Definition:Angle/Unit/Minute
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Definition
The minute (of arc) is a measurement of plane angles, symbolized by $'$.
\(\displaystyle \) | \(\) | \(\displaystyle 1\) | minute | ||||||||||
\(\displaystyle \) | \(=\) | \(\displaystyle 60\) | seconds | ||||||||||
\(\displaystyle \) | \(=\) | \(\displaystyle \dfrac 1 {60}\) | degree of arc (by definition) |
Also known as
A minute of arc is also known as an arc minute.
Historical Note
The division of the degrees into $60$ subdivisions originates from the Babylonians, who used a sexagesimal (base $60$) system for the purposes of mathematics and astronomy.
Linguistic Note
The word minute, in the context of the measurement of time and of angle, derives from its initial definition as a minute part of an hour or of a degree of arc.
In this context the word minute (meaning: the aggregation of $60$ seconds) is pronounced min-it.
The word minute (as used in the phrase minute part) is pronounced my-nyoot and means small.
So the fact that the two words are spelt identically is not a coincidence.
Sources
- Weisstein, Eric W. "Arc Minute." From MathWorld--A Wolfram Web Resource. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/ArcMinute.html