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Prime Meridian and Its Facts

Referencing Styles : MLA | Pages : 1

Prime Meridian

Prime Meridian is a meridian known as a line of longitude in a geographic coordinate system at which longitude is defined as 0°. All the longitude and latitude are measured in degrees. The prime meridian and its anti- meridian forms a circle. This circle divides a spheroid; Earth, into two hemispheres. The equator and the Prime Meridian are imaginary lines and are established by mankind.

The Prime Meridian is used to check the directions, such as directions from east and west can be defined from Prime Meridian. These can be called as Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. A Prime Meridian is arbitrary, not same as equator which is determined by the axis of rotation. The mostly widely used modern meridian is the IERS Reference Meridian. It is derived but it slightly deviates from Greenwich Meridian, which is selected as the international standard. The modern prime meridian, The IERS Reference Meridian is placed near to this meridian and is the prime meridian that currently has the widest use.

The modern Prime Meridian passes through Greenwich, England. The Prime Meridian is sometimes referred to as Greenwich meridian, which can be observed at the Airy Transit Circle.

Some facts states that the prime meridian is the imaginary line that exactly divides the Earth into two equal parts: they are Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. The prime meridian is used to measure the world’s time zones. Equator can be easily decided as it exactly divides the North and South poles. But in case of Prime Meridian it is difficult to notice a middle to an endless circle.  

The imaginary lines drawn vertically as well as horizontally make the geographic grid. The grid is made up of lines of latitude, or parallels, and lines of longitude or meridians. The line of latitude is a horizontal line which runs around the globe. This defines how far a location is from the equator towards north or south. The equator is an imaginary line that is equidistant from both the North and South Poles that divides the Earth into South Hemisphere and North Hemisphere. This defines to measure the North Pole and South Pole and the location far from both the poles. The line of longitude is defines how far a location is from the Prime Meridian towards east or west.

Lines of latitude increases in degrees until we reach to 90 degrees north at the North Pole and the 90 degrees south at the South Pole. But the Lines of Longitude are slightly different. They run vertically around the planet from 0 to 80 degrees. They are not parallel to each other. They cross each other at the poles and all are farthest apart at the equator.    

The importance of Prime Meridian is that the geographical grid allows to accurately describe the locations on the Earth in a universal way. The geographical grid helps to easily solve the problems related to location. It can describe the location at some degree at north latitude and some degree at west longitude, which makes it much easy to analyse the particular location.

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