Geographical pole

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For other uses, see Pole (disambiguation).

A geographical pole is either of the two points on a planet, moon, or other relatively large rotating body where the body's axis of rotation meets its surface. As with Earth's North and South Poles, they are usually called that body's "north pole" and "south pole", one lying 90 degrees in one direction from the body's equator and the other lying 90 degrees in the opposite direction from the equator.[1] Every planet has geographical poles.[2]

Perturbations in a body's rotation mean that geographical poles wander slightly on its surface. The Earth's North and South Poles, for example, move by a few metres over periods of a few years.[3][4] As cartography requires exact and unchanging coordinates, the averaged[citation needed] locations of geographical poles are taken as fixed cartographic poles and become the points where the body's great circles of longitude intersect.

If, like the Earth, a body generates a magnetic field, it will also possess magnetic poles.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Komarova, Anna (2006). Elsevier's Dictionary of Geography: in English, Russian, French, Spanish and German. p. 557. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Hooper, William (2008). Aether and Gravitation. p. 224. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Schar, Ray (2010). Wonderfully Weird World. p. 106. Retrieved 22 June 2015. 
  4. ^ Lovett, Richard A. (2013-05-14). "Climate Change Has Shifted the Locations of Earth's North and South Poles". Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  5. ^ "20 Things You Didn't Know About... the North Pole". 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2015-06-26.