It is frequently pointed out that the magnetic north pole lies slightly outside the geographic North Pole. This is not technically correct. In fact, the opposite is true. The Earth’s magnetic south pole lies just outside the geographic North Pole. In geography, North is defined by the direction that attracts the north end of a compass, but in physics, the north end of any magnet will always be pulled toward the southern direction of an external magnetic field. What this means is that the magnetic pole that lies in what we call the Northern Hemisphere is actually a magnetic south pole. In precise scientific terms, the “north magnetic pole” and the “magnetic north pole” are exact opposites. Thankfully, these needlessly confusing semantics are usually ignored in favor of the colloquial understanding.
It is frequently pointed out that the magnetic north pole lies slightly outside the geographic North Pole. This is not technically correct. In fact, the opposite is true. The Earth’s magnetic south pole lies just outside the geographic North Pole. In geography, North is defined by the direction that attracts the north end of a compass, but in physics, the north end of any magnet will always be pulled toward the southern direction of an external magnetic field. What this means is that the magnetic pole that lies in what we call the Northern Hemisphere is actually a magnetic south pole. In precise scientific terms, the “north magnetic pole” and the “magnetic north pole” are exact opposites. Thankfully, these needlessly confusing semantics are usually ignored in favor of the colloquial understanding.
 
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