Angular Coordinates
(KS2, Year 6)

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):angular_coordinateThe 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: angular_coordinate_on_graph

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:angular_coordinate_on_polar_gridA 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: angular_coordinate_counter_clockwise Make sure you do not measure the angular coordinate in the clockwise direction: angular_coordinate_not_clockwise
author logo

This page was written by Stephen Clarke.