- Small circle
A small circle of a
sphereis the circle constructed by a plane crossing the sphere not in its center. Small circles always have smaller diameters than the sphere itself (compare great circle).
"Small circle of a sphere."
The small circle does not have the smallest
curvature, and hence, a segment on its circumference does not represent the shortest path between two points on a spherical surface.
Except for 90 Degrees North or South and the
Equator, all parallels of latitudeupon the Earthare small circles (or at least close approximations, as the Earth varies from a true sphere to a relatively minor extent). An observer standing on such a circle and viewing its path toward an unobstructed horizon, would perceive it to bend away from his line of sight, an effect of the inequality between the amount of curvature to his left and right.
By contrast, all meridians of
longitudeare great circles.
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small circle — noun : a circle formed on the surface of a sphere by the intersection of a plane that does not pass through the center of the sphere; specifically : such a circle on the surface of the earth compare great circle * * * a circle on a sphere, the… … Useful english dictionary
small circle — A circle on the surface of the sphere (earth) whose plane does not pass through the center of the sphere. All parallels of latitude except the equator are small circles … Aviation dictionary
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small circle — noun a circle formed by a plane that cuts a sphere not through its centre … Wiktionary
small circle — noun a circle on the surface of a sphere whose plane does not pass through the sphere s centre … English new terms dictionary
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