• A compass needle is magnetized, so it lines up with the magnetic field of the earth. The earth behaves as if it has a gigantic bar magnet sitting roughly along its axis, so the compass needle point's to the so-called north magnetic pole of the earth. In reality this is a little off from the true geographic north pole of the earth's axis. The difference -- known as magnetic declination -- has to be corrected for in using a compass to find true north.
  • Because it doesn't want anything to do with the Dirty South.
  • As xprofessor said, the magnetised needle of the compass aligns itself with the earth's magnetic field and the magnetic north pole is some distance from the true north pole. It is slightly west of true north. It also moves and on maps such as the UK's Ordnance Survey maps and on sea charts you will see information about the position of magnetic north when the map or chart was printed and how to work out its current position - something like 'Variation 7°55' West (1999) decreasing about 5' annually'. On ships and boats there is a further factor that has to be taken into consideration and that is the magnetic field created by ferrous metal and electrical equipment on the vessel - this is called Magnetic Deviation and has to be calculated so that it can be added to or subtracted from Magnetic Variation - the result of that calculation is the Magnetic Declination for that particular vessel. If you don't do these calculations you could end up hundreds of miles from where you wanted to be on a long voyage.
  • The compass does not point to the north pole but to an area in far northern Canada. A compass neddle is magnetized and seeks out this area of magnetic attraction.
  • A compass needle is a magnet, and it tends to lines up with the magnetic field of the earth. Towards the North Pole of the planet. The Earth is also a magnet! It's filled with a dense iron core and so it gives off a magnetic field.
  • The geographical North is actually where the Magnetic South pole is located! So the North Mag pole is attracted to the north becuase the South magnetics pole is located there.

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