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Comparison between the Geographic Poles and Magnetic Poles of the Earth

The rotation of the sphere like structures such as a planet, dwarf planet, a natural satellite etc. determines the geographic poles. The Magnetic poles are either two points where the lines of force of the Earth's magnetic field are vertical. Here, we are giving a brief note on the comparison between the Geographic Poles and Magnetic Poles of the Earth, which will be helpful for the aspirants of the competitive exams like UPSC/PCS/SSC/CDS etc.
Apr 10, 2019 18:23 IST
Comparison between the Geographic Poles and Magnetic Poles of the Earth

The Earth is rotates on its axis along the geographical poles and that swirling movement creates magnetic effect because of interior composition.

What are Geographic Poles of the Earth?

The Geographic poles are the place where the axis of rotation intersects its surface. The rotation of the sphere like structures such as a planet, dwarf planet, a natural satellite etc. determines the geographic poles. The Poles are fixed by the axis of the sphere like structure such as a planet, dwarf planet, natural satellite, etc. The geographic poles of the Earth, i.e., North Pole and South are located where the line of longitude (Meridian) converges.

What are Magnetic Poles of the Earth?

The earth behaves as a huge bar magnet with its north pole at the geographical south direction and South Pole at geographical north direction. The magnetic lines of force of Earth’s magnetic field are also closed loops originating from its magnetic north pole to go back towards the magnetic South Pole.

The directions of Earth’s geographical poles and magnetic poles are actually opposite to each other. It is because of this reason the compass needle always points towards the magnetic south pole or geographical north pole when kept in the northern hemisphere and towards the magnetic north pole or geographical south pole when kept in the southern hemisphere.

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Comparison between the Geographic Poles and Magnetic Poles of the Earth

Geographic Poles of the Earth

Magnetic Poles of the Earth

It is determined by the earth’s spin.

Geographical poles generates a magnetic field, it will also possess magnetic poles.

It is located at the congruence of lines of longitude.

Its location is determined by the direction a compass points.

The spinning tendency of the Earth creates the geographic poles.

The presence of the Earth's magnetic fields due to its interior structure.

It is the place where the axis of rotation intersects its surface.

It is the point where magnetic field lines point vertically down.

It is the point on the earth’s surface that does not take part in the earth’s periodic rotation.

It deflects most of the solar wind that protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

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Polar Shift Theory

According to the Geographer, from the past 150 years the magnetic North pole has been shifted towards north about 620 miles. This shifting is an on-going process and shifts at the rate of 7 miles, but this shifting has been recorded at 34 miles per year. Although, shifting has been appeared on the table of the geographer and scientist, but nobody has been explained in detail.

World Magnetic Model

The British Geological Survey and the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere established the World Magnetic Model to track the shifting or movement of the magnetic pole. The data of this World Magnetic Model is verified by the European Space Agency Swarm Mission (i.e. Magnetic field mapping satellites) which revolves around the Earth around 15 times to study the magnetic shifting of the Earth. After the verification of the European Space Agency Swarm Mission then the final data is also verified by the ground magnetic observatories.

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Hence, we can say that the geographical poles are fixed but the magnetic poles are not stationery and undergo polar shifting.