What’s the difference between the magnetic and geomagnetic pole

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According to wikipedia, the Magnetic pole is where the Earth’s magnetic field points down, while the Geomagnetic pole is where it intersects the ground. Those sound like they should be the same point, but they aren’t, what gives?

In: Planetary Science

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The Earths magnetic field is not uniform like a bar magnet. It twists and morphs around. If you were to take out a compass and follow the red arrow you will do some turns back and forth but eventually end up at the geomagnetic North pole. And if you follow the white arrow you would eventually end up at the geomagnetic South pole. You would expect these to be on the opposite side of the Earth, but they are not. They are very far from the opposite sides of the globe. So if you were to stand on a random place on Earth and look at your compass it will not point to either the geomagnetic north or south poles. To get some more practically usable magnetic poles we take lots of measurements from around the world and average them together. From this we get the magnetic poles which represents an average of the magnetic field on the surface of the Earth. If we model the Earths core as a pole magnet then the magnetic poles would be correct. And these are on the opposite sides from each other.

Anonymous 0 Comments