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A prime meridian is a meridian (a line of longitude) in a geographical coordinate system at

which longitude is defined to be 0. Together, a prime meridian and its antimeridian (the 180th
meridian in a 360-system) form agreat circle. This great circle divides the sphere, e.g.,
the Earth, into two hemispheres. If one uses directions of East and West from a defined prime
meridian, then they can be called Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere.

Gerardus Mercator in his Atlas Cosmographicae (1595) uses a prime meridian somewhere close
to 25W, passing just to the west of Santa Maria Island in the Atlantic. His 180th meridian runs
along the Strait of Anin(Bering Strait)

A prime meridian is ultimately arbitrary, unlike an equator, which is determined by the axis of
rotationand various conventions have been used or advocated in different regions and
throughout history.[1]


Ptolemy's 1st projection, redrawn under Maximus Planudes around 1300, using a prime meridian
east of Africa

The notion of longitude was developed by the Greek Eratosthenes (c. 276 BC c. 195 BC)
in Alexandria and Hipparchus (c. 190 BC c. 120 BC) in Rhodes and applied to a large number
of cities by the geographer Strabo (64/63 BC c. 24 AD). But it was Ptolemy (c. AD 90 c. AD
168) who first used a consistent meridian for a world map in his Geographia.

Ptolemy used as his basis the "Fortunate Isles", a group of islands in the Atlantic which are
usually associated with theCanary Islands (13 to 18W), although his maps correspond more
closely to the Cape Verde islands (22 to 25 W). The main point is to be comfortably west of the
western tip of Africa (17.5 W) as negative numbers were not yet in use. His prime meridian
corresponds to 18 40' west of Winchester (about 20W) today.[2] At this time the chief method of
determining longitude was by using the reported times of lunar eclipses in different countries.

Diogo Ribeiro's map of 1529, now in the Vatican library

Ptolemy's Geographia was first printed with maps at Bologna in 1477 and many early globes in
the sixteenth century followed his lead. But there was still a hope that a "natural" basis for a
prime meridian existed. Christopher Columbusreported (1493) that the compass pointed due
north somewhere in mid-Atlantic and this fact was used in the importantTordesillas Treaty of
1494 which settled the territorial dispute between Spain and Portugal over newly discovered
lands. The Tordesillas line was eventually settled at 370 leagues west of Cape Verde. This is
shown in Diogo Ribeiro's 1529 map. So Miguel Island (25.5W) in the Azores was still used for
the same reason as late as 1594 by Christopher Saxton, although by this time it had been shown
that the zero deviation line did not follow a line of longitude.[3]

1571 Africa map by Abraham Ortelius, Cabo Verde prime meridian

In 1541, Mercator produced his famous forty-one centimetre terrestrial globe and drew his prime
meridian precisely throughFuertaventura (141'W) in the Canaries. His later maps used the
Azores, following the magnetic hypothesis. But by the time that Ortelius produced the first
modern atlas in 1570, other islands such as Cape Verde were coming into use. In his atlas
longitudes were counted from 0 to 360, not 180W to 180E as is common today. This practice
was followed by navigators well into the eighteenth century.[4] In 1634, Cardinal Richelieu used
the westernmost island of the Canaries, Ferro, 19 55' west of Paris, as the choice of meridian.
Unfortunately, the geographer Delisle decided to round this off to 20, so that it simply became
the meridian of Paris disguised.[5]

In the early eighteenth century the battle was on to improve the determination of longitude at sea,
leading to the development of the chronometer by John Harrison. But it was the development of
accurate star charts principally by the first British Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed between
1680 and 1719 and disseminated by his successor, Edmund Halley that enabled navigators to use
the lunar method of determining longitude more accurately using the octant developed
byThomas Godfrey and John Hadley.[6] Between 1765 and 1811, Nevil Maskelyne published 49
issues of the Nautical Almanacbased on the meridian of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.
"Maskelyne's tables not only made the lunar method practicable, they also made the Greenwich
meridian the universal reference point. Even the French translations of theNautical
Almanac retained Maskelyne's calculations from Greenwichin spite of the fact that every other
table in theConnaissance des Temps considered the Paris meridian as the prime." [7]

In 1884, at the International Meridian Conference held in Washington, D.C., 22 countries voted
to adopt the Greenwich[8] meridian as the prime meridian of the world. The French argued for a
neutral line, mentioning the Azores and the Bering Strait but eventually abstained and continued
to use the Paris meridian until 1911.

