Q:

How many degrees north from the equator is the Arctic Circle?

A:

Quick Answer

The Arctic Circle is located 66.5 degrees north of the equator, which is at 0 degrees latitude. The area directly above the Arctic Circle pertains to the Arctic region, also known as the "Land of the Midnight Sun."

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Full Answer

The Arctic Circle is one of the five major lines of latitude that run parallel in a west-to-east direction on a world map or globe. Aside from the Arctic Circle, other primary latitudinal lines include the equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn and Antarctic Circle.

The equator separates Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. Both the Arctic Circle and Tropic of Cancer lie in the Northern Hemisphere while the Antarctic Circle and Tropic of Capricorn are in the Southern Hemisphere. The Tropic of Cancer is found 23.5 degrees north of the equator, whereas the Tropic of Capricorn is located 23.5 degrees south of the equator. The polar opposite of the Arctic Circle, which is the Antarctic Circle, measures 66.5 degrees south of the equator.

The type of climate a particular place experiences is determined by its line of latitude. Places near the equator have a tropical climate, characterized by dry and wet seasons. The temperate regions, which fall between the Arctic Circle and Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn and Antarctic Circle, have winter, spring, summer and fall seasons. The polar regions, located north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, experience extremely cold temperatures.

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