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What does a compass do at the North Pole?
Question Date: 2007-04-27
Answer 1:

If you had a 3-d compass (it could point in any direction), it would point downwards at the North Pole, into the ground. But since most compasses are 2-d (they only spin around in a circle and not in any direction) it would actually not point in any direction in particular right at the North Pole. But if you were a tiny bit off, it would still point in the right direction. An interesting tidbit is that the magnetic North Pole of the Earth (towards the North) is actually the physical South Pole of the iron earth core (remember a North end is always attracted to a South end). Also another interesting tidbit is that magnetic North is not exactly at the geographic North Pole. Its actually a little bit off. If you are in Chicago, you don't need to adjust your compass measurement at all, but we out here in California actually are about a degree or two off from geographic North when we use a compass to find magnetic North.

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