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A compass has a magnetic needle that can rotate freely. When a compass is kept at a place, the magnetic needle aligns in a north-south direction . The red arrow of the compass needle is termed as the north pole and the other end as the south pole.

  • A simple compass is a magnetic needle mounted on a pivot, or short pin.
  • The needle, which can spin freely, always points north. The pivot is attached to a compass card.
  • A special kind of compass called a gyrocompass does point to true north.
  • The gyrocompass uses a device called a gyroscope, which always points in the same direction.
  • Today, large ships carry both magnetic compasses and gyrocompasses

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CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 12 years and a teacher from the past 16 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo