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From our library of things you should know about the Arctic

Shall we go south, south, south or south?

The Geographic North Pole (also known as "true north") is located near the middle of the Arctic Ocean, about 450 miles / 725 km north of Greenland, the closest land.

The north and south poles represent the top and bottom ends of the Earth's axis - around which it rotates.

Located at 90 North latitude, it is the northernmost point on the Earth's surface. If you're standing there, all points are south of you (you can't go farther north, and east and west have no bearing).

The lines of longitude that establish our time zones all converge at the pole. In that area they are too close together to be practical as time zones, so Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is used for local time.

Most of the time, the North Pole is covered by the polar ice cap. Recent warming trends have reduced the ice thickness and water has occasionally been sighted at the exact location of the pole.

When Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and four Inuit arrived at the North Pole in 1909, they didn't know exactly what they would find. Peary searched for land in every direction (all South) with a telescope. He found none.

A metal weight on piano wire was then dropped through the ice. It went down 9,000 feet / 3,543 meters without finding bottom - no one had expected the ocean to be that deep! It was later learned that parts of the ocean trench under the Arctic Ocean are up to 3 miles / 4.8 km deep.

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Library: Arctic, Explorers, Ice
Links: Arctic, Arctic Sunrise & Sunset
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Explorers' Routes

Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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