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Chapter 1

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Department
Geography
Course
Geography 2122A/B
Professor
Micha Pazner
Semester
Fall

Description
The Earth AsA Sphere • Aristotle (4 BC) believed that Earth's sphrecity could be proven by careful visual observation. • He moved from north to south and noticed that star pattern changes. • He observed that sail ship disappeared from the hull view first. • He also observed the circular shadow casted by the Earth on moon during lunar eclipse. • Erastosthenes theory from 250 BC, the measurement of distance from Syene Well and Alexandria, Egypt on July 21 when the day is summer solstice and the sun directly being overhead. • Distance= 250,000 stadions >> 1 stadion = 200-210 yards • His idea was best solution during 1600s but now we have GPS (Global Positioning System) which is a constellation of 24 earth orbiting satellites that make it possible for people to pinpoint geographic locations and elevations with a high degree of accuracy using ground receivers. The Graticule • Parallels and Meridians ◦ Astronomers before Erastosthenes placed horizontal line marking the equator and tropics of Cancer and Capricon. ▪ ***Equator: formation of the circle around the earth that is equidistant from the north and the south pole*** ▪ ***Tropics of Cancer and Capricon: marking the northernmost and the southernmost positions where the sun is directly overhead on the summer and winter solstices, such as SYENE.*** ◦ Hipparchus (19—125BC) proposed that ***a set of equally spaced east-west lines called parallels (HORIZONTALS) be drawn on maps.*** ◦ He also added ***a set of north-south lines that are spaced equally at the equator and converge at the north and south poles and are called the meridians (VERTICALS).*** • Latitudes and Longitudes ◦ Latitude on the spherical earth is the north-south angular distance from the equator to the place of interest. ◦ Numerical ranges are from 0 deg at the equator to 90 deg at the poles. ◦ Longitude is the angle, measured along the equator, between the intersection of the reference meridian, called the Prime Meridian (0 deg) and the point where the meridian for the feature of interest intersects the equator. ◦ Numerical ranges are from 0 deg to 180 deg east and west of the prime meridian and are twice as long as parallels. ◦ Putting latitude and longitude together, we get geographic coordinate (45 deg N, 120 deg W) which helps us pin point a place on the earth's surface. ◦ BABYLONION SEXAGESIMAL SYSTEM of degrees(deg), minutes( ' ) , seconds ( '' ) ◦ 1 deg = 60 minutes and 1 minute= 60 seconds ◦ Negative sign on Latitude means SOUTH and on Longitude means WEST
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