List of prime meridians on Earth

Locality GPS longitude Meridian name Comment

Bering 16830 W Bering Strait

Strait offered 1884 as
possibility for a
"neutral prime
by Pierre
Janssen at the
Conference [9]
770356.07 W
(1897) or
Washington 770402.24 W
New Naval Observatory meridian
, D.C. (NAD 27) or
770401.16 W
(NAD 83)
770248.0 W,
W or
Washington W (both
Old Naval Observatory meridian
, D.C. presumably
NAD 27). If
NAD27, the
latter would be
W (NAD 83)
Washington 770211.56258 White House meridian
, D.C. W (NAD 83),
W (NAD 83),
W (NAD 83)
Washington 770032.6 W
Capitol meridian
, D.C. (NAD 83)
Philadelphi [10][11]
75 10 12 W
Rio de [12]
43 10 19 W
Used until the Middle
Ages, proposed as
one possible neutral
meridian by Pierre
Isles / 25 40 32 W
Janssen at the
El Hierro 18 03 W,
(Ferro), later redefined [14]
Ferro meridian
Canary as
Islands 17 39 46 W
Rose to prominence
with Dutch
cartographers and
Tenerife 16 38' 22" W Tenerife meridian navigators after they
abandoned the idea of
a magnetic
9 07 54.862 [16]
Madrid 3 41 16.58 W
Greenwich 0 00 05.3101 Greenwich meridian Airy Meridian[17]
United Kingdom Ordnance Survey
Greenwich 0 00 05.33 W Bradley Meridian[17]
Zero Meridian
Greenwich 0 00 00.00 IERS Reference Meridian
2 20 14.025
Paris Paris meridian
Brussels 4 22 4.71 E
[citation needed]
Antwerp 4 24 E Antwerp meridian
the Westerkerk in
Amsterdam; used to
Amsterdam 4 53 E
define the legal time
in the Netherlands
from 1909 to 1937[18]
[citation needed]
Bern 7 26 22.5 E
Pisa 10 24 E
Oslo [10][11]
10 43 22.5 E
used in the Peters
projection, antipode o
Florence 1115 E Florence meridian f a line running
through the Bering
Used in Roma 40
Rome 12 27 08.4 E meridian of Monte Mario
Datum [19]
Copenhage 12 34 32.25
n E
Naples 14 15 E
at the Stockholm
Stockholm 18 03 29.8 E
19 57 21.43 at the Old Krakow
Krakow Krakow meridian
E Observatory at
the niadecki'
College mentioned
also in Nikolas
Copernicus' work
"On the Revolutions
of the Heavenly
Warsaw 21 00 42 E Warsaw meridian
Oradea 21 55 16 E
Alexandria 29 53 E
Saint 30 19 42.09
Pulkovo meridian
Petersburg E
31 08 03.69
Pyramid of 1884 [23]
Jerusalem 35 13 47.1 E
see also Mecca
Mecca 39 49 34 E
Time [24]
Used from 4th
century CE Indian
Ujjain 75 47 E astronomy and
also Time in India).[25]
Kyoto 136 14 E Used in 18th and 19th
(officially 1779
1871) century
Japanese maps. Exact
place unknown, but in
"Kairekisyo" in
town in Kyoto, then
the capital.[citation needed]
Opposite of
Greenwich, proposed
13 October 1884 on
~ 180 the International
Meridian Conference
by Sandford
Fleming [13]

International prime meridian

In October 1884 the Greenwich Meridian was selected by delegates (forty-one delegates
representing twenty-five nations) to the International Meridian Conferenceheld in Washington,
D.C., United States to be the common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning
throughout the world. The modern prime meridian, the IERS Reference Meridian, is placed very
near this meridian and is the prime meridian that currently has the widest use.

