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Latitude gives the location of a place north or south of the equator. Latitude is an angular measurement ranging from 0° at the equator to 90° at the poles.

Other latitudes of particular importance are the tropic of Cancer (latitude 23o27' north), the tropic of Capricorn (latitude 23o27' south), the arctic circle (latitude 66o33' north) and the antarctic circle (latitude 66o33' south). Only at latitudes between the tropics is it possible for the sun to be at the zenith. Only north of the arctic circle or south of the antarctic circle is the midnight sun possible.

All locations of a given latitude are collectively referred to as a parallel, because they are coplanar, and all such planes are parallel to the equator.

Latitude more loosely determines tendencies in climate, aurora, prevailing winds, and other physical characteristics of geographic locations.

See longitude.

One nautical mile is equivalent to one minute (1/60o) of latitude.