Recommended for Middle School through High School.
It depends. Do you mean geographic north or magnetic north? The geographic (true) north pole is the point at 90° N latitude. It is aligned with the rotational axis of the Earth. The Earth is surrounded by a magnetic field with a north and south magnetic pole. The magnetic north pole is the point to which a compass needle points. It is currently in northern Canada, but moves at an average rate of 15 km per year due to complex fluid motion in the outer core of Earth. Depending on your location, the difference between magnetic north and geographic north, called magnetic declination, can range from 0° to 30°.
In Part I of this experiment, you will measure the magnetic field of the Earth. You will use this data to determine magnetic north. Knowing the direction of true north, you will calculate the magnetic declination at your location. In Part II you will measure the magnetic inclination of your location.
In this experiment, you will
Use a Magnetic Field Sensor to measure the magnetic field of the Earth.
Calculate magnetic declination for your location.
Measure the magnetic inclination of your location.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.