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Related to parallels of latitude: Tropic of Cancer, longitude
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Websters dictionary defines tropical as 1: of, relating to, or occurring in the tropics 2: either of the two parallels of terrestrial latitude corresponding to the celestial tropics 3: the region lying between these parallels of latitude 4: turning, changing, or tending to turn or change in a specific manner.
The parallels of latitude run horizontal and parallel, as they do on the sphere, but as one goes north and south from the equator, they spread out more widely, too.
But Mercator developed his projection to portray the parallels of latitude and the meridians of longitude as straight lines, a boon to mariners charting their courses across wide expanses of ocean.