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GLOBE : LATITUDES AND LONGITUDES
In the previous chapter, you have read that our planet earth is not a sphere. It is slightly flattened at the North and the South Poles and bulge in the middle. Can you imagine how it looks? You may look at a globe carefully in your classroom to get an idea. Globe is a true model (miniature form) of the earth (Figure 2.1).
Globes may be of varying size and type – big ones, which cannot be carried easily, small pocket globes, and globe-like balloons, which can be inflated and are handy and carried with ease. The globe is not fixed. It can be rotated the same way as a top spin or a potter’s wheel is rotated. On the globe, countries, continents and oceans are shown in their correct size. It is difficult to describe the location of a point on a sphere like the earth. Now the question arises as to how to locate a place on it? We need certain points of reference and lines to find out the location of places.
You will notice that a needle is fixed through the globe in a tilted manner, which is called its axis. Two points on the globe through which the needle passes are two poles – North Pole and South Pole. The globe can be moved around this needle from west to east just as the earth moves. But, remember there is a major difference. The real earth has no such needle. It moves around its axis, which is an imaginary line.
Another imaginary line running on the globe divides it into two equal parts. This line is known as the equator. The northern half of the earth is known as the Northern Hemisphere and the southern half is known as the Southern Hemisphere. They are both equal halves. Therefore, the equator is an imaginary circular line and is a very important reference point to locate places on the earth. All parallel circles from the equator up to the poles are called parallels of latitudes. Latitudes are measured in degrees.
The equator represents the zero degree latitude. Since the distance from the equator to either of the poles is one-fourth of a circle round the earth, it will measure ¼th of 360 degrees, i.e. 90°. Thus, 90 degrees north latitude marks the North Pole and 90 degrees south latitude marks the South Pole. As such, all parallels north of the equator are called ‘north latitudes.’ Similarly all parallels south of the equator are called ‘south latitudes.’
The value of each latitude is, therefore, followed by either the word north or south. Generally, this is indicated by the letter ‘N’ or ‘S’. For example, both Chandrapur in Maharashtra (India) and Belo Horizonte in Brazil (South America) are located on parallels of about 20° latitude. But the former is 20° north of the equator and the latter is 20° south of it. We, therefore, say that Chandrapur is situated at 20° N latitude and Belo Horizonte is situated at 20° S latitude.We see in Figure 2.2 that as we move away from the equator, the size of the parallels of latitude decreases.
1. Answer the following questions briefly.
(a) What is the true shape of the earth?
(b) What is a globe?
(c) What is the latitudinal value of the Tropic of Cancer?
(d) What are the three heat zones of the Earth?
(e) What are parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude?
(f) Why does the torrid zone receive maximum amount of heat?
(g) Why is it 5.30 p.m. in India and 12.00 noon in London?
2. Tick the correct answers.
(a) The value of the prime meridian is
(i) 90° (ii) 0° (iii) 60°
(b) The frigid zone lies near
(i) the Poles (ii) the Equator (iii) the Tropic of Cancer
(c) The total number of longitudes are
(i) 360 (ii) 180 (iii) 90
(d) The Antarctic circle is located in
(i) the Northern hemisphere
(ii) the Southern hemisphere
(iii) the Eastern hemisphere
(e) Grid is a network of
(i) parallels of latitudes and merdians of longitudes
(ii) the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn
(iii) the North Pole and the South Pole
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 6 Geography Globe-Latitudes And Longitudes