Antarctic Circle

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A world map. The Antarctic Circle is shown as the red line.

The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It is the parallel of latitude at 66° 33′ 39″ south of the Equator, crossing mostly the Southern Ocean.

In the Antarctic Circle, all places have twenty-four hours of daylight on the Summer Solstice in December. In June on the Winter Solstice all places have twenty-four hours of night. There is a minimum of one whole day that the sun does not set and one whole day that the sun does not rise.

The area south of this circle is named the Antarctic, and the zone to the north is the Southern Temperate Zone.

The continent of Antarctica is a land mass that is most of the area within the Antarctic Circle. The South Pole is in the center of the Antarctic Circle.

There is no permanent population of persons south of the Antarctic Circle. There are research centers from some nations on Antarctica. Teams of scientists live in the research centers for part of the year. In past centuries some whaling stations were set up on Antarctica and some of the whalers would live there for a year or more. At least three children have been born in Antarctica. They would be citizens of Antarctica if there were a nation on the continent.

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