Angular Coordinates
(KS2, Year 6)

The Lesson

The angular coordinate is the second number in the pair of numbers used to describe polar coordinates. For example, in the polar coordinates (5, 45°), angular coordinate is 45° (the number on the right):

The angular coordinate is sometimes called the polar angle or the azimuth. It can be measured in degrees or radians.

What Does the Angular Coordinate Mean?

The angular coordinate tells you what angle the point is (in the counter-clockwise direction) from the polar axis. If a point has polar coordinates (5, 45°), the point would be 45° from the polar axis. The image below shows what we mean by a point being 45° from the polar axis:

Using a Polar Grid to Find the Angular Coordinate

A polar grid can be used to find the angular coordinate. A polar grid is shown below:

A line from the pole is shown in red. If we read along the line, we see that it is labelled 45°. All points on this line are 45° from the polar axis.

Beware

Counter-Clockwise

The angular coordinate is measured in the counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise) direction:

Make sure you do not measure the angular coordinate in the clockwise direction:

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See Also

What is an angle? What are degrees? What are radians?