Ship's compass

Ship's compass

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ship's compass. Historical artwork of Kelvin's compass housed in the top of a binnacle. A binnacle was an enclosure for a compass that had a number of purposes. It provided a standard navigational compass that was held securely in one place, with a light (centre) that illuminated the compass. The binnacle was also water tight and provided a place to attach other scientific instruments, such as a thermometer (upper left). Most importantly, the binnacle counteracted the deviation from true North caused by the ship's iron construction. It contained unmagnetized iron and small magnets to neutralize the ship's magnetic influence.

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Keywords: artwork, binnacle, compass, enclosure, historical, history of science, illustration, kelvin, kelvin's, magnetic, magnetism, marine, mariner's, navigation, physics, scientific instrument, ship, ship's, technology

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