[CQ-Contest] Russian Beats Out Canada for Magnetic North ... For Now

Bob Shohet, KQ2M kq2m at kq2m.com
Thu May 7 20:06:37 EDT 2020

Hi Frank,

Thank you for the great detailed explanation of the three “Norths” and the significance of each – and thank you 
for answering my question!   Thank you also to Tonno and others for answering my question as well.  I’m glad that I asked!


Bob, KQ2M

From: donovanf at starpower.net 
Sent: Thursday, May 7, 2020 3:22 AM
To: cq-contest 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Russian Beats Out Canada for Magnetic North ... For Now

Unless you've studied geomagnetic physics you probably never learned 
-- or even heard -- that the Earth has three north poles. The BBC 
article -- referenced by the first email in this chain -- describes the three 
types of poles very well, but not at all how they relate to space physics. 


- the geographic north pole is where the Earth's rotation axis intersects 
the Earth's surface in the northern hemisphere. 

- the magnetic north pole is important to navigation systems and is the 
primary subject of the BBC article. It is the location in the northern 
hemisphere where the Earth's magnetic field lines are measured to 
be exactly perpendicular to the Earth's surface. 

- the geomagnetic north pole is important to HF propagation 
and many other aspects of the Earth's space environment 

The geographic north pole affects HF propagation because the 
Earth's tilt determines the our daylight/darkness cycles throughout 
the seasons of the year. 

The magnetic north pole is a pole most of us know about and 
the one being discussed in this chain of emails. I ts position has 
been drifting about 50-60 km per year for about the last forty 
years. Bob KQ2M asked about the significance of this fairly 
rapid drift: It has no significance to HF propagation. 

The geomagnetic n orth pole is the intersection of the Earth's surface 
in the northern hemisphere and the axis of a bar magnet hypothetically 
placed at the center the Earth. It is very significant for HF propagation 
because it describes the position of the geomagnetic field in the Earth's 
space environment including -- very importantly -- its ionosphere. 
The geomagnetic field very profoundly affects HF propagation. 
The geomagnetic north pole drifts only about one km. per year. 


As an aside, while the magnetic n orth pole is drifting fairly rapidly, 
the magnetic south pole is drifting very little. 


----- Original Message -----

From: "Tonno Vahk" <tonno.vahk at gmail.com> 
To: "Bob Shohet, KQ2M" <kq2m at kq2m.com> 
Cc: hhamwv at gmail.com, "cq-contest" <cq-contest at contesting.com> 
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 7:17:19 PM 
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Russian Beats Out Canada for Magnetic North ... For Now 

for me at KO38CS the declination is 9.43 degrees now and I have used 10 degrees for a while. 

Though 20 years ago the declination was 6.57 degrees and 10 years ago 7.75 degrees. So it is climbing:) 

100 years ago the declination was zero and we had no trouble of adding the coefficient to the compass reading:) 


On 6. May 2020, at 20:10, Bob Shohet, KQ2M <kq2m at kq2m.com> wrote: 

Hi Dave, 

Thanks for posting that interesting article. 

What effect, if any, does this have on beam headings through the Northern regions – like UA0, UA3, JA? 
Does it change them at all? If so, how and by what amount? 

Tnx & 73 

Bob, KQ2M 

From: David Siddall 
Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2020 11:22 AM 
To: cq-contest 
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Russian Beats Out Canada for Magnetic North ... For Now 

Good thing HF antennas generally have relatively wide beam width if you use 
a compass to orient without correcting for deviation. 

This also has a subtle effect on propagation paths through the polar areas, 
depending upon your location. 


73, Dave K3ZJ 

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