great circle
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
English[edit]
Noun[edit]
great circle (plural great circles)
 (geometry) A circle defined as the intersection of the surface of a sphere and a plane which passes through the centre of the sphere.
 A segment of such circle representing the shortest distance between two points on the surface of a sphere.
 1902, S. L. Penfield, "Use of the Stereographic Projection for Geographical Maps and Sailing Charts", in American Journal of Science
 Wherever a navigator may be, it certainly would be to his advantage to be able to find the great circle, or shortest course, and the distance, to his port of destination, [....]
 2003, Jeff Toghill, The Navigator's Handbook: Essential Methods and Equipmentand how to Use Them
 The shortest distance between two points on an ocean Mercator chart is not a straight line  it is a curve known as a 'great circle'.
 2005, Phil Medina, Homework Helpers: Earth Science, page 52
 Because the Earth's surface is curved, the shortest distance is actually a curve over the surface called a great circle.
 1902, S. L. Penfield, "Use of the Stereographic Projection for Geographical Maps and Sailing Charts", in American Journal of Science
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
circle

shortest distance

See also[edit]
 Great circle on Wikipedia.Wikipedia
 small circle