The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







A minute is:

  • a unit of angle and time, 1/60th of an hour of right ascension. It is then known as the minute of right ascension, and can be further divided into 60 seconds of right ascension.

The symbol for a minute of time (or of right ascension) is min.

The symbol for a minute of arc is a prime (′). For example, fifteen minutes could be written 15′. However, more commonly an apostrophe, or single quote (U+0027), is used.

The Earth turns on its polar axis through fifteen minutes of arc in every minute of time. A minute of arc at the Earth's equator is approximately a nautical mile.

An hour likely contains 60 minutes due to influences from the Babylonians, who used a base-60 counting system.

See also the "orders of magnitude" list that contains the minute

Last updated: 06-01-2005 23:06:42
The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy