How does a compass work?
The north and south ends of the Earth are called the north and south poles. Because of the Earth's iron-nickel core, the Earth behaves like a magnet. The Earth's magnetic poles are near the geographic poles.
A compass needle is also a magnet, with north and south poles. One pole of the needle is north-seeking and is marked "N", that is, it always points to the Earth's magnetic north pole. Similarly, the other pole of the compass needle, marked "S", is south-seeking and always points to the Earth's south magnetic pole.
The Earth itself acts as a magnet with two poles and an enormous magnetic field. At some places on the Earth's surface, its magnetic force is greater than at others. Moreover, the magnetic strength changes with the passage of the Moon around the Earth. The magnetic poles also shift their positions slightly from year to year. The Magnetic North Pole and the Geographic North Pole do not coincide.
Posted by Jay Roberts at 04:35 AM | Permalink