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The Equator is a
circle of latitude A circle of latitude or line of latitude on is an abstract – connecting all locations around Earth (ignoring ) at a given . Circles of latitude are often called parallels because they are to each other; that is, planes that contain an ...
, about in circumference, that divides
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
into the
Northern
Northern
and
Southern The name Southern may refer to: * South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earl ...

Southern
hemispheres. It is an
imaginary line In general, an imaginary line is usually any sort of geometric line that has only an abstract definition and does not physically exist. In fact, they used to properly identify places on a map. Some outside geography do exist, such as the Me ...
located at 0 degrees
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
, halfway between the
North North is one of the four compass points The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydro ...
and
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
poles. In spatial (3D)
geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures. A mat ...

geometry
, as applied in
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
, the equator of a rotating
spheroid A spheroid, also known as an ellipsoid of revolution or rotational ellipsoid, is a quadric In mathematics, a quadric or quadric surface (quadric hypersurface in higher dimensions), is a generalization of conic sections (ellipse In math ...

spheroid
(such as a
planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and ...

planet
) is the parallel (circle of latitude) at which latitude is defined to be 0°. It is an
imaginary line In general, an imaginary line is usually any sort of geometric line that has only an abstract definition and does not physically exist. In fact, they used to properly identify places on a map. Some outside geography do exist, such as the Me ...
on the spheroid, equidistant from its
poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...
, dividing it into northern and southern hemispheres. In other words, it is the intersection of the spheroid with the
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early flying machines include all forms of aircraft studied ...
perpendicular In elementary geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relativ ...

perpendicular
to its axis of
rotation A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) of rotation. The plane (geometry), geometric plane along which the rotation occurs is called the ''rotation plane'', and the imaginary line extending from the center an ...

rotation
and midway between its
geographical pole A geographical pole or geographic pole is either of the two points on Earth where its axis of rotation Rotation around a fixed axis is a special case of rotation A rotation is a circular movement of an object around a center (or point) ...
s. On and near the equator, noontime
sunlight Sunlight is a portion of the given off by the , in particular , , and light. On , sunlight is and through , and is obvious as when the Sun is above the . When direct is not blocked by s, it is experienced as sunshine, a combination of b ...

sunlight
appears almost directly overhead (no more than about 23° from the
zenith The zenith is an imaginary point directly "above" a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. "Above" means in the vertical direction (plumb line) opposite to the gravity direction at that location (nadir). The zenith is the "high ...

zenith
) every day, year-round. Consequently, the equator has a rather stable daytime temperature throughout the year. On the
equinox An equinox is traditionally defined as the time when the plane In mathematics, a plane is a flatness (mathematics), flat, two-dimensional surface (mathematics), surface that extends infinitely far. A plane is the two-dimensional space, two-di ...

equinox
es (approximately March 20 and September 23) the
subsolar point The subsolar point on a planet is the point at which its sun is perceived to be directly overhead (at the zenith); that is, where the sun's rays strike the planet exactly perpendicular In elementary geometry, the property of being perpendicu ...

subsolar point
crosses the Earth's equator at a shallow angle, sunlight shines perpendicular to the Earth's axis of rotation, and all latitudes have nearly a 12-hour day and 12-hour night.


Etymology

The name is derived from
medieval Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
word , in the phrase , meaning 'circle equalizing day and night', from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word 'make equal'.


Overview

The
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
of the Earth's equator is, by definition, 0° (zero
degrees Degree may refer to: As a unit of measurement * Degree symbol (°), a notation used in science, engineering, and mathematics * Degree (angle), a unit of angle measurement * Degree (temperature), any of various units of temperature measurement ...
) of arc. The equator is one of the five notable
circles of latitude The Mercator projection and its use on a world map. This projection first came into use in the 16th century by the Dutch. A circle of latitude or line of latitude on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomi ...
on Earth; the other four are both
polar circle A polar circle is a geographic term for a conditional circular line (arc) referring either to the Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two s and the most northerly of the five major as shown on maps of . It marks the northernmo ...

polar circle
s (the
Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two polar circle A polar circle is a geographic term for a conditional circular line (arc) referring either to the Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two s and the most northerly of the fiv ...

