Nov 22, 2014

Why Is Every Direction South ... At The North Pole... Except Up ?

Common Sense Commentary: If you are standing exactly on the North Pole, every direction you might face, outside of your size 12 shoepacks, is South. Under your shoepacks, which is down, is also South all the way through the Earth to the South Pole. Above your head, up, is also North. The North Star, which is directly above the North Pole, is North from anywhere on Earth. The North Pole, at Earth's axis of rotation, points up at the North or Pole Star whose proper name is Polaris. Polaris, though only 48th in its brightness, is clearly the most important of all the stars if you are an Earthling, which most of you are. Some are rather doubtful.  I think I have met a few Angels Unawares, and positively a devil or two. Earth's axis is pointing almost directly at the North Star. Unlike other stars, Polaris does not rise or set but stays in the same spot above the northern horizon all the time, from anywhere on Earth, though we cannot see it except at night. The other stars appear to circle around, rise and set.

To find the North Star (Polaris) first find the Big Dipper, in the Northern Sky. Then find the two stars, Dubhe and Merak, which form the pouring end of the Dipper. These are called the "Pointer" stars because they always point from the bottom star to the lip of the Dipper, out in a straight line, a short distance, to the North Star. Well, it just looks like a short distance ... they are actually light years apart.

A compass does not point at the North Star or the North Pole. It points at Earth's strongest magnetic field in far Northern Canada near Resolute Bay. This magnetic field, which moves around a few miles annually, extends from Earth's interior up to where it meets the solar wind, which is a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun.

True North, the North Pole, is in exactly the same direction from anywhere on Earth following the various lines of longitude which, of course, run North and South. But magnetic North varies somewhat from each of the different longitude lines. However, in the United States, the North Pole and magnetic North are very nearly the same direction because that magnetic field is between us and the North Pole.

Compasses are no longer used by Scientific, Hi-tech, directional calculations. Fortunately we now have GPS (Global Positioning Systems) when exact directions and positions are needed. God invented it all but lets men discover it and take the credit ... for awhile. RB

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