Q:

What is "true north"?

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Quick Answer

The designation "true north" refers to the North Pole. If facing true north, traveling straight would lead to the North Pole along a meridian of longitude.

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Full Answer

True north should not be confused with magnetic north. Magnetic north falls in a similar location as the geographical North Pole, but it is different. A compass points to the magnetic north, not true north. The magnetic north is a point on the planet that varies over time, caused by the interaction of Earth's magnetic fields. The true north can be located on most maps by finding the point near the top of the map marked with a five-pointed star.

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