40th parallel north

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Line across the Earth
40th parallel north

The 40th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 40 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.

At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours, 1 minute and 28 seconds during the summer solstice and 9 hours, 20 minutes during the winter solstice.[1] On 21 June, the maximum altitude of the sun is 73.44 degrees, while it's 26.56 degrees on 21 December.[citation needed]

The maximum altitude of the Sun is > 35.00º in October and > 28.00º in November.

The 40th parallel north is the southern baseline for Canada's National Topographic System.

Around the world[edit]

Starting in Spain at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 40° north passes through:

Co-ordinates Country, territory or sea Notes
40°0′N 0°0′E / 40.000°N 0.000°E / 40.000; 0.000 (Prime Meridian)  Spain Valencian Community
40°0′N 0°2′E / 40.000°N 0.033°E / 40.000; 0.033 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Passing just north of the island of Majorca,  Spain
40°0′N 3°48′E / 40.000°N 3.800°E / 40.000; 3.800 (Spain)  Spain Island of Menorca
40°0′N 4°13′E / 40.000°N 4.217°E / 40.000; 4.217 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea
40°0′N 8°24′E / 40.000°N 8.400°E / 40.000; 8.400 (Italy)  Italy Island of Sardinia
40°0′N 9°42′E / 40.000°N 9.700°E / 40.000; 9.700 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Tyrrhenian Sea
40°0′N 15°20′E / 40.000°N 15.333°E / 40.000; 15.333 (Italy)  Italy Campania
40°0′N 15°26′E / 40.000°N 15.433°E / 40.000; 15.433 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Gulf of Policastro
40°0′N 15°41′E / 40.000°N 15.683°E / 40.000; 15.683 (Italy)  Italy Basilicata, Calabria
40°0′N 16°37′E / 40.000°N 16.617°E / 40.000; 16.617 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Gulf of Taranto
40°0′N 18°0′E / 40.000°N 18.000°E / 40.000; 18.000 (Italy)  Italy Apulia
40°0′N 18°25′E / 40.000°N 18.417°E / 40.000; 18.417 (Mediterranean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Strait of Otranto
40°0′N 19°53′E / 40.000°N 19.883°E / 40.000; 19.883 (Albania)  Albania Passing just north of Sarandë and just south of Gjirokastër
40°0′N 20°23′E / 40.000°N 20.383°E / 40.000; 20.383 (Greece)  Greece
40°0′N 22°37′E / 40.000°N 22.617°E / 40.000; 22.617 (Aegean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
40°0′N 23°23′E / 40.000°N 23.383°E / 40.000; 23.383 (Greece)  Greece Kassandra and Sithonia
40°0′N 24°0′E / 40.000°N 24.000°E / 40.000; 24.000 (Aegean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
40°0′N 25°6′E / 40.000°N 25.100°E / 40.000; 25.100 (Greece)  Greece Island of Lemnos
40°0′N 25°26′E / 40.000°N 25.433°E / 40.000; 25.433 (Aegean Sea) Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea
40°0′N 26°11′E / 40.000°N 26.183°E / 40.000; 26.183 (Turkey)  Turkey Passing just north of Ankara
40°0′N 44°24′E / 40.000°N 44.400°E / 40.000; 44.400 (Armenia)  Armenia Passing through Verin Artashat and Norashen, Ararat
40°0′N 45°36′E / 40.000°N 45.600°E / 40.000; 45.600 (Azerbaijan)  Azerbaijan Passing through Karabakh and Kur-Araz Lowland
40°0′N 49°27′E / 40.000°N 49.450°E / 40.000; 49.450 (Caspian Sea) Caspian Sea
40°0′N 52°46′E / 40.000°N 52.767°E / 40.000; 52.767 (Turkmenistan)  Turkmenistan
40°0′N 62°26′E / 40.000°N 62.433°E / 40.000; 62.433 (Uzbekistan)  Uzbekistan
40°0′N 68°48′E / 40.000°N 68.800°E / 40.000; 68.800 (Tajikistan)  Tajikistan
40°0′N 69°31′E / 40.000°N 69.517°E / 40.000; 69.517 (Kyrgyzstan)  Kyrgyzstan
40°0′N 70°32′E / 40.000°N 70.533°E / 40.000; 70.533 (Tajikistan)  Tajikistan For about 9 km (5.6 mi)
40°0′N 70°39′E / 40.000°N 70.650°E / 40.000; 70.650 (Kyrgyzstan)  Kyrgyzstan
40°0′N 71°5′E / 40.000°N 71.083°E / 40.000; 71.083 (Uzbekistan)  Uzbekistan Sokh exclave - for about 7 km (4.3 mi)
40°0′N 71°10′E / 40.000°N 71.167°E / 40.000; 71.167 (Kyrgyzstan)  Kyrgyzstan
40°0′N 71°48′E / 40.000°N 71.800°E / 40.000; 71.800 (Uzbekistan)  Uzbekistan Shohimardon exclave - for about 4 km (2.5 mi)
40°0′N 71°50′E / 40.000°N 71.833°E / 40.000; 71.833 (Kyrgyzstan)  Kyrgyzstan
40°0′N 73°58′E / 40.000°N 73.967°E / 40.000; 73.967 (China)  China Xinjiang
Inner Mongolia
Beijing (passing just north of the city centre)
Liaoning (for about 8 km (5.0 mi))
40°0′N 119°54′E / 40.000°N 119.900°E / 40.000; 119.900 (Yellow Sea) Pacific Ocean Liaodong Bay, Yellow Sea
40°0′N 121°53′E / 40.000°N 121.883°E / 40.000; 121.883 (China)  China Liaoning (Liaodong Peninsula)
40°0′N 124°21′E / 40.000°N 124.350°E / 40.000; 124.350 (North Korea)  North Korea North Pyeongan Province - Passing through Sinuiju
Jagang Province
South Hamgyeong Province - Passing just north of Hamheung
40°0′N 127°57′E / 40.000°N 127.950°E / 40.000; 127.950 (Sea of Japan) Pacific Ocean Sea of Japan
40°0′N 128°10′E / 40.000°N 128.167°E / 40.000; 128.167 (North Korea)  North Korea Mayang Island
40°0′N 128°13′E / 40.000°N 128.217°E / 40.000; 128.217 (Sea of Japan) Pacific Ocean Sea of Japan
40°0′N 139°54′E / 40.000°N 139.900°E / 40.000; 139.900 (Japan)  Japan Island of Honshū
Akita Prefecture
Iwate Prefecture
40°0′N 141°57′E / 40.000°N 141.950°E / 40.000; 141.950 (Pacific Ocean) Pacific Ocean
40°0′N 124°1′W / 40.000°N 124.017°W / 40.000; -124.017 (United States)  United States California - passing 2.35 km (1.46 mi) south of Shelter Cove
Colorado - passing through Boulder
Nebraska / Kansas border
Indiana - passing through Hoosier Hill, the state high point
Ohio - passing through Columbus
West Virginia
Pennsylvania - passing through Philadelphia
New Jersey - passing through Toms River
40°0′N 31°7′W / 40.000°N 31.117°W / 40.000; -31.117 (Atlantic Ocean) Atlantic Ocean Passing just north of Corvo Island, Azores,  Portugal
40°0′N 8°55′W / 40.000°N 8.917°W / 40.000; -8.917 (Portugal)  Portugal Passing near Figueira da Foz and Coimbra
40°0′N 6°51′W / 40.000°N 6.850°W / 40.000; -6.850 (Spain)  Spain Extremadura
Castile-La Mancha
Community of Madrid - for about 10 km (6.2 mi)
Castile-La Mancha
Valencian Community - Rincón de Ademuz exclave, for about 4 km (2.5 mi)
Castile-La Mancha - for about 5 km (3.1 mi)
Valencian Community

