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Since compasses rely on magnetic north to point you in the right way up the trail, the average $2-dollar model could very well point you in the wrong direction. Depending on location and journey length, unaware hikers or boaters could find themselves hundreds of miles off course if they don’t calibrate for the shift, experts said.
“At Washington D.C., the compass points 10 degrees to the west of true north," Jeffrey Love, USGS advisor for geomagnetic research, told FoxNews.com. "And this is increasing at Washington at a rate of about 1/10 of a degree per year.”
But don't touch that calibration dial just yet: The accuracy of compasses fluctuates with the field, he said, meaning compasses are more or less accurate depending on where you use them.
“It's different at different places on the earth,” Love said.
One reason for the flurry of re-paints in Florida is that the state lies on the agonic line through the United States, which is the line with no magnetic variation. The agonic line presently runs roughly from Florida through Lakes Michigan and Superior to the magnetic north pole. Compasses used along that line require no variation, but the line is moving west along with the pole, leading to runway closures for renumbering.
I am away from my research sources, but the Earth has not just a single magnetic pole, but has several smaller dipoles that could be growing. In fact the one near South Africa has already flipped, so some of these minor poles could be growing in strengh.
Earth has a solid inner core made of iron and nickel that is about 2,400km in diameter and a fluid outer core about 7,000km in diameter.
This so-called "superrotation" of the inner core is of the order of 0.3 degrees to 0.5 degrees each year. This means that in 900 years, the inner core would gain one full rotation on the rest of the planet.
Originally posted by coolottie
reply to post by ommadawn
Here in Southwest Arkansas, Today it has been right on Northeast. I even looked at it once and the hand was just bobbing up and down, I don't know what that means, but not changing direction just shaking like.
All of the other threads I have been reading are like a result or symtom of Magnectic field. I posted on each one to look at their compasses and left them a link to this Thread. The more results we get the better.
Originally posted by Sek82
Ok, for declination data maps, most floating around the internet are based on data from varying dates in the recent years... For a more up to date map, I would try this link:
Originally posted by primus2012
My compass is in my army duffle bag in the parents' attic; haven't used it for years, but I know where the North Star / Polaris is and how it should appear in relation to my property. It's cloudy tonight, but I'll have a look on the next clear night...and I'm in Minnesota btw.
If you can't find Polaris, find the Big Dipper; the 2 stars furthest from the handle line up with Polaris. Polaris is also the star at the end of the Little Dipper's handle, so if you can find the Little Dipper, you can find Polaris. It shouldn't be more than 1 degrees off of the celestial "north" pole.
edit to add:
If you confirm Polaris is North, where it should be, and your compasses are still off, then it's not a pole shift, but some kind of magnetic anomaly in your area.edit on 20-3-2011 by primus2012 because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Lil Drummerboy
I am amazed this thread is still going,.
though I could believe a compass not doing what it always does
would be alarming,. I think if compasses were to really start moving
More would start ringing the bell .
AS I stated earlier on in this thread,. My compass has not moved from its position
for a long while,.much longer than the "concern" this thread posted at the time.
Oh and I set my compass to a permanent position a few years back to see if there would be a
actual pole shift,. has been disappointing so far