Arctic Circle
and the
Antarctic Circle 350px, ''Map of the Antarctic with the Antarctic Circle in blue.'' The Antarctic Circle is the most southerly of the five major circle of latitude, circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The region south of this circle is known as the An ...

Antarctic Circle
) and both
tropical circles
tropical circles
(the
Tropic of Cancer The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...

Tropic of Cancer
and the
Tropic of Capricorn The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the circle of latitude A circle of latitude or line of latitude on is an abstract – connecting all locations around Earth (ignoring ) at a given . Circles of latitude are often ...
). The equator is the only line of latitude which is also a
great circle A great circle, also known as an orthodrome, of a sphere of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a Geometry, geometrical object in solid geometry, three-dimensional space that is the surface of a Ball (mathem ...

great circle
—meaning, one whose
plane Plane or planes may refer to: * Airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine Early flying machines include all forms of aircraft studied ...
passes through the center of the globe. The plane of Earth's equator, when projected outwards to the
celestial sphere In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses ...

celestial sphere
, defines the
celestial equator The celestial equator is the great circle A great circle, also known as an orthodrome, of a sphere of a sphere A sphere (from Greek language, Greek —, "globe, ball") is a Geometry, geometrical object in solid geometry, three-dimensiona ...
. In the cycle of Earth's
season A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or ...

season
s, the equatorial plane runs through the Sun twice a
year A year is the orbital period of a planetary body, for example, the Earth, moving in Earth's orbit, its orbit around the Sun. Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by change in weather, the ...
: on the
equinox An equinox is traditionally defined as the time when the plane In mathematics, a plane is a flatness (mathematics), flat, two-dimensional surface (mathematics), surface that extends infinitely far. A plane is the two-dimensional space, two-di ...

equinox
es in
March March is the third month of the year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days ...
and
September September is the ninth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the calendar A calendar is a system of organizing days. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically ...
. To a person on Earth, the Sun
appears to travel along
appears to travel along
the equator (or along the celestial equator) at these times. Locations on the equator experience the shortest
sunrise Sunrise (or sunup) is the moment when the upper rim of the Sun appears on the horizon in the morning. The term can also refer to the entire process of the solar disk crossing the horizon and its accompanying atmospheric optics, atmospheric eff ...

sunrise
s and
sunset Sunset, also known as sundown, is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the horizon The horizon is the apparent line that separates earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor ...

sunset
s because the Sun's daily path is nearly perpendicular to the
horizon The horizon is the apparent line that separates the surface of a celestial body In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that st ...

horizon
for most of the year. The length of
daylight Daylight is the combination of all direct and indirect sunlight Sunlight is a portion of the given off by the , in particular , , and light. On , sunlight is and through , and is obvious as when the Sun is above the . When direct is ...

daylight
(sunrise to sunset) is almost constant throughout the year; it is about 14 minutes longer than nighttime due to
atmospheric refraction Atmospheric refraction is the deviation of or other from a straight line as it passes through the due to the variation in as a function of . This refraction is due to the velocity of light through , decreasing (the increases) with increased ...

atmospheric refraction
and the fact that sunrise begins (or sunset ends) as the upper limb, not the center, of the Sun's disk contacts the horizon. Earth bulges slightly at the equator; its average diameter is , but the diameter at the equator is about greater than at the poles. Sites near the equator, such as the
Guiana Space Centre The Guiana Space Centre (french: links=no, Centre Spatial Guyanais; CSG), also called Europe's Spaceport, is a and to the northwest of in , a region of France in South America. Operational since 1968, it is particularly suitable as a locat ...
in
Kourou Kourou () is a in , an and of France in South America. It is an administrative district in French Guiana and the main town there. Within the Kourou district lies the , the main of France and the . Geography Some northwest of the French ...

Kourou
,
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: link=no, Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity A single territorial collectivity (french: collectivité territoriale ''unique'') is a chartered subdivision of France ...

