles decreases as we move towards the poles.


Northern and Southern Hemispheres

The Equator divides the Earth into two equal parts. The part lying to the north of the Equator is known as the Northern Hemisphere and the part lying to the south of the Equator is known as the Southern Hemisphere.

The North Pole (90°N) is located in the Northern Hemisphere at the extreme end of the Earth. The South Pole (90°S) is located to the south of the Equator in the Southern Hemisphere.

The length of the Equator is equal to the circumference of the Earth which is 40,077 km. Because the Equator is a great circle and the circumference of a circle is equal to 360°, 1° angular distance is approximately equal to 111 km.

Latitudes help us to find the distance of any place from the Equator based on its degree of latitude. Example: Chennai is located at 13°N. Because 1° latitude = 111 km, the distance of Chennai from the Equator will be 13 × 111 = 1443 km.


Also, Read The Earth’s Grid