It is estimated that the Earth’s north and south magnetic poles slowly move and that they completely reverse their positions every 200,000 years or so. These shifts would cause a compass that would have pointed north before a shift to then point toward what had previously been the south pole. Magnetic shifts are thought to be the result of changes in magnetic activity in the Earth’s core as the planet rotates.
More about the Earth’s poles:
- The magnetic poles are located very closely to the actual geographic north pole located in the Arctic Ocean and the south pole on Antarctica. These geographic poles are always centrally located on the Earth's axis and do not shift.
- Earth’s magnetic poles give off a magnetic field, which is primarily responsible for serving as the planet's guard to prevent too much radiation from the sun and space from infiltrating the atmosphere.
- Scientists have found evidence that magnetic shifts might occur more quickly as time goes by. For example, it is estimated that before the dinosaurs’ extinction, the poles reversed once every million years or so.
More Info: nasa.gov
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The south and north pole always stay in the same location? Why or why not?
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