Learning How to Use A Compass

A Beginner's Guide

How It Works

How does a compass work? A compass works by detecting the Earth's magnetic field. The outer core, which is beneath the surface, is what produces these fields. The Earth's magnetic field has two main poles, a North pole and a South pole. These poles are slightly off, but they are close enough that they can give the general directions and be used for navigation.

Why Do We Have Magnetic Fields?

The magnetic fields are what protect us from the Sun's harmful charged particles. Without them, there would be no life existence, and the Earth would become barren and dry.

So A Compass Can Give Me Instructions On Where To Go?

Not Exactly...

A compass is a great tool for navigation, but it can't give you instructions on where to go, unlike a GPS would. A compass shows and locates where the Earth's poles are, and shows you which direction you are going or facing.


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What Is It?

An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, that is caused by the collision of Earth's charged particles and atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. It is called aurora borealis in the Northern Hemisphere, and aurora australis in the Southern Hemisphere.