North magnetic pole

The north magnetic pole, also known as the magnetic north pole, is a point on the surface of Earth's Northern Hemisphere at which the planet's magnetic field points vertically downward (in other words, if a magnetic compass needle is allowed to rotate in three dimensions, it will point straight down). There is only one location where this occurs, near (but distinct from) the geographic north pole. The geomagnetic north pole is the northern antipodal pole of an ideal dipole model of the Earth's magnetic field, which is the most closely fitting model of Earth's actual magnetic field.

Location of the north magnetic pole and the north geomagnetic pole in 2017.[1] The magnetic-north of the earth as a magnet is actually on the southern hemisphere: The north side of magnets are by definition attracted to the geographic north, and opposite poles attract.

The north magnetic pole moves over time according to magnetic changes and flux lobe elongation[2] in the Earth's outer core.[3] In 2001, it was determined by the Geological Survey of Canada to lie west of Ellesmere Island in northern Canada at 81°18′N 110°48′W.[4] It was situated at 83°06′N 117°48′W in 2005. In 2009, while still situated within the Canadian Arctic at 84°54′N 131°00′W,[5] it was moving toward Russia at between 55 and 60 km (34 and 37 mi) per year.[6] As of 2021, the pole is projected to have moved beyond the Canadian Arctic to 86.400°N 156.786°E / 86.400; 156.786 (Magnetic North Pole 2021 est).[7][5]

Its southern hemisphere counterpart is the south magnetic pole. Since Earth's magnetic field is not exactly symmetric, the north and south magnetic poles are not antipodal, meaning that a straight line drawn from one to the other does not pass through the geometric center of Earth.

Earth's north and south magnetic poles are also known as magnetic dip poles, with reference to the vertical "dip" of the magnetic field lines at those points.[8]

Recent locations of Earth's magnetic (dip) poles, IGRF-13 estimate[9]
Year 1990 (definitive) 2000 (definitive) 2010 (definitive) 2020
North magnetic pole 78.095°N 103.689°W / 78.095; -103.689 (NMP 1990) 80.972°N 109.640°W / 80.972; -109.640 (NMP 2000) 85.020°N 132.834°W / 85.020; -132.834 (NMP 2010) 86.494°N 162.867°E / 86.494; 162.867 (NMP 2020)
South magnetic pole 64.910°S 138.902°E / -64.910; 138.902 (SMP 1990) 64.661°S 138.303°E / -64.661; 138.303 (SMP 2000) 64.432°S 137.325°E / -64.432; 137.325 (SMP 2010) 64.081°S 135.866°E / -64.081; 135.866 (SMP 2020)

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