The 42nd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 42 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The earth rotation speed at this latitude is roughly equal to the speed of sound.
One minute of longitude along the 42nd parallel is approximately 0.7456 nautical miles (0.8580 mi; 1.381 km).
Starting at the Prime Meridian and heading eastwards, the parallel 42° north passes through:
|Co-ordinates||Country, territory or sea||Notes|
|Spain||Passing near Laluenga and Laperdiguera (Huesca province)|
|France||Island of Corsica|
|Mediterranean Sea||Tyrrhenian Sea|
|Italy||Passing just north of Rome and through Termoli|
|Mediterranean Sea||Adriatic Sea|
|Kosovo or Serbia||Kosovo is a partially recognised state. Some nations consider its territory to be part of Serbia.|
|North Macedonia||Passing through Skopje|
|Turkey||For about 300 m|
|Bulgaria||For about 100 m|
|Turkey||For about 500 m|
|Russia||Dagestan - For about 2 km|
|Georgia||For about 3 km|
|Russia||Dagestan just south of Derbent|
|People's Republic of China||Xinjiang |
|People's Republic of China||Inner Mongolia|
|North Korea||Passing through Heaven Lake on Baekdu Mountain|
|People's Republic of China||Jilin (for about 8 km)|
|North Korea||North Hamgyeong Province - Kaema Plateau|
- Passing just north of Cheongjin
Passing just south of Raseon
|Sea of Japan||Passing just south of Okushiri Island, Japan|
|Japan||Island of Hokkaid?|
|Japan||Island of Hokkaid?|
|United States||Oregon / California border|
Oregon / Nevada border
Idaho / Nevada border
Idaho / Utah border
Iowa - passing through Cedar Rapids
Illinois - passing through the campus of Loyola University in Chicago
|United States||Michigan - passing through Tecumseh|
|Canada||Ontario - passing through Point Pelee National Park|
|United States||Pennsylvania (Erie County)|
New York / Pennsylvania border
Connecticut - running just south of the border with Massachusetts
Rhode Island - running just south of the border with Massachusetts
|Cape Cod Bay|
|United States||Massachusetts (Truro, Cape Cod)|
|Spain||Oia (province of Pontevedra, Galicia)|
|Portugal||Valença (Viana do Castelo District)|
|Spain||Entrimo (province of Ourense, Galicia)|
The parallel 42° north forms most of the New York-Pennsylvania border, although due to imperfect surveying in 1785-1786, this boundary wanders around on both sides of the true parallel. The area around the parallel in this region is known as the Twin Tiers.
The 42nd parallel became agreed upon as the northward limit of the Spanish Empire by the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 with the United States, which established the parallel as the border between the Viceroyality of New Spain of the Kingdom of Spain and the western territory of the United States of America from the meridian of the headwaters of the Arkansas River west to the Pacific Ocean. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 then ceded much of what was then northern Mexico to the United States; as a result, the northernmost U.S. states which were created from Mexican territory (California, Nevada, and Utah) have the parallel 42° north as their northern border, and the adjoining U.S. states of Oregon and Idaho have the parallel as their southern border.
The parallel passes through the states of Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and passes through (or near - within three-tenths degree of latitude) the following cities in the United States:
The parallel 42° north passes through the southern end of Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. Part of the water boundary between Canada and the United States passes south of the 42nd parallel. The southern tip of the Canadian province of Ontario just barely goes south of it at Point Pelee and Pelee Island, while the southernmost portion of the Town of Essex at Colchester is located below the 42nd parallel.