Tropic of Cancer vs Tropic of Capricorn: Difference and Comparison

As we know, the earth is round in shape and hence there is no particular side of it. But, certain imaginary lines pass through the earth and therefore divide them into equal parts.

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Therefore, an imaginary line called an equator has divided the earth into Northern and Southern Hemisphere. And, in this hemisphere, two more imaginary lines have crossed it and they are Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn about which we are going to distinguish.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Tropic of Cancer is located at 23.5 degrees north latitude, while the Tropic of Capricorn is at 23.5 degrees south latitude.
  2. The Tropic of Cancer marks the northernmost point where the sun is directly overhead during the summer solstice. In contrast, the Tropic of Capricorn marks the southernmost point during the winter solstice.
  3. Both tropics are important geographical markers for understanding Earth’s climate zones and the distribution of solar energy.

Tropic of Cancer vs Tropic of Capricorn

The equator is a line that divides the earth into two equal parts in which tropic of cancer lies on the northern side of the equator. It passes through 16 countries. The Tropic of Capricorn lies on the southern side of the equator. It passes through 9 countries. This region have warmer temperature.

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The Tropic of Cancer is an imaginary line and yet has greater significance as it denotes the point where the sun rays reach the overhead.

It not only marks the point but also stands out for the northern boundaries of the globe. There is a total of 16 countries from where the Tropic of Cancer passes through them and has a slightly different temperature range than the others.

On the other hand, the line that falls in the southern part of the equator is known as the Tropic of Capricorn. And there is a lesser number of countries through which the Tropic of Capricorn passes and counts around 9.

Hence, there is a lesser number of countries from which the line passes than the Tropic of Cancer. Also, this is because most of the regions are water areas rather than lands.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTropic of CancerTropic of Capricorn
HemisphereTropic of Cancer is situated in the Northern Hemisphere. We can notice that the Tropic of Capricorn is towards the Southern Hemisphere of the globe.
DegreeThe Tropic of Cancer is calculated as 23.5° N. 23.5°S is the actual measurement for the Tropic of Capricorn from the Equator.
SeasonOn June 21st, the summer begins in the Northern side i.e the Tropic of Cancer. In the regions of the Tropic of Capricorn, people enjoy winter from 21st December.
Number of Countries16 countries have been counted where the Tropic of Cancer passes. Tropic of Capricorn runs over 9 countries.
TemperatureThe temperature varies with medium to high temperature in the Tropic of Cancer. The regions experience slightly warmer temperatures.

What is Tropic of Cancer?

We all know about the equator, right? So, like the equator, an imaginary axis passes above the equator and this line is known to be the Tropic of Cancer. Also, its latitudinal measurement is said to be 23.5 North.

Since it is towards the northern part of the globe and therefore it includes all the northern countries in it. Also, there is a logical meaning for its name ‘The Tropic of Cancer’.

So, this name was assigned because every year on 21 June, the sun positions itself in the zenith of its latitude, and therefore people assume it as one of the astrological signs and that is Cancer.

Therefore, it is also called the summer solstice of the northern side, and this is because, on 21 June, the Northern part enjoys the summer season.

We can also notice that every 21st June the sun directly overheads the northern part and we can feel the warmth of the season. And around 16 countries of the globe are within the Tropic of Cancer.

The names of the countries from where we can see the visibility of the Tropic of Cancer are Libya, India, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bangladesh, China, etc.

And the Tropic of Cancer measures its distance from the equator as 36,788 km towards the north. The whole of Tropic of Cancer enjoys two sets of seasons where the warm ranges from 22C and the summer of up to 45C.

tropic of cancer scaled

What is the Tropic of Capricorn?

Generally, there are two solstices every year. And the solstice that happens to take place in the Southern Hemisphere is because of the Tropic of Capricorn. Also, it is dated to be 21st December every year which is just before Christmas.

The behavior of the sun decides the solstice. We can notice that the sun takes its positioning to the southern part of the hemisphere.

When the December solstice takes place the regions of the Antarctic Circle have no darkness throughout the day as it is termed to be polar day and the Arctic Circle stays dark for the day and is said to be polar night. And this happens every year on 21st December.

Since the position of the earth is placed in the Capricon Constellation of December solstice the name Tropic of Capricon came into force. The Tropic of Capricon measures 23.5 Southern latitudes and it constitutes about 36,788km from the equatorial positioning.

The Tropic of Capricorn runs over 9 countries. Brazil, Chile, Nambia, Argentina, Australia, etc are some countries from where the Tropic of Capricorn passes.

Now, if we need to say about the temperature of the regions then we can say that the temperature lies between 25 to 28 Degree Celcius that is warm throughout the year.

tropic of capricorn scaled

Main Differences Between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn

  1. If we look into the map or a globe we can point out that the Tropic of Cancer is towards the Northern Hemisphere. On the other hand, towards the Southern Hemisphere, we can see the Tropic of Capricorn.
  2. About 23.5°N Latitude is the measurement of Tropic of Cancer. On the other hand, the Tropic of Capricorn measures 23.5° S.
  3. The regions from where the Tropic of Cancer passes enjoys summer from 21st June of every year. On the other hand, the beginning of the winters in the Tropic of Capricorn is marked from the 21st of December.
  4. There is a total of 16 countries of the globe that are included in the Tropic of Cancer. On the other hand, comparatively lesser countries are there from where the Tropic of Capricorn passes i.e 9 countries.
  5. The countries within the Tropic of Cancer have a hotter temperature. On the other hand, comparatively the temperature is the moderate and bearable temperature in the regions of the Tropic of Capricorn.
Difference Between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn
References
  1. https://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/8/8147/tde-06112013-105313/en.php
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