French Guiana
, are good locations for
spaceport A spaceport or cosmodrome is a site for launching (or receiving) spacecraft File:Space Shuttle Columbia launching.jpg, 275px, The US Space Shuttle flew 135 times from 1981 to 2011, supporting Spacelab, ''Mir'', the Hubble Space Telescope, ...
s as they have the fastest
rotational speed Rotational speed (also known as speed of revolution or rate of rotation), of an object rotating around an axis is the number of turns of the object divided by time, specified as revolutions per minute Revolutions per minute (abbreviated r ...
of any latitude, /sec. The added
velocity The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position with respect to a frame of reference In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical scie ...
reduces the fuel needed to launch spacecraft eastward (in the direction of Earth's rotation) to orbit, while simultaneously avoiding costly maneuvers to flatten
inclination Orbital inclination measures the tilt of an object's orbit around a celestial body. It is expressed as the angle between a Plane of reference, reference plane and the orbital plane or Axis of rotation, axis of direction of the orbiting object. ...

inclination
during missions such as the
Apollo moon landings
Apollo moon landings
.


Geodesy


Precise location

The precise location of the equator is not truly fixed; the true equatorial plane is perpendicular to the Earth's rotation axis, which
drifts
drifts
about during a year. This effect must be accounted for in detailed
geophysical Geophysics () is a subject of natural science Natural science is a Branches of science, branch of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Phenomenon, natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observa ...
measurements. Geological samples show the equator significantly changed positions between 12 and 48 million years ago, as sediment deposited by ocean thermal currents at the equator have shifted. The deposits by thermal currents are determined by the axis of the earth, which determines solar coverage of the Earth's surface. Changes in the Earth axis can also be observed in the geographic layout of volcanic island chains, which are created by shifting hot spots under the Earth's crust as the axis and crust move. This correlates with the Indian tectonic plate colliding with the Eurasian tectonic plate, which is causing the
Himalaya The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit: , "snow", "dwelling", "abode"), are a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has some of the planet's highest peaks, including the ...

Himalaya
n uplift.


Exact length

The International Association of Geodesy (IAG) and the International Astronomical Union (IAU) use an equatorial radius of (codified as the IAU 2009 value). This equatorial radius is also in the 2003 and 2010 IERS Conventions. It is also the equatorial radius used for the IERS 2003 ellipsoid. If it were really circular, the length of the equator would then be exactly 2π times the radius, namely . The
GRS 80 The Geodetic Reference System 1980 (GRS 80) is a geodetic reference system A geodetic datum or geodetic system (also: geodetic reference datum, geodetic reference system, or geodetic reference frame) is a global datum reference or reference frame ...
(Geodetic Reference System 1980) as approved and adopted by the IUGG at its Canberra, Australia meeting of 1979 has an equatorial radius of . The
WGS 84 The World Geodetic System (WGS) is a standard for use in cartography Cartography (; from χάρτης ''chartēs'', "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν ''graphein'', "write") is the study and practice of making and using ...
(World Geodetic System 1984) which is a standard for use in cartography, geodesy, and satellite navigation including
GPS The Global Positioning System (GPS), originally Navstar GPS, is a satellite-based radionavigation system owned by the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national ...
, also has an equatorial radius of . For both GRS 80 and WGS 84, this results in a length for the equator of . The
geographical mile The geographical mile is a unit of length determined by 1 minute of arc along the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of conti ...
is defined as one
arc-minute A minute of arc, arcminute (arcmin), arc minute, or minute arc, denoted by the symbol , is a unit of Angular unit, angular measurement equal to of one Degree (angle), degree. Since one degree is of a turn (geometry), turn (or complete rotati ...
of the equator, so it has different values depending on which radius is assumed. For example, by WSG-84, the distance is , while by IAU-2000, it is . This is a difference of less than over the total distance (approximately ). The earth is commonly modeled as a
sphere A sphere (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...

sphere
flattened 0.336% along its axis. This makes the equator 0.16% longer than a
meridian Meridian, or a meridian line may refer to Science * Meridian (astronomy), imaginary circle in a plane perpendicular to the planes of the celestial equator and horizon **Central meridian (planets) * Meridian (geography), an imaginary arc on the E ...
(a great circle passing through the two poles). The IUGG standard meridian is, to the nearest millimetre, , one arc-minute of which is , explaining the SI standardization of the
nautical mile A nautical mile is a unit of length A unit of length refers to any arbitrarily chosen and accepted reference standard for measurement of length. The most common units in modern use are the metric system, metric units, used in every country gl ...
as , more than less than the
geographical mile The geographical mile is a unit of length determined by 1 minute of arc along the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of conti ...
. The
sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which heights such as elevation may be measured. The global MSL is a type of Vertical datum, vertical dat ...