Prime meridian at Greenwich

Markings of the prime meridian at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Main article: Prime Meridian (Greenwich)

The modern prime meridian, based at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, was established by Sir
George Airy in 1851.[28]

The position of the Greenwich Meridian has been defined by the location of the Airy Transit
Circle ever since the first observation was taken with it by Sir George Airy in 1851.[28] Prior to
that, it was defined by a succession of earlier transit instruments, the first of which was acquired
by the second Astronomer Royal, Edmond Halley in 1721. It was set up in the extreme north-
west corner of the Observatory between Flamsteed House and the Western Summer House. This
spot, now subsumed into Flamsteed House, is roughly 43 metres to the west of the Airy Transit
Circle, a distance equivalent to roughly 0.15 seconds of time.[17] It was Airy's transit circle that
was adopted in principle (with French delegates, who pressed for adoption of the Paris
meridian abstaining) as the Prime Meridian of the world at the 1884 International Meridian

All of these Greenwich meridians were located via an astronomic observation from the surface of
the Earth, oriented via a plumb line along the direction of gravity at the surface. This astronomic
Greenwich meridian was disseminated around the world, first via the lunar distance method, then
by chronometers carried on ships, then via telegraph lines carried by submarine communications
cables, then via radio time signals. One remote longitude ultimately based on the Greenwich
meridian using these methods was that of the North American Datum 1927 or NAD27, an
ellipsoid whose surface best matches mean sea level under the United States.

IERS Reference Meridian

Main article: IERS Reference Meridian

Satellites changed the reference from the surface of the Earth to its centre of mass around which
all satellites orbit regardless of surface irregularities. The requirement that satellite-based
geodetic reference systems be centred on the centre of mass of the earth caused the modern
prime meridian to be 5.3" east of the astronomic Greenwich prime meridian through the Airy
Transit Circle. At the latitude of Greenwich, this amounts to 102 metres.[31] This was officially
accepted by the Bureau International de l'Heure (BIH) in 1984 via its BTS84 (BIH Terrestrial
System) that later became WGS84 (World Geodetic System 1984) and the various ITRFs
(International Terrestrial Reference Systems).

Due to the movement of Earth's tectonic plates, the line of 0 longitude along the surface of the
Earth has slowly moved toward the west from this shifted position by a few centimetres; that is,
towards the Airy Transit Circle (or the Airy Transit Circle has moved toward the east, depending
on your point of view) since 1984 (or the 1960s). With the introduction of satellite technology, it
became possible to create a more accurate and detailed global map. With these advances there
also arose the necessity to define a reference meridian that, whilst being derived from the Airy
Transit Circle, would also take into account the effects of plate movement and variations in the
way that the Earth was spinning.[32] As a result, the International Reference Meridian was
established and is commonly used to denote Earth's prime meridian (0 longitude) by
the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, which defines and maintains the
link between longitude and time. Based on observations to satellites and celestial compact radio
sources (quasars) from various coordinated stations around the globe, Airy's transit circle drifts
northeast about 2.5 centimetres per year relative to this Earth-centred 0 longitude. Circa 1999
the international reference meridian (IRM) passed 5.31arcseconds east of Airy's meridian or
102.5 metres (336.3 feet) at the latitude of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London.[33][34][35]
It is also the reference meridian of the Global Positioning System operated by the United
States Department of Defense, and of WGS84 and its two formal versions, the ideal International
Terrestrial Reference System (ITRS) and its realization, the International Terrestrial Reference
Frame (ITRF).[33][34][35] A current convention on the Earth uses the opposite of the IRM as the
basis for the International Date Line.

Meridian (geografi)

Meridian Utama di Greenwich, Inggris

Negara-negara yang berada pada garis meridian (biru)

Dalam geografi, meridian adalah sebuah garis khayal pada permukaan bumi, tempat kedudukan
titik-titik dengan bujuryang sama, menghubungkan kutub utara dan kutub selatan. Dengan
demikian setiap titik di permukaan bumi memiliki meridiannya sendiri-sendiri. Sebuah titik di
suatu meridian ditentukan posisinya oleh lintang. Setiap meridian selalu tegak lurus dengan
lingkaran lintang. Tiap-tiap meridian memiliki panjang yang sama, yaitu setengah dari lingkaran
besar bola bumi.

