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An equator is an imaginary line around the middle of a planet or other celestial body. It is halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole, at 0 degrees latitude. An equator divides the planet into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere.
See the fact file below for more information on the equator or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Equator worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
CENTRE OF THE EARTH
- The name “equator” comes from the Latin term for “even-maker”; at the equator, day and night are exactly the same length all through the year.
- The Earth’s diameter at the equator is around 12,756 kilometers (7,926 miles). At the poles, the diameter is around 12,714 kilometers (7,900 miles). The Earth’s equatorial bulge is around 43 kilometers (27 miles).
- The Earth’s diameter is also wider at the equator, creating a phenomenon called an equatorial bulge. The diameter of a circle is measured by a straight line that passes through the center of the circle and has its endpoints on the boundary of that circle.
- The equatorial bulge is created by the Earth’s rotation. As lines of latitude increase in size, a point has to travel faster to complete a circle (revolution) in the same amount of time.
NIGHT AND DAY SEASONS
- The equator itself crosses the land or territorial waters of 14 countries.
- If a person lives on the equator, they will experience the quickest rates of sunrise and sunset.
- These places also have twelve hours of day and night all through the year, while in places north or south of the equator, day length increasingly varies with the seasons.
- In its seasonal movement through the sky, the Sun itself passes directly over the equator only twice each year, on the March and September equinoxes.
- In what might seem to be a contradictory pair of facts, the parts of the
Earth that lie on the equator mark both the area with the world’s greatest concentration of natural biodiversity and also human poverty.
- Almost half of the world’s rainforests are concentrated on the equator in just three countries; Brazil, Congo, and Indonesia.
CROSSING THE LINE
- There is a seafaring tradition whereby all sailors who cross the equator during a sea voyage must join rituals initiating them into what is known as “The Solemn Mysteries of the Ancient Order of the Deep”.
- Those who have never “crossed the line” are referred to as “pollywogs” and are required to undertake various initiation rituals performed by members of the crew who have made the journey before in order to pay respect to King Neptune of the Deep.
- Upon completion of the initiation ceremony, the “pollywogs” are then known as “trusty Shellbacks”.
- By definition, the latitude of the Earth’s equator is 0 degrees, while the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn each lie at 23.5 degrees latitude.
- The tropics are distinguished from the other climatic and biotic regions of Earth, which are the middle latitudes and the polar regions on either side of the equatorial zone.
MYTHS AND FACTS
- Myth: the equator strip is 3 miles (5 km) wide. The latitude 0°0’0’’ varies in this area during the year according to the revolution of the Earth.
- Fact: the Earth spins quite fast, so the greater centrifugal force at the equator weakens the gravitational pull.
- Myth: the phenomenon known as the Coriolis Effect refers to great air currents that are influenced by the revolution of the Earth.
- Theoretically, it’s a fact: for the same gravitational reason. Since gravity is weaker there, it’s easier to balance things.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the equator across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Marshall Plan worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about an equator which is an imaginary line around the middle of a planet or other celestial body. It is halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole, at 0 degrees latitude. An equator divides the planet into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- The Equator Facts
- All About Equators
- Sailors Crossing
- Jumbled Equator
- Crossword Puzzle
- Feed My Brain
- Explain to Me
- Search for More
- Post a Picture
- Equator’s Purpose
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Link will appear as Equator Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 20, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.