sea-level
surface of the Earth (the
geoid The geoid () is the shape that the ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large bodies of water into wh ...

geoid
) is irregular, so the actual length of the equator is not so easy to determine. ''
Aviation Week and Space Technology ''Aviation Week & Space Technology'', often abbreviated ''Aviation Week'' or ''AW&ST'', is the flagship magazine of the Aviation Week Network. The weekly magazine is available in print and online, reporting on the aerospace, defense and aviatio ...
'' on 9 October 1961 reported that measurements using the
Transit Transit may refer to: Arts and entertainment Film * Transit (1979 film), ''Transit'' (1979 film), a 1979 Israeli film * Transit (2005 film), ''Transit'' (2005 film), a film produced by MTV and Staying-Alive about four people in countries in the wo ...
IV-A satellite had shown the equatorial diameter from longitude 11° West to 169° East to be greater than its diameter ninety degrees away.


Equatorial countries and territories

The equator passes through the land of 11
countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social ...

countries
.
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
is the country straddling the greatest length of the equatorial line across both land and sea. Starting at the
Prime Meridian #REDIRECT Prime meridian#REDIRECT Prime meridian A prime meridian is the meridian (geography), meridian (a line of longitude) in a geographic coordinate system at which longitude is defined to be 0°. Together, a prime meridian and its anti-meri ...

Prime Meridian
and heading eastwards, the equator passes through: Despite its name, no part of
Equatorial Guinea Equatorial Guinea ( es, Guinea Ecuatorial; french: Guinée équatoriale; pt, Guiné Equatorial), officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea ( es, link=no, República de Guinea Ecuatorial, french: link=no, République de Guinée équatoriale, ...

Equatorial Guinea
lies on the equator. However, its island of
Annobón Annobón ( es, Provincia de Annobón; pt, Ano-Bom), and formerly as ''Anno Bom'' and ''Annabona'', is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' p ...
is south of the equator, and the rest of the country lies to the north.


Equatorial seasons and climate

Seasons result from the tilt of the Earth's axis compared to the plane of its revolution around the Sun. Throughout the year, the northern and southern hemispheres are alternately turned either toward or away from the sun depending on Earth's position in its orbit. The hemisphere turned toward the sun receives more sunlight and is in summer, while the other hemisphere receives less sun and is in winter (see
solstice A solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an abstraction, abstr ...

solstice
). At the
equinoxes An equinox is traditionally defined as the time when the plane In mathematics, a plane is a flatness (mathematics), flat, two-dimensional surface (mathematics), surface that extends infinitely far. A plane is the two-dimensional space, two-d ...
, the Earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun rather than tilted toward or away, meaning that day and night are both about 12 hours long across the whole of the Earth. Near the equator, this means the variation in the strength of solar radiation is different relative to the time of year than it is at higher latitudes: Maximum solar radiation is received during the equinoxes, when a place at the equator is under the
subsolar point The subsolar point on a planet is the point at which its sun is perceived to be directly overhead (at the zenith); that is, where the sun's rays strike the planet exactly perpendicular In elementary geometry, the property of being perpendicu ...

subsolar point
at high noon, and the intermediate seasons of spring and autumn occur at higher latitudes, and the minimum occurs during ''both'' solstices, when either pole is tilted towards or away from the sun, resulting in either summer or winter in both hemispheres. This also results in a corresponding movement of the equator away from the subsolar point, which is then situated over or near the relevant
tropic The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% i ...

