Which South American countries does the Tropic of Capricorn pass through?


Quick Answer

The South American countries that lie within the Tropic of Capricorn are Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay. Brazil is the only country in the world that crosses both the Equator and either tropic.

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Full Answer

The Tropic of Capricorn, also called the Southern Tropic, lies approximately 23.5 degrees south of the Equator. It is the southernmost point at which the sun can be seen directly overhead at the winter solstice when the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun. It drifts slowly north at the rate of about 16 yards a year. The Tropic of Capricorn marks the dividing line between the Southern Temperate Zone on the south and the tropics on the north. The climates of most of the countries along the Tropic of Capricorn are arid or semi-arid. Summer comes to the Tropic of Capricorn during December, when the region receives its highest amount of direct solar radiation.

The Tropic of Capricorn, named some 2,000 years ago, is so called because the sun reaches its highest point in the sky in the constellation Capricornus in December. The tropics are named for the Greek word “tropos,” meaning to turn, because the sun seems to turn and head in the opposite direction across the sky after the solstice.

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