Why compass needle points north

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why compass needle points north

Quote by Khaled Hosseini: “Like a compass needle that points north, a man...”

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Why does a compass needle point north?

Why does a magnetic compass point to the Geographic North Pole?

Early human travelers used a variety of methods to prevent them from becoming lost on their journeys. For terrestrial travel they often used plants or other landmarks. Of course, when clouds masked these bodies, boats could easily lose their way. Experiment with the compass in this tutorial to see how it responds to magnetic fields. To move the horseshoe magnet to a new location, click and drag it. Notice that when the magnet is absent, the compass needle points north, but when the magnet is present, the needle points toward the magnet. This is because the compass needle is magnetized and mounted in a way that allows it to move in response to magnetic fields.

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A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction relative to the geographic cardinal directions or points. Usually, a diagram called a compass rose shows the directions north , south , east , and west on the compass face as abbreviated initials. When the compass is used, the rose can be aligned with the corresponding geographic directions; for example, the "N" mark on the rose points northward. Compasses often display markings for angles in degrees in addition to or sometimes instead of the rose. These numbers allow the compass to show magnetic North azimuths or true North azimuths or bearings , which are commonly stated in this notation. If magnetic declination between the magnetic North and true North at latitude angle and longitude angle is known, then direction of magnetic North also gives direction of true North. Among the Four Great Inventions , the magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty since c.


  1. Artus G. says:

    A magnetic compass does not point to the geographic north pole.

  2. Wonatyjets says:

    Try It Out

  3. Maitena R. says:

    Imagine you're an explorer from the distant past.

  4. Rabican B. says:

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