From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Arctic is the area around the earth's North Pole. The Arctic includes parts of Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Lapland and Svalbard as well as the Arctic Ocean. The 10°C (50°F) July isotherm is commonly used to define the border of the Arctic region.
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. This is the parallel of latitude that runs approximately 66.5° north of the Equator. Everything north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south of this circle is the Northern Temperate Zone.
The Arctic is also known as the Land of the Midnight Sun. Within the Arctic Circle, the arctic Sun is above the horizon for at least 24 continuous hours per year, in conjunction with the Arctic's Summer Solstice. Likewise, in conjunction with the Arctic's Winter Solstice, the Arctic sun will be below the horizon for at least 24 continuous hours.
The name Arctic comes from the ancient Greek αρκτος, meaning 'bear', and is a reference to the constellations of the Great Bear and Little Bear, which are located near the North Star (which is actually part of the Little Bear).