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# What is a compass needle?

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A compass needle is a device that tells which direction is north, south, east and west. The needle is actually a magnet that is pulled toward the North Pole by the Earth's magnetic field.

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This magnet is lightweight, due to the Earth's weak magnetic field, and is placed on a low-friction pivot point, which allows it to turn easily. Created sometime between the second century BC and first century AD in China, the compass was first made of lodestone, a natural magnet that attracts iron. Before the invention of the compass, people used landmarks and the stars to figure directional points.

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## Related Questions

• A:

A compass is a navigational tool that marks direction according to the earth's rotation cycle or its magnetic field. Compasses can be used for plotting and tracking journeys of predetermined direction on land or at sea.

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• A:

An adult can help a kid read a compass by teaching him how to interpret directions on a map. When kids ride in cars, the driver should help the children develop a sense of location by verbally explaining the directions to them. Children can learn to read compasses easier by learning with wristwatches, or by creating their own natural compasses.

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When lining up a shot, a sniper must calculate a number of variables, including the distance to target, and the wind speed and direction. He must then estimate the effect these variables have on the trajectory of his bullet and adjust his sights appropriately. These adjustments are based on mathematical calculations every sniper learns during training, which become almost second nature to a marksman once in the field.