Concept

# Circle of latitude

Summary
A circle of latitude or line of latitude on Earth is an abstract east–west small circle connecting all locations around Earth (ignoring elevation) at a given latitude coordinate line. Circles of latitude are often called parallels because they are parallel to each other; that is, planes that contain any of these circles never intersect each other. A location's position along a circle of latitude is given by its longitude. Circles of latitude are unlike circles of longitude, which are all great circles with the centre of Earth in the middle, as the circles of latitude get smaller as the distance from the Equator increases. Their length can be calculated by a common sine or cosine function. For example, the 60th parallel north or south is half as long as the Equator (disregarding Earth's minor flattening by 0.335%), stemming from \cos(60^{\circ}) = 0.5. On the Mercator projection or on the Gall-Peters projection, a circle of latitude is perpendicular to all meridians. On
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