Friday, April 9, 2021


I was curious about the latitude of Columbus, Indiana. It is at 39 degrees, which means that it is not halfway between the equator and the North Pole, although Minneapolis, Minnesota is halfway at 45 degrees. Windsor, Ontario, Canada, is only 42 degrees, and Toronto is 43 degrees, but Ottawa is at 45 degrees. If you traveled straight west from Ottawa then you would eventually hit Minneapolis, on the north side.

Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is at 64 degrees. That is more than 2/3 of the way to the North Pole from the equator. Reykjavik, Iceland is also at 64 degrees, although Iceland is reportedly a nicer place to live. The capitals of Norway, Sweeden, and Finland are at around 60 degrees.

Juneau, Alaska is only at 58 degrees. Anchorage is at 61. Fairbanks is the farthest north that you would find any United States city of any significance, at 64.8 degrees.

The circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,901 miles. Halfway up the globe, say in Minneapolis, an east-west line circling the Earth would not be half of the length of the equator. To get the length you have to multiply the length of the equator by the cosine of 45 degrees, giving a length of 17,607 miles. If you wanted a circle that was half the length of the equator, you would need to be at 60 degrees, such as Helsinki, Finnland.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

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