You are watching: Why are lines of longitude not parallel to each other
The meridians correspond to the natural truth that the sun reaches the zenith as soon as a day at the same time for a collection of points that develop a right line from one pole to the various other, cutting the equator in a ideal angle. So meridians are not just fabricated lines, but correspond somehow to a herbal element, somepoint that deserve to be measured. Even through your bare eye, without any kind of instrument, you have the right to observe what time of the day it is ideal now. If you would certainly collect this information for a given minute from people at diferent locations everywhere the human being, you might approximately say how much to the eastern or west of your suggest of monitoring eexceptionally reporting observer is placed.
Compare through time-zones, they are slices from north to southern pole, indicating how a lot to the eastern or west of a conventionally definned line they are located. If longitude were parallel circles, you would certainly have actually different points on the same longitude with different day-time (somewright here midday, somewhere else morning). Such circles have actually no equivalent phenomenon in nature and thus are pure standard lines, incredibly challenging to meacertain (at leastern in pre-modern-day times).However, historically it was very tough to uncover enough methods to measure longitude, also through the meridian mechanism. Time was important to find longitude. Until the 18th century, on ships on the sea, it was nearly impossible to determine precise longitude. There were no clocks that ran accurate enough. Longitude is defined as the (angular) distance (in levels or daytime) develop a pre-identified meridian. It took rather an initiative (and many kind of sunken ships) to have the ability to recognize longitude appropriately (latitude in comparison was fairly straightforward to meacertain on a ship via a sextant and also other tools).
So think again: if it was virtually difficult to measure longitude from natural phenomenon (choose sunlight and stars), it would have actually been also even more tough to measure standard, parallel circles (that you propose) that do not represent any type of natural phenomenon. So tbelow is some reason for the tradition. Parallel lines for measuring longitude instead would have actually no actual benefit.
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For more indevelopment, execute an internet search for "finding longitude" or "background of longitude", tright here are also some good videos out tright here that define whatever in information via vivid animations.