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Glossary term: Polar circle

Redirected from Antarctic Circle

Description: The polar circles are lines of latitude on the Earth. The polar circle at 66°33′48.8″ N is called the Arctic Circle and the polar circle at 66°33′48.8″ S is called the Antarctic Circle. Due the Earth's tilted rotation axis, regions north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle experience "polar nights" during their winter and "polar days" during their summer. During a polar night the Sun is below the horizon for more than 24 hours and this period of darkness can last for months. During a polar day the Sun is above the horizon for more than 24 hours and daytime can last for months. Polar days and nights are longest closer to the poles. Polar nights happen before and after each polar region's winter solstice with polar days happening before and after the summer solstice.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".