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QUICK GLOSSARY

Arctic Circle is a circle of latitude at 66° 33' North. On summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), the Sun is above the horizon at local midnight time at all points in this region.

Antarctic Circle is a circle of latitude at 66° 33' South. On summer solstice (in the Southern Hemisphere), the Sun is above the horizon at local midnight time at all points in this region.


Azimuth is the measurement in degrees of an arc along the horizon from true north (0 degrees) to any position from 0 to 360 degrees.

Cardinal direction is one of the astronomical directions on the Earth's surface: North, South, East, or West. 

Cartography is the science and technology of map production.

Compass is an device which displays the direction of magnetic North.

Declination (1) the angle at the center of a sphere between the equatorial plane and a line to a point on a sphere. (2) The arc between the Equator and a point on a great circle perpendicular to the Equator. (3) The angular distance of a star or planet above or below the celestial Equator. (4) Magnetic declination is the angle between true (geographic) north and magnetic North (the direction of the magnetic compass needle). Magnetic declination varies for different locations because of variation of the magnetic north pole.  

Equator is the central circle of the Earth (0 degrees latitude) that divides Earth in half, North and South.
GMT Greenwich Mean Time is the time zone for Greenwich England, also known as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and Zulu.

Great Circle is a circle created by any plane which passes through the center of a sphere.

Heading is the direction you are traveling.

International Date Line is a line on the Earth running from the North to South Pole generally following the 180° meridian, measured from the Prime Meridian. Neighboring regions on either side of the line differ by one day. 

Latitude is the angular distance north or south from the earth's equator measured 0 through 90 degrees.

Longitude is the distance parallel to the earth's equator from the prime meridian usually given in degrees.

Minute is 1/60th of a degree or 1/60th of an hour.

Nautical Mile is 1/60th of a degree of a great circle and the defined length of a knot (One Nautical mile per hour). One Nautical Mile equals 1.150779 English/US Mile (Statute Mile).

North Pole is 90 degrees latitude North representing where the Earth axis intersects the surface of the Northern Hemisphere.

Prime Meridian runs through the original site of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, which is defined as 0 degrees longitude along a great circle around the earth. Also known as the Greenwich Meridian or International Meridian where Zulu Time occurs.

South Pole is 90 degrees latitude South representing where the Earth axis intersects the surface of the Southern Hemisphere.

Time Zone is a geographical region where time was defined in 1884 to be the same in 24 one-hour regions of the world. Each zone having a width of 15 degrees (24 X 15 degrees = 360). Each country is responsible for its own time zone definitions and considerable variations have occurred since the original definition.
Tropic of Cancer is the latitude of 23° 27' north, where the Sun reaches its greatest northerly declination (or summer solstice, for the Northern Hemisphere) about June 21 (the start of summer and the day with the longest daylight in the Northern Hemisphere.

Tropic of Capricorn is the latitude of 23° 27' south, where the Sun reaches its greatest southerly declination (or summer solstice, for the Southern Hemisphere) about December 21 (the start of summer and the day with the longest daylight in the Southern Hemisphere.

UTC is Universal Coordinated Time, which is the time at the prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) and is useful as a standard for scientists and navigators for avoiding the confusion of time zones. Also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and Zulu.

Zenith is the point directly above an observer, forming a line from the center of Earth, through the observer to the point overhead.


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