The equator is the imaginary line that divides the northern hemisphere from the southern hemisphere. But how long is the equator and what is its significance?
All About The Equator
The equator is located at zero degrees latitude and runs through Indonesia, Ecuador, Brazil, the Congo, Kenya, and many other countries. The sun is directly over the equator at noon twice a year, in late March and September. It is approximately 24,901.55 miles long, though that may not be an exact number since it runs across many immeasurable mountain ranges.
The equator breaks up the northern and southern hemispheres on Earth, but the Prime Meridian is the imaginary line that separates the east from the west. This is located at 180 degrees latitude—North & South America are both in the western hemisphere, and Australia and Europe are both in the eastern hemisphere.
The equator crosses three oceans, including the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic. The climate along the equator can be very dramatic and fluctuates depending on the land’s proximity to the ocean. In many areas, the temperatures are high year-round, with no real seasonal distinction. In fact, seasons are often referred to as wet or dry in this region (instead of fall, winter, spring and summer). Despite the warm temperatures, there are still many areas along the equator that can be very cold, especially in the mountain region. There is even snowfall on the cliffs of the Volcan Cayambe, which is a volcano in Ecuador.
Uses of the Equator
The equator is believed to be a good launching point for space shuttles, and is home to space stations like Guiana Space Centre and French Guiana. The reason is these areas are moving faster than any other due to the Earth’s rotation, which means less velocity is needed for a spaceship to launch.
So how long is the equator?
It is about 24,901.55 miles, though that number may be a little different if you take into account mountain ranges and other terrain that can’t be precisely measured.