Meridian yang melewati instrumen fundamental (lingkaran transit) yang ada di Observatorium
Greenwich, Inggris, berdasarkan persetujuan internasional dianggap sebagai Meridian
Utama atau Meridian Standar. Meridian ini memiliki arti bujur nol derajat. Meridian lainnya
diidentifikasi dengan sebuah sudut yang dibentuk oleh perpotongan antara bidang meridian
tersebut dan bidang Meridian Utama. Meridian pada sisi bumi yang berlawanan
dengan Greenwich (yang merupakan setengah lingkaran lain dari sebuah lingkaran yang
melewati Greenwich) adalah bujur 180. Meridian lainnya terletak antara 0 dan 180 bujur barat
di hemisfer barat (barat Greenwich) dan antara 0 dan 180 bujur timur di hemisfer timur (timur

Istilah "meridian" berasal dari bahasa Latin, meridies, yang berarti "tengah hari" (atau "midday"
dalam bahasa Inggris);Matahari melintasi titik di atas suatu meridian yang merupakan titik
setengah jalan lintasannya antara saat terbit dan tenggelam. Akar kata Latin yang sama
digunakan juga untuk menyebut istilah A.M. dan P.M. yaitu suatu pernyataan waktu untuk
memisahkan jam-jam dalam satu hari ketika dinyatakan dalam sistem 12 jam.

Garis bujur
Peta Bumi, memperlihatkan garis-garis bujur, yang nampak melengkung dan vertikal pada
proyeksi ini, namun sebenarnya garis-garis bujur tersebut merupakan setengah dari
sebuah lingkaran besarbumi.

Tiap lokasi di bumi dapat dinyatakan dengan garis bujur (tegak) dalam satuan derajad (yaitu
letak timur atau barat dari garis 0 Greenwich(kota London)

Bujur kadangkala dinotasikan oleh abjad Yunani , menggambarkan lokasi sebuah tempat
di timur atau baratBumi dari sebuah garis utara-selatan yang disebut Meridian Utama. Longitude
diberikan berdasarkanpengukuran sudut yang berkisar dari 0 di Meridian Utama ke +180 arah
timur dan 180 arah barat. Tidak seperti lintang yang memiliki ekuator sebagai posisi awal
alami, tidak ada posisi awal alami untuk bujur. Oleh karena itu, sebuah dasar meridian harus
dipilih. Meskipun kartografer Britania Raya telah lama menggunakan meridian Observatorium
Greenwich di London, referensi lainnya digunakan di tempat yang berbeda,
termasukFerro, Roma, Kopenhagen, Yerusalem, Saint Petersburg, Pisa, Paris, Philadelphia,
dan Washington, D.C.. Pada1884, Konferensi Meridian Internasional mengadopsi meridian
Greenwich sebagai Meridian utama universalatau titik nol bujur.
Dalam bahasa Indonesia bujur di sebelah barat Meridian diberi nama Bujur Barat (BB), demikian
pula bujur di sebelah timur Meridian diberi nama Bujur Timur (BT). Nama-nama ini tidak
dijumpai dalam bahasa Inggris. Bujur Barat dan Bujur Timur merupakan garis khayal yang
menghubungkan titik Kutub Utara dengan Kutub Selatan bumi dan menyatakan besarnya sudut
antara posisi bujur dengan garis Meridian. Garis Meridian sendiri adalah bujur 0 derajat.

Garis lintang

Peta Bumi yang menunjukkan garis lintang yang pada proyeksi ini lurus horizontal, namun
sebenarnya melingkar dengan radius yang berbeda-beda.

Di dalam geografi, garis lintang adalah sebuah garis khayal yang digunakan untuk menentukan
lokasi di Bumiterhadap garis khatulistiwa (utara atau selatan). Posisi lintang biasanya
dinotasikan dengan simbol huruf Yunani. Posisi lintang merupakan penghitungan sudut dari 0
di khatulistiwa sampai ke +90 di kutub utara dan -90 di kutub selatan.

Ko-lintang adalah tambahan dari lintang.

Dalam bahasa Indonesia lintang di sebelah utara khatulistiwa diberi nama Lintang Utara (LU),
demikian pula lintang di sebelah selatan khatulistiwa diberi nama Lintang Selatan (LS). Nama-
nama ini tidak dijumpai dalambahasa Inggris. Lintang Utara Lintang Selatan menyatakan
besarnya sudut antara posisi lintang dengan garis Khatulistiwa. Garis Khatulistiwa sendiri adalah
lintang 0 derajat.


