What is the North Pole?

The team will be skiing to the Geographic North Pole. This is as far north as it is possible to go on planet Earth and is designated as 90N. It is the point around which the Earth rotates (or - more officially - the point at which the Earth's axis of rotation meets the surface).

But this is not the only 'North Pole' - in fact, there are five of them!

The Magnetic North Pole is the spot that your compass needle points to and it is quite a long way from the Geographic North Pole. Formally this pole is defined as the place where all of Earth's magnetic field lines are vertical.

Then there is the Geomagnetic North Pole and no-one really understands what this one is. If we imagined the Earth as a ordinary dipole bar magnet, the Geomagnetic North Pole would be one end of it....there we are, that's our best attempt at explaining it!

The fourth is the Celestial North Pole. A lot of people don't include this one because it isn't real location at all. It is a construct used by Astronomers when they imagine the night sky to be the surface of a sphere surrounding the Earth. The Celestial North Pole is the spot on this sphere that is directly above the Geographic North Pole.

And finally, there is the town of North Pole in Alaska. This has no geographic distinction but it does receive a lot of letters addressed to Santa...