Ocean tides and the moon

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  • Publicado : 2 de febrero de 2011
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How does the moon affect ocean tides??
A tide is the alternating rise and fall in sea level with respect to the land, caused by the gravitational forces of the moon and the sun on the oceans on Earth.What are Lunar Tides
Tides are caused by the gravitational force of the moon and sun. The sea, being liquid, is pulled out towards the sun or the moon. Tides are caused by the gravitationaltugging of the Moon upon the Earth. The moon tries to pull at anything on the Earth to bring it closer. But, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. The water in the oceans gets distorted into a roughly oval (football-like) shape with much larger amplitude. The Moon causes these tides by deforming the oceans, and causes a high tide to propagate onto beaches. The gravitationalattraction of the moon causes the oceans to bulge out in the direction of the moon. Another bulge occurs on the opposite side, since the Earth is also being pulled toward the moon (and away from the water on the far side). Ocean levels change daily as the sun, moon and earth interact. As the moon travels around the earth and as they, together, travel around the sun, the combined gravitational forcescause the world's oceans to rise and fall. Because there are two bulges, we get two high tides and also two low tides each day. The Sun also causes tides on the Earth because even though it is so far away, it is very massive. These solar tides are about half as strong as the ones produced by the Moon, and they cause the so-called Spring tides and the Neap Tides.
The reason we have a difference inthe height of the tides, ranging from a series of relatively limited differences in tidal range between low and high water (known as neap tides), and very much greater differences, known as spring tides, is dependent upon the alignment of the sun and moon. When the sun and moon are directly in line with the earth, the combination of their gravitational pull creates a bigger bulge resulting inhigher high and low tides. When the moon is in its first and last quarter, the sun and moon are pulling in different directions and the bulge and hence tidal range is less.  |
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What are the different types of Tides
When the sun and moon are aligned, there are exceptionally strong gravitational forces, causing very high and very low tides which are called spring tides, though they have nothingto do with the season. When the sun and moon are not aligned, the gravitational forces cancel each other out, and the tides are not as dramatically high and low. These are called neap tides. |

Spring Tides
When the moon is full or new, the moon and the sun are aligned and their gravitational force is combined. At these times, the high tides are very high and the low tides are very low. Thisis known as a spring high tide. Spring tides are especially strong tides. They occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a line. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun both contribute to the tides. Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon.

Neap Tides
During the moon's quarter phases the sun and moon work at right angles, causing the bulges to cancel eachother. The result is lower high tides and higher low tides and is known as a neap tide. Neap tides are especially weak tides. Neap tides occur during quarter moons. | |
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A Few Facts About Lunar Tides |
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* The sun's gravitational force on the earth is only 46 percent that of the moon. Making the moon the single most important factor for the creation of tides. * The sun'sgravity also produces tides. But since the forces are smaller, as compared to the moon, the effects are greatly decreased. * Whenever the Moon, Earth and Sun are aligned, the gravitational pull of the sun adds to that of the moon causing maximum tides. * Spring tides happen when the sun and moon are on the same side of the earth (New Moon) or when the sun and moon are on opposite sides of the...
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