myths and facts about the equator, close to Quito

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You can be in the North and South at the same time

Myth: the equator strip is 3 miles [5 km] wide. The latitude 0°0’0’’ varies in this area during the year according to the revolution of the Earth. You can check its exact position at any time using a military GPS; the GPS on cell phones is not as precise.  

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Gravity is lower at the equator

Fact: the Earth spins quite fast, so, the greater centrifugal force at the equator weakens the gravitational pull (the intensity drops from 9.8 m/s² to 9.78 m/s²). That’s why rocket launch sites are usually located close to the equator. But it’s unlikely that you’ll feel any difference, unless you’re a rocket scientist, OK?

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The water swirls in the opposite direction in each hemisphere

Myth: the phenomenon known as Coriolis Effect refers to great air currents that are influenced by the revolution of the Earth. As the planet spins, air moves clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, and counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere – also influencing the tides.

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It’s easier to balance an egg over a nail

Theoretically, it’s a fact: for the same gravity reason. Since gravity is weaker there, it’s easier to balance things. But the difference is so insignificant that it will still be hard to do so.

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It’s possible not to have a shadow

Fact: at noon on the equinoxes of March 21 and September 23, the right angle formed by the sun’s rays and the objects at the equator casts no shadow.

LATAM has direct flights to Quito departing from Guayaquil, Lima, Miami and 2 other destinations.