tropic
circle A circle is a shape A shape or figure is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external surface File:Water droplet lying on a damask.jpg, Water droplet lying on a damask. Surface tension is high enough to preven ...
. Nevertheless, temperatures are high year-round due to the earth's
axial tilt In , axial tilt, also known as obliquity, is the angle between an object's and its al axis, or, equivalently, the angle between its ial plane and . It differs from . At an obliquity of 0 degrees, the two axes point in the same direction; i.e., ...
of 23.5° not being enough to create a low minimum midday
declination In astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses math ...
to sufficiently weaken the sun's rays even during the solstices. High year-round temperatures extend to about 25° north or south of the equator, although the moderate seasonal temperature difference is defined by the opposing solstices (as it is at higher latitudes) near the poleward limits of this range. Near the equator, there is little temperature change throughout the year, though there may be dramatic differences in rainfall and humidity. The terms summer, autumn, winter and spring do not generally apply. Lowlands around the equator generally have a
tropical rainforest climate A tropical rainforest climate or equatorial climate is a tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or hi ...
, also known as an equatorial climate, though cold ocean currents cause some regions to have
tropical monsoon climate An area of tropical monsoon climate (occasionally known as a tropical wet climate or a tropical monsoon and trade-wind littoral climate) is a type of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmos ...
s with a
dry season The dry season is a yearly period of low rainfall, especially in the tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of ...
in the middle of the year, and the Somali Current generated by the Asian monsoon due to continental heating via the high
Tibetan Plateau The Tibetan Plateau (, also known as the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau () or as the Himalayan Plateau in India, is a vast elevated plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and - ...
causes
Greater Somalia Greater Somalia ( so, Soomaaliweyn 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒓𐒗𐒕𐒒, ar, الصومال الكبرى ''As-Sūmal al-Kubra'') is a concept to unite all ethnic Somalis comprising the regions in or near the Horn of Africa The Horn of A ...

Greater Somalia
to have an arid climate despite its equatorial location. Average annual temperatures in equatorial lowlands are around during the afternoon and around sunrise. Rainfall is very high away from cold ocean current upwelling zones, from per year. There are about 200 rainy days per year and average annual sunshine hours are around 2,000. Despite high year-round sea level temperatures, some higher altitudes such as the
Andes The Andes, Andes Mountains or Andean Mountains ( es, Cordillera de los Andes) are the List of mountain ranges#Mountain ranges by length, longest continental mountain range in the world, forming a continuous highland along the western edge of Sou ...

Andes
and
Mount Kilimanjaro Mount Kilimanjaro () is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It has three volcanic cones: Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. It is the highest African mountains, mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world: above sea le ...

Mount Kilimanjaro
have glaciers. The highest point on the equator is at the elevation of , at , found on the southern slopes of Volcán Cayambe ummit in
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
. This is slightly above the
snow line The climatic snow line is the boundary between a snow Snow comprises individual ice crystals that grow while suspended in the atmosphere—usually within clouds—and then fall, accumulating on the ground where they undergo further chang ...
and is the only place on the equator where snow lies on the ground. At the equator, the snow line is around ''lower'' than on
Mount Everest Mount Everest (Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's ...

Mount Everest
and as much as lower than the highest snow line in the world, near the
Tropic of Capricorn The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the circle of latitude A circle of latitude or line of latitude on is an abstract – connecting all locations around Earth (ignoring ) at a given . Circles of latitude are often ...
on
Llullaillaco Llullaillaco () is a dormant stratovolcano A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical A cone is a three-dimensional space, three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though ...

Llullaillaco
.


Line crossing ceremonies

There is a widespread maritime tradition of holding ceremonies to mark a sailor's first crossing of the equator. In the past, these ceremonies have been notorious for their brutality, especially in naval practice. Milder line-crossing ceremonies, typically featuring King Neptune, are also held for passengers' entertainment on some civilian ocean liners and cruise ships.


See also

* 1st parallel north *
1st parallel south The 1st parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 1 degree (angle), degree south of the Earth, Earth's equator, equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and Sou ...
*
Coriolis effect In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior throug ...

Coriolis effect
* Intertropical Convergence Zone *
Prime meridian #REDIRECT Prime meridian#REDIRECT Prime meridian A prime meridian is the meridian (geography), meridian (a line of longitude) in a geographic coordinate system at which longitude is defined to be 0°. Together, a prime meridian and its anti-meri ...
* Thermal equator *
Bogota Declaration The Declaration of the First Meeting of Equatorial Countries, also known as the Bogota Declaration, is a declaration made and signed in 1976 by seven equatorial countries, and was an attempt to assert sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme a ...

Bogota Declaration
* Planetary equator


References


Sources

* (IUGG/WGS-84 data) * (IAU data) {{Authority control Astronomical coordinate systems Circles of latitude Geodesy Tropics