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The following fact is even more astonishing…The following fact is even more astonishing…
During the past 10 years, the magnetic north pole has shifted nearly half of the total distance of the past 50 years! In other words, the pole shift has apparently sped up substantially.
Not only that, but it is interesting to note that both the north and south magnetic poles are favoring one side of the earth – the south pole is heavily favoring one side, and continues to move further away from true south.
Other, more accurate devices have been invented for determining north that do not depend on the Earth's magnetic field for operation (known in such cases as true north, as opposed to magnetic north). A gyrocompass or astrocompass can be used to find true north, while being unaffected by stray magnetic fields, nearby electrical power circuits or nearby masses of ferrous metals. A recent development is the electronic compass, or fibre optic gyrocompass, which detects the magnetic directions without potentially fallible moving parts. This device frequently appears as an optional subsystem built into GPS receivers. However, magnetic compasses remain popular, especially in remote areas, as they are relatively inexpensive, durable, and require no electrical power supply.
A compass functions as a pointer to "magnetic north" because the magnetized needle at its heart aligns itself with the lines of the Earth's magnetic field. The magnetic field exerts a torque on the needle, pulling one end or pole of the needle toward the Earth's North magnetic pole, and the other toward the South magnetic pole. The needle is mounted on a low-friction pivot point, in better compasses a jewel bearing, so it can turn easily. When the compass is held level, the needle turns until, after a few seconds to allow oscillations to die out, one end points toward the North magnetic pole.
The first compasses were made of lodestone, a naturally-magnetized ore of iron. Ancient people found that if a lodestone was suspended so it could turn freely, it would always point in the same direction (toward the magnetic poles). Later compasses were made of iron needles, magnetized by stroking them with a lodestone.
Navigation prior to the compass See also: Polynesian navigation
Prior to the introduction of the compass, position, destination, and direction at sea was primarily determined by the sighting of landmarks, supplemented with the observation of the position of celestial bodies. Ancient mariners often kept within sight of land. The invention of the compass enabled the determination of heading when the sky was overcast or foggy. And, when the sun or other known celestial bodies could be observed, it enabled the calculation of latitude. This enabled mariners to navigate safely far from land, increasing sea trade, and contributing to the Age of Discovery.
To read your compass,
Hold your compass steadily in your hand so the baseplate is level and the direction-of-travel arrow is pointing straight away from you.
Hold it about halfway between your face and waist in a comfortable arm position with your elbow bent and compass held close to your stomache.
Look down at the compass and see where the needle points.
The game 'overlays' a game map on the screen of your phone using your location in real time.
P.S. My Watch was made in Finland. Did you know that orienteering is the National sport there? It is hilarious to watch the T.V. coverage of it. Very Monty Pythonesque as men are filmed racing through the woods in colored tights.