OLogy: Create a Compass

See if you can find north by making your own compass.

Why does a compass point north? That’s because a compass is a small magnet. And a compass works because the Earth also acts like one giant magnet! Deep below the Earth’s surface is the Earth’s core, made of iron and nickel. The outer part of the core is liquid metal that moves around the solid inner core. This motion creates a magnetic field around the Earth. Like all magnets, the Earth has two poles. The magnetic needle on a compass will always point toward the North Pole.


Force (Magnetic)
K-6

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OLogy (American Museum of Natural History)

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