parallels of latitude


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Related to parallels of latitude: Tropic of Cancer, longitude

parallels of latitude

Any of the imaginary lines on the surface of the earth lying in an east-west direction that are parallel to the equator. They are used as north and south references in navigating and mapmaking. The equator is the 0° parallel of latitude, the geographic north pole is the 90° north latitude, and the geographic south pole is the 90° south latitude. See latitude.
References in periodicals archive ?
When the meridians are spaced according to the sine of the longitude difference, he showed that the parallels of latitude are elliptical, and when they are spaced as the tangent of one half of the longitudinal difference, then the parallels are parabolas.
But Mercator developed his projection to portray the parallels of latitude and the meridians of longitude as straight lines, a boon to mariners charting their courses across wide expanses of ocean.