The Earth’s Magnetic Field

The Earth acts as though it contains a magnet, due to the circular currents inside its core. Also, the Earth produces a magnetic field, with the field lines being most concentrated at the poles.

If Earth had a big bar magnet, the south pole of the magnet would be near the geographic north and the north pole of the magnet will be near the geographic south.

  • Although this analogy helps us understand Earth’s magnetic field, it’s important to note that there isn’t actually a magnet inside the Earth.

Navigating the Planet with a Compass

Earth’s magnetic field is useful for navigation. A compass, for example, contains a dial to show direction and a magnetic needle to help with pivoting.

Opposite poles attract; therefore, the north pole of the compass is attracted to Earth’s magnetic South pole. Earth’s magnetic south pole is near its geographic North pole. This means that the north pole of a magnetic compass will always point towards Earth’s geographic north pole.