What is the significance of the Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle?
The Tropic of Cancer is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees north, where the sun is directly overhead at noon on June 21, the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle marking the latitude 23.5 degrees south where the sun is directly overhead at noon on December 21, the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. The equator is the circle where the Sun is directly overhead at noon on the equinoxes.
The Arctic and Antarctic Circles are located at ±66.5 degrees latitude. Note that 66.5 + 23.5 equals 90 degrees. This means that on December 21, when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at noon, it will not be visible from the Arctic Circle. So above the Arctic Circle, there is a period during the winter when the sun remains below the horizon. The same is true of the Antarctic Circle during Southern Hemisphere winter. On June 21st, when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer at noon, it is not visible from below the Antarctic Circle.