Business Standard

The mysterious ways of geomagnetism

The geomagnetic field is weakening and often flips orientation. It's unknown what causes flips and how long flips take


Devangshu Datta
One fallout from the United States (US) government shutdown was a delay in updating global navigation systems. Many navigational systems, starting with the humble compass, are anchored to the Magnetic North Pole (MNP). 

The MNP shifts and it’s necessary to reorient the position of the MNP, every five years or so. The next update was due in 2020. But MNP has shifted so much in the last four years, an emergency update was in progress when the US government shut down.

The Earth is a roughly spherical body, spinning west to east. The geographic North Pole is the northern-most point of the
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 9:13 PM IST

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