HOW TO USE A COMPASS

By: Joshua Firestine

Earth's Magnetic Field & How Earths magnetic field effects the compass.

Earths Magnetic Field


Recall that Earth's inner core spins faster then the outer core. This produces stream of flowing, molten iron in the outer core. But Earths magnetosphere is the magnetic field but Earths magnetic field protects Earth from cosmic rays and charged particles coming from the sun.


How Earths Magnetic Field affects the compass'


The reason why a compass works is more interesting. It turns out that you can think of the Earth as having a gigantic bar magnet buried inside. In order for the north end of the compass to point toward the North Pole, you have to assume that the buried bar magnet has its south end at the North Pole, as shown in the diagram at the right. If you think of the world this way, then you can see that the normal "opposites attract" rule of magnets would cause the north end of the compass needle to point toward the south end of the buried bar magnet. So the compass points toward the North Pole. But the Magnetic field affects the northern and southern hemisphere by the needle being magnetized and that is why the magnetic field affects the northern and southern hemisphere on a compass.

How the magnetic field works on the compass

Because the needle of a compass is magnetized, it will always point toward the magnetic field.

More information on How to use a compass

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