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Geography/Latitude and Longitude of Planets.

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QUESTION: Dear Ralph

How to compute Latitude and Longitude of planets viz Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Saturn etc?.

Thanks
Prashant

ANSWER: Hi Prashant,

IT is done the same way it is done on Earth.  At the equator, it is divided into an equal number of degrees east and west equaling 360 degrees.  These lines run from the equator north and south to the poles.  In the same way Latitude goes from the equator to the poles by degrees but in this case half go north and the other half go south.  Thus reaching the poles at 90 degrees.  

Coordinates are based on these lines of Latitude and Longitude.  The "0-0" point is somewhat arbitrary  but it is agreed upon by the international astrophysical union.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Ralph

Thanks.

Can the shape of the other planets contribute and influence to the computation of the latitude and longitude?.

Example : Earth is spherical.

Thanks
Prashant

Answer
Hi Prashant,

the simple answer is no.  Even the Earth is somewhat squashed so it is not perfectly spherical.  The gas giants are also not perfect spheres.  So how a spherical object is "divided up" is not a factor to its shape.  So wether it is an orange, pineapple or guava, it does not make a difference.

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Ralph Salier

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20+ years in Business Anthropology working all over the world. Background in Archaeology and Anthropology.

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MA Anthropology, Proximics

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