Needle Compass

Out of the myriad of skills the Boy Scouts has taught me, I remember the compass. How to use it, when to use it, and of course how to make one. Now that I am older I kinda wonder why we would make a compass out of a needle when we could use the magnet that magnetized the needle to begin with. Probably because the magnet itself is too big to float on a leaf or more likely the needle is aesthetically pleasing as one side will have pointed end and the opposite would have a bulky end.
Just to open up old memories I have made a compass for myself. I took a labeled magnet of south and north. Rubbed/stroked the south end on the pointy end of the needle 50 times and 20 times more for good luck. Brought an outside leaf placed it gently in a bowl of water along with my needle. As suspected and experimented on for centuries the needle slowly moved toward north, that is the south polarity of the Earth. What occurred to my iron made needle was an aligning of the domains, which before were pointing any which way. After which to be sure it pointed in the right direction I took out my handy compass. It was the same. Science did not fail. IMG_0123


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