Heading relative to magnetic north; compass heading corrected for deviation.

Related Terms


Compass heading with deviation applied; magnetic heading


A component of magnetic compass deviation of constant value with compass heading resulting from mistakes in calculations, compass and pelorus misalignment, and unsymmetrical arrangements of horizontal soft iron.


Heading relative to compass north


The magnetism acquired by soft iron while it is in a magnetic field. Soft iron will lose its induced magnetism when it is removed from a magnetic field. The strength and polarity of the induced magnetism will alter immediately as its magnetic latitude, or its orientation in a magnetic field, is changed. The induced mag- netism has an immediate effect upon the magnetic compass as the magnetic latitude or heading of a craft changes.


A dumb compass, or a compass card (called a PELORUS CARD) without a directive element, suitably mounted and provided with vanes to permit observation of relative bearings unless used in conjunction with a compass to give true or magnetic bearings.


Deviation of a magnetic compass due to transient magnetism caused by eddy currents set up by a changing number of lines of force through soft iron as the ship changes heading. Due to these eddy currents, the induced magnetism on a given heading does not arrive at its normal value until about 2 minutes after change to the heading. This error should not be confused with RETENTIVE ERROR.


A magnetic needle used in compass adjustment to find the relative intensity of the horizontal components of the earth’s magnetic field and the magnetic field at the compass location. Also called HORIZONTAL FORCE INSTRUMENT.


Course relative to magnetic north; compass course corrected for deviation. magnetic daily variation.


A north-south reference line, particularly a great circle through the geographical poles of the earth. The term usually refers to the upper branch, the half, from pole to pole, which passes through a given place; the other half being called the lower branch. An astronomical (terrestrial) meridian is a line connecting points having the same astronomical longitude. A geodetic meridian is a line connecting points of equal geodetic longitude. Geodetic and sometime astronomical meridians are also called geographic meridians. Geodetic meridians are shown on charts. The prime meridian passes through longitude 0°. Sometimes designated TRUE MERIDIAN to distinguish it from magnetic meridian, compass meridian, or grid meridian, the north-south lines relative to magnetic, compass, or grid direction, respectively. A fictitious meridian is one of a series of great circles or lines used in place of a meridian for certain purposes. A transverse or inverse meridian is a great circle perpendicular to a transverse equator. An oblique meridian is a great circle perpendicular to an oblique equator. Any meridian used as a reference for reckoning time is called a time meridian. The meridian used for reckoning standard zone, daylight saving, or war time is called standard, zone, daylight saving, or war meridian respectively. The meridian through any particular place or observer, serving as the reference for local time, is called local meridian, in contrast with the Greenwich meridian, the reference for Greenwich time. A celestial meridian is a great circle of the celestial sphere, through the celestial poles and the zenith. Also called CIRCLE OF LATITUDE.


The remaining deviation of a magnetic compass on various headings after adjustment or compensation.

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