General KnOWLedge: How does a compass work?

The facts behind the simple handheld gadget that uses the power of the planet to guide us home
GK Compass Thumbnail


These days, the compass doesn't get quite the respect that is deserves as one of the greatest human inventions of all time. (Yep, of all time, people!)

Think about it. Before computers and satellites, accurate maps or bird's eye views, this little gadget could reliably let explorers know the direction home. Even without a landmark in sight and all the stars obscured by clouds, compasses were always there.

It's enough to make one wonder ...

How does a compass work?

Let OWLconnected's General KnOWLedge show you the way!


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