How does the compass work?

If ever you want to go to Antarctica to see the South pole, the first that you will take along for the journey will be the compass. Well, and some warm clothes. However, did you know that compasses not only can lead you to the magnetic pole, but to confuse you, forcing you to get lost near the almost achieved your goal? How compasses work, and why they cannot be trusted, being close to the magnetic pole?

Compasses were first invented in Ancient China in an instrument for determining directions on long journeys

What is compass and how it works?

The compass is an ancient navigational instrument that was invented in China in the second Millennium BC. The first compasses were magnetized pieces of metal that were in the vessel with water and was mounted in it with a special plank of wood. We know that from China compasses gradually migrated to the Arab world, where they are used in journeys through the desert, and several centuries later the device was able for the first time to get to Europe.

See also: What happens if the magnetic field disappear?

Due to the fact that the magnetic field of the Earth is constantly attracts the magnetized end of the compass to the North pole, device users can always know which side is magnetic North. However, you may be surprised to learn that the compass is able to behave more than strange, in that case, if they are close to the South pole of the planet.

Compasses are oriented in the directions of the lines of Earth’s magnetic field

Well, as you know, planet Earth has both geographic and magnetic poles. The geographic North and South poles crown opposite ends of the Central magnetic axis of the planet around which the Earth rotates. However, the position of the North and South magnetic poles is not fixed, and the distance from them to the respective geographic poles can vary by as much as several thousand kilometers.

What is the Earth’s magnetic field?

The magnetic field of the planet is a special force field which exerts a certain effect on electric charges. So, it is his presence helps the Earth to fight harmful to all living things with ionized particles of the solar wind, without which life in a familiar, we just couldn’t exist. In addition, this pressure can sharply reduce the number of potentially habitable exoplanets that will be available for detailed study in the future.

It is known that the Earth’s magnetic field arises as a result of constant rotation of the planet, which leads to boiling of a viscous glandular fluid in its core, allowing the magnetic poles of the planet is gradually shifted in response to the character of the movement and the speed of intraplanetary liquid.

Due to the fact that the Earth’s magnetic field is not located on the direct lines leading from the North pole to the South, as their movements to the South pole, the magnetic lines of the field will gradually bend in order to ultimately fall directly under the ground. Such an unusual feature entails a rather unpleasant effect of misleading any traveler who decided alone to find the hidden southern pole of the planet: the compass simply indicates the wrong direction and leads a grief-the traveller from the desired goal.

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Due to the fact that compasses are often characterized by unpredictable behavior near the magnetic North and South poles, polar explorers are increasingly using GPS technology that allows you to find the right direction to the North. So if one day you ignite the desire to visit Antarctica and South pole, we suggest that you buy quality GPS Navigator, and a good old compass to leave to travel to the equator, it is only there that all the magnetic field lines of the planet are completely horizontal and parallel to the surface of the planet.

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