Cancer and Capricorn, Tropics of

Cancer and Capricorn, Tropics of

      latitudes approximately 23°27′ N and 23°27′ S of the terrestrial Equator, respectively. These latitudes correspond to the northernmost and southernmost declinations of the Sun's (ecliptic) ecliptic (q.v.) to the celestial equator. At the summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), around June 21, the Sun attains its greatest declination north and is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. At that time the Sun appears in the constellation Gemini, but much earlier in history, it lay in the constellation Cancer, thereby resulting in the designation Tropic of Cancer. Similarly, at the winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere), around December 21, the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn and lies within the boundaries of the constellation Sagittarius, having reached its southernmost declination in the ecliptic. Previously, however, it appeared in the constellation Capricorn at the winter solstice, and so the name Tropic of Capricorn. Because of the gradual change in the direction of the Earth's axis of rotation, the Sun will reappear in the constellations of Cancer and Capricorn in approximately 24,000 years.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tropics — The Tropics are centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere, at approximately 23°26 (23.4°) N latitude, and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at 23°26 (23.4°) S latitude.… …   Wikipedia

  • tropics — trop·ic || trÉ‘pɪk / trÉ’ n. (Geography, Astronomy) either of two latitudinal parallels on the globe and their celestial equivalents that mark the sun s most northerly and southerly points (at approx. 23.5 deg. N and S latitude) adj. concerning …   English contemporary dictionary

  • tropics — noun The region of the Earth, centred on the equator and lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn and characterized by a hot climate. Syn: tropical zone, torrid zone See Also: tropical …   Wiktionary

  • TROPICS —    two parallels of latitude on either side of the equator, which mark the limits N. and S. of the sun s verticality to the earth s surface, the distance being in each case 23½°; the northern tropic is called the Tropic of Cancer, and the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • tropics — noun the part of the Earth s surface between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn; characterized by a hot climate • Syn: ↑Torrid Zone, ↑tropical zone • Derivationally related forms: ↑tropic • Instance Hypernyms: ↑climatic zone * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • tropics — [[t]trɒ̱pɪks[/t]] N PLURAL: the N The tropics are the parts of the world that lie between two lines of latitude, the tropic of Cancer, 231/2° north of the equator, and the tropic of Capricorn, 231/2° south of the equator …   English dictionary

  • tropics — Synonyms and related words: Antarctic Zone, Arctic Circle, Arctic Zone, Frigid Zones, Torrid Zone, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Variable Zones, climate, clime, equator, furnace, hell, horse latitudes, inferno, latitude, longitude,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • the tropics — the region between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. → tropic …   English new terms dictionary

  • Tropic of Capricorn — Tropic Trop ic, n. [F. tropique, L. tropicus of or belonging to a turn, i. e., of the sun, Gr. ? of the solstice, ? (sc. ?) the tropic or solstice, fr. ? to turn. See {Trope}.] 1. (Astron.) One of the two small circles of the celestial sphere,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tropic of Cancer — Tropic Trop ic, n. [F. tropique, L. tropicus of or belonging to a turn, i. e., of the sun, Gr. ? of the solstice, ? (sc. ?) the tropic or solstice, fr. ? to turn. See {Trope}.] 1. (Astron.) One of the two small circles of the celestial sphere,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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