Definition:Great Circle

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Let $S$ be a sphere.

A great circle of $S$ is defined as the intersection of $S$ with a plane passing through the center of $S$.


Pole of Great Circle

Let $C$ be a great circle of $S$.

Let $AB$ be the diameter of $S$ situated perpendicular to the plane of $C$.


The points $A$ and $B$, where the diameter intersects $S$, are the poles of the great circle $C$.

Axis of Great Circle

The axis of a great circle $C$ is the straight line that joins the poles of $C$.


Earth's Surface

A great circle between two locations $A$ and $B$ on the surface of Earth can be used as the shortest distance to travel from $A$ to $B$.

Also see

  • Results about great circles can be found here.