Notable cities and towns on 40°N[edit]

United States[edit]

The 40th parallel defines the state line between Nebraska and Kansas
Survey marker on the Kansas/Nebraska state line

The parallel 40° north formed the boundary between the Kansas and Nebraska territories, as per the Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854. It remains the boundary between the modern states of Kansas and Nebraska.

The parallel 40° north formed the original northern boundary of the British Colony of Maryland. A subsequent royal grant gave the Colony of Pennsylvania land north of the 40th parallel but mistakenly assumed it would intersect the Twelve Mile Circle, which it does not. Pennsylvania's border was thus unclear and the colony pushed for a border far south of the 40th parallel. The Mason–Dixon Line was drawn between 1763 and 1767 as the compromise boundary between the overlapping claims of these two colonies.

40th parallel marker at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)

The parallel 40° north passes through the cities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Columbus, Ohio; as well as northern suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana and Boulder, Colorado and the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The parallel goes directly through the John Glenn Columbus International Airport, with runway 10L-28R lying immediately north of the line, runway 10R-28L lying slightly south of it, and the line going through the northernmost edges of the terminal. It also passes through the main campus of The Ohio State University; specifically, it cuts directly across the Oval greenspace, between University Hall and the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library. Ohio Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the world, barely misses the parallel 40° north (6 seconds or 185 metres (607 ft) above 40° north).

Baseline Road in Boulder, Colorado, traces the parallel 40° north.

Thistle, Utah, a ghost town since 1983, is slightly (30 seconds or 956 metres (0.594 mi)) below 40° north.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Duration of Daylight/Darkness Table for One Year". U.S. Naval Observatory. 2019-09-24. Archived from the original on 2019-10-12. Retrieved 2021-03-10.