Setiap derajat lintang dibagi menjadi 60 menit (satu menit lintang mendekati satu mil laut atau
1852 meter, yang kemudian dibagi lagi menjadi 60 detik. Untuk keakurasian tinggi detik
digunakan dengan pecahan desimal.

Lintang yang penting

lintang yang cukup penting adalah Garis Balik Utara (2327 LU), Garis Balik Selatan (2327
LS), Lingkar Arktik(6633 LU), dan Lingkar antartik (6633 LS).

Hanya antara kedua Garis Balik matahari dapat berada di zenith. Hanya di utara Lingkar Arktik
atau selatan Lingkar Antartik matahari tengah malam dapat terjadi.


Ekuator bumi
Negara-negara yang berada pada garis khatulistiwa (merah)

Dalam geografi, garis khatulistiwa (dari bahasa Arab: ) atau ekuator (dari bahasa
Inggris equator) merupakan sebuah garis imajinasi yang digambar di tengah-tengah planet di
antara dua kutub dan paralel terhadap porosrotasi planet. Garis khatulistiwa ini membagi Bumi
menjadi dua bagian belahan bumi utara dan belahan bumi selatan. Garis lintang ekuator adalah
0. Panjang garis khatulistiwa Bumi adalah sekitar 40.070 km.

Di khatulistiwa, matahari berada tepat di atas kepala pada tengah hari dalam equinox. Maka
durasi masa siang hari sama sepanjang tahun kira-kira 12 jam.

Antara equinox Maret dan September, latitud bagian utara Bumi menuju Matahari yang dikenal
sebagai Tropik Cancer, bagian bumi paling utara di mana Matahari dapat berada tepat di atas
kepala. Bagian selatan Bumi terjadi antara equinox bulan September dan Maret
dinamakan Tropik Capricorn.

Bagian bumi yang dilewati garis khatulistiwa ini kebanyakan samudra. Beberapa tempat yang
dilalui khatulistiwa adalah:
Tanda penunjuk khatulistiwa di Kenya

Tanda penunjuk khatulistiwa di Kota Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.

Garis khatulistiwa melintasi daratan atau wilayah perairan 14 negara. Dimulai dari garis bujur 0
derajat ke timur, garis khatulistiwa melintasi daerah-daerah berikut:

Koordinat Negara, wilayah, atau laut Catatan

0LU 0BT Samudra Atlantik Teluk Guinea

Sao Tome dan
00LU 631BT Ilhu das Rolas

00LU 631BT Samudra Atlantik Teluk Guinea

00LU 921BT Gabon

00LU 1356BT Republik Kongo

Republik Demokratik
00LU 1746BT Melewati 9 km di selatan Butembo

Melewati 32 km di
00LU 2943BT Uganda
selatan Kampala

Melewati beberapa pulau

00LU 3222BT Danau Victoria
di Uganda

00LU 340BT Kenya Melewati 6 km di utara Kisumu

00LU 410BT Somalia

00LU 4253BT Samudra Hindia Melewati antara Huvadhu

Atoll dan Fuvahmulah di Maladewa

Indonesia Pulau-pulau
00LU 9812BT Batu, Sumatra dan Kepulauan
00LU 10434B
Selat Karimata

00LU 1099BT Indonesia Pontianak, Kalimantan

00LU 11730B
Selat Makassar

00LU 11940B
Indonesia Sulawesi

00LU 1205BT Teluk Tomini

00LU 1240BT Laut Maluku

00LU 12724B
Indonesia Kayoa dan Kepulauan Halmahera

00LU 12753B
Laut Halmahera

00LU 12920B
Indonesia Pulau Gebe

00LU 12921B Samudra Pasifik melewati 570 m di utara

T Pulau Waigeo, Indonesia
Melewati 13 km di
selatan Aranuka atoll, Kiribati
Melewati 21 km di selatan Pulau
Baker, Amerika Serikat

Pulau Isabela di Kepulauan

00LU 9135BT Ekuador

00LU 9113BT Samudra Pasifik

Melewati 24 km di utara Quito, di

00LU 806BT Ekuador
dekat Mitad del Mundo

Melewati 4,3 km di utara

00LU 7532BT Kolombia
perbatasan dengan Peru

00LU 703BT Brasil Amazonas

Par - kepulauan di mulut Sungai

Samudra Atlantik
00LU 4920BT