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North Pole

The Geographic North Pole Lies at 90 Degree Latitude

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Updated August 19, 2007
The earth is home to two North Poles located in the Arctic region - a geographic North Pole and a magnetic North Pole.

Geographic North Pole

The northernmost point on the earth's surface is the geographic North Pole, also known as true north. It's located at 90° North latitude and all lines of longitude converge at the pole. The earth's axis connects the north and south poles, as its the line around which the earth rotates.

The North Pole is about 450 miles (725 km) north of Greenland in the middle of the Arctic Ocean - the sea there has a depth of 13,410 feet (4087 meters). Most of the time, sea ice covers the North Pole but recently, water has been sighted at the exact location of the pole.

If you're standing at the North Pole, all points are south of you (east and west have no bearing). Since the earth's rotation takes place once every 24 hours, if you're at the North Pole your speed of rotation is quite slow at almost no speed at all, compared to the speed at the equator at about 1,038 miles per hour.

The lines of longitude that establish our time zones are so close at the North Pole, the Arctic region uses UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) when local time is necessary at the North Pole. The North Pole experiences six months of daylight and six months of darkness.

Robert Peary, his partner Matthew Henson, and four Inuit are generally credited with being the first to reach the North Pole on April 9, 1909 many suspect that they missed the pole by a few miles. In 1958, the United States nuclear submarine Nautilus was the first vessel to cross the North Pole. Other attempts to reach the North Pole have been quite interesting. Today, dozens of planes fly over the North Pole using great circle routes between continents.

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