The tides


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We all know that the moon is responsible for the changing of the tides, but how exactly does it work? The moon's gravity causes the oceans on Earth to bulge outwards causing high tides. The same thing happens to the water on the opposite side of the planet due to the centrifugal force caused by the Earth and moon revolving around a common gravitational center. The same forces are in effect when it comes to the Sun, however it is weaker due to the greater distance between the Earth and the Sun. 
The height of the tides can vary throughout the month because the moon gets closer and farther away during it's revolution.The closest distance to Earth is called perigee and the farthest is called apogee. During apogee, the gravitational forces can increase by 50 percent.
The tides most commonly occur twice a day but never at the same time. The moon takes about 24 hours and 50 minutes to reach the same place over Earth again.
earth.jpg

2 Comments

Very interesting blog! I like to think about how Earth's natural environment effects our live. Think about tidal flooding, and how just the Earth spinning affects our daily lives. An interesting thing to think about is that the sand we walk on while at the beach can easily go underwater for a period of tide. Here are some interesting facts about tides:

http://www.surfingsantacruz.com/facts_about_tides

Gotta love the universe. I've always thought it was crazy that something that far away is able to have an affect on our planet. The gravitational force, like you said is responsible for this but did you know that some scientists believe that everything with mass has some sort of gravitational field.
http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/152.mf1i.spring02/GravField.htm

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