Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Short Essay - Answer Key

Dava Sobel
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1. What is the main difference, as identified in Chapter 1, between latitude and longitude?

As to the difference between latitude and longitude, Chapter 1 says, "the zero-degree parallel of latitude is fixed by the laws of nature, while the zero-degree meridian of longitude shifts like the sands of time."

2. Explain how longitude is affected by time.

Longitude is affected by time because to figure longitude at sea, you need to know what time it is aboard the ship as well as the time at home port at the same moment. Each hour of time difference between the ship and the starting point marks fifteen degrees of longitude. Each day at sea, the navigator resets his ship's clock to local noon when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky. He compares this to the home-port clock and measures fifteen degrees of longitude for every hour's difference.

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