Minute


Minute, a unit for measuring both time and space. As a unit of time, a minute is 60 seconds, or 1/60 of an hour. As a unit of space, a minute (often called a minute of arc) is 1/60 of a degree. (A degree is 1/360 of the circumference of a circle.) A minute of arc contains 60 seconds of arc.

The duration of a minute as a unit of time is constant. The length of a minute of arc varies with the size of the circle. The length can be computed if the circumference or radius of the circle is known.

Minutes of arc are used in geography in designating locations on the earth's surface. A particular place is said to be a certain number of degrees (), minutes ('), and seconds () east or west of Greenwich, England, and north or south of the Equator.

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