How many different North / South Poles are there?
So far I've heard of Geographic poles, Magnetic poles, and Geomagnetic poles—what's the difference between them all?
Bonus: Where are they located? (roughly)
- Eliot KLv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
1) Earth's magnetic field (also known as the geomagnetic field) is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth's inner core to where it meets the solar wind, a stream of energetic particles emanating from the Sun. Its magnitude at the Earth's surface ranges from 25 to 65 µT (0.25 to 0.65 G). It is approximately the field of a magnetic dipole tilted at an angle of 11 degrees with respect to the rotational axis—as if there were a bar magnet placed at that angle at the center of the Earth. However, unlike the field of a bar magnet, Earth's field changes over time because it is generated by the motion of molten iron alloys in the Earth's outer core (the geodynamo).
The Magnetic North Pole wanders, but slowly enough that a simple compass remains useful for navigation. At random intervals (averaging several hundred thousand years) the Earth's field reverses (the north and south geomagnetic poles change places with each other). These reversals leave a record in rocks that allow paleomagnetists to calculate past motions of continents and ocean floors as a result of plate tectonics.
2) The basic idea (if you skimmed #1) is that the magnetic field is NOT aligned with the actual line around which the earth rotates. It's off by about 11 degrees. There are also LOCAL variations in magnetic north, so that you many have to make adjustments as you travel hundreds of miles.
- Anonymous7 years ago
There is the Geographic North and South Pole located at 90 Degrees North and South Latitude.
Thee is the Magnetic North and South Pole. They are moving. The North Magnetic pole is currently located north of Alaska in the Arctic Ocean.