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Northern end of the Earth's geographic axis, located at latitude 90° N. It is the northern point from which all meridians of longitude start. Lying in the Arctic Ocean and covered with drifting pack ice, it has six months of constant sunlight and six months of total darkness each year. Robert E. Peary claimed to have reached the pole by dogsled in 1909, but that is now in dispute; Roald Amundsen and Richard E. Byrd claimed to have reached it by air in 1926. The geographic pole does not coincide with the magnetic North Pole, which in the early 21st century lay at about 82°45 N, 114°25 W, or with the geomagnetic North Pole, which is at about 79°45 N, 71°45 W.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on North Pole, visit Britannica.com.
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