Did you know that there are actually two equators? The terrestrial equator, like the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as well as the poles, is based on the relationship between the Earth’s axis of rotation and the planet’s orbit around the sun. But there’s also something known as the celestial equator, which is an imaginary circle created by projecting the terrestrial equator into the night sky. The sun consistently hangs in the equatorial sky for 12 hours each day at the Earth’s widest part, but it passes directly over the actual line only twice each year, during the March and September equinoxes. Although many think that the equator is uniformly hot, in many areas it does experience wet and dry seasons. Biodiversity is extremely rich at the equator, particularly because half of the planet’s rain forests are concentrated in countries along the line: Brazil, Congo and Indonesia.

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