How does a compass work?
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A compass needs to be used with care, because if it is near any object that can distort the Earth's magnetic field it will give a false reading. A nearby object made of iron or steel, or any source of electrical power, will cause the compass needle to swing wildly.
The core of the Earth functions like a huge magnet. Lines of force run from the north to the south magnetic poles, and a compass can detect these. The magnetic poles are close to the true poles, but move slightly each year.
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Date Added: 13 December '11
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