###### Asked in Geometry

Geometry

# What circle is the largest circle that can be drawn around a sphere such as a globe?

## Answer

###### Wiki User

###### October 10, 2011 11:26PM

general astronomy

## Related Questions

###### Asked in School Subjects, Math and Arithmetic

### What is a great cicle?

Much bigger and better than a regular circle... But seriously, a
great circle on a sphere is a circle that runs along the surface of
that sphere and cuts it into two equal halves. It is the largest
circle that can be drawn on a given sphere. The center of any great
circle is the center of the sphere.

###### Asked in Math and Arithmetic, Geometry

### What is the largest circle that can be drawn around a sphere such as a globe?

That's called a "great circle" of the sphere.
-- It's any circle whose center is at the center of the
sphere.
-- Its diameter is equal to the diameter of the sphere.
-- Its area is equal to 1/4 the surface area of the sphere.
-- The shortest distance between any two points on the sphere
is
along the piece of the great circle on which they lie. (There's
only
one, unless the two points are the opposite ends of a
diameter.)

###### Asked in Math and Arithmetic, Geometry, Topology

### What is the difference between spherical and circle?

A sphere is a three dimentional shape, a circle is a two
dimentional shape. You can't pick up a circle, it can only be
drawn.
In differential geometry, a one dimensional sphere is a point, a
two dimensional sphere is a circle and a three dimensional sphere
is what we call a "sphere", there is no limit to the number of
dimensions a sphere can have.

###### Asked in Math and Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry

### Can a circle always be drawn around a four-sided shape?

If you mean can a circle always be drawn round a quadrilateral
so that the quadrilateral is enclosed within the circle then yes as
long as the diameter of the circle is large enough.
If you mean can a circle always be drawn around a quadrilateral
so that it passes through all vertices then only if the opposite
angles of the quadrilateral add up to 180o - such quadrilaterals
are called cyclic quadrilaterals.

###### Asked in Math and Arithmetic, Geometry

### What is a radiu s of a circle?

If you draw a line from the center of a circle to the edge of a
circle, you have drawn the radius of the circle.
If you draw a line from the edge of a circle through the center
of the circle and on to the edge on the opposite side, you have
drawn the diameter of a circle.
The radius of a circle is one half the diameter of a circle.

###### Asked in Math and Arithmetic

### What is an incircle?

###### Asked in Astronomy, Math and Arithmetic, Physics

### Is the great circle route the shortest distance between two points?

Yes, if you are talking about two points on earth's surface. The
great circle can be thought of as roughly similar to a circle of
longitude, or to the equator. It is the largest circle on the globe
that can be drawn containing the two points in question. Why is
this important? Consider the fact that the larger a circle becomes,
the closer a section of the circle resembles a straight line. If
you imagine a circle that is infinitely large, you would not be
able to distinguish a section of it from a straight line drawn
between the end-points. So when you have drawn the largest circle
you can that contains two points on earth, you have come as close
as you can to approximating a straight line between them (without
digging). To people who are not familiar with this idea, seeing a
'great circle route' drawn out on a Mercator projection seems
impossible. Map projections have to sacrifice some important
detail, because you cannot map a three-dimensional globe onto a two
dimensional surface.