In olden days, people believed that the earth was flat. The earth is flattened at the North and South Poles, and is bulging at the centre. It is also called a spheroid.
A globe is a miniature model of the earth. Countries, continents and oceans on a globe are shown to scale. The ancient Greeks knew the world was spherical. Crates, a Greek, was credited with making the first globe in about 150 BC.
The first of the modern-day globes were made in the late 15th century by Martin Behaim of Nuremberg, and the great inventor, Leonardo da Vinci. The earth is constantly rotating so; a globe can be rotated too. The axis of the earth, Latitudes and Longitudes are some imaginary lines on the globe that provide us with reference points. One of these references is the earth’s axis. The globe spins on a needle on which it rotates. This is called the axis. We need some points of reference to describe the location of a point on a sphere like the earth. The earth rotates on an imaginary axis. The earth’s axis is tilted at an angle of 23 ½ ° to the vertical.
The two points through which the needle passes represent the two poles – North Pole at the top and South Pole at the bottom. Thus, the points through which the earth’s imaginary axis passes are the North Pole and the South Pole.
Globes can be:
A terrestrial globe:
- Depicts the areas on earth keeping their shapes, directions or relative sizes intact.
- Ignores the flattening of the earth at the poles and its slight bulge below the equator.
A celestial globe is designed to show the positions of the stars in the sky.