Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 1 decade ago

why does the moon affect earth's ocean tides?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    The moon has mass, therefore it has gravity. As the moon orbits the earth, its gravitational pull not only keeps the moon from departing its orbit due to centripetal force, it also pulls the coean water around with it.

    A spring tide is when the Moon, Earth, and Sun fall in a straight line. These spring tides occur twice each month, during the full and new Moon, and we notice the greatest difference between high and low tide water levels. If the Moon is at perigee, the closest it approaches Earth in its orbit, the tides are especially high and low.

    When the Sun and Moon form a right angle, as when we see a half moon, their pulls fight each other and we notice a smaller difference between high and low tides. These are called neap tides.

    Factors such as the path the Moon takes around the Earth, our planet's tilt, the water's depth, and the geometry of the tidal basin affect tides. Therefore, not all coasts experience two high and two low tides each day.

    Semi-diurnal tides occur twice a day. This means a body of water with semi-diurnal tides, like the Atlantic Ocean, will have two high tides and two low tides in one day. Diurnal tides occur once a day. A body of water with diurnal tides, like the Gulf of Mexico, has only one high tide and one low tide in a 25-hour period. Some bodies of water, including parts of the Pacific Basin, have mixed tides, where a single low tide follows two high tides.

    A comment to Ben, it is possible to measure a slight tidal variation at Lake Superior, the world's largest lake.

    • Max5 years agoReport

      Why is it only the Ocean? Wouldn´t it also rip out trees?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. 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. Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it. Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides.

  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Gravity is the culprit here. When the moon pulls on the water we have low tide, when it pushes, high tide. Pull and push are determined by the alignment of earth, moon, and the ocean water.

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  • 4 years ago

    I knwo it affects how long the earth takes to rotate. At first the earth rotaed once every 6 hours, but the moon is slowing us down. We now take 24 hours to make one rotaion on our axis. and later in a few million years it will grow to 30 then 40 and so on. Good luck that is the most important thing, Also the moon affects alot of animals like turtles and when they lay thier eggs. They only lay on new or full moons.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's the gravitational pull from the moon that controls the earths tides.

    Here's a website that demonstrates it:

    http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moontide...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The moon has a slight gravitational pull which pulls the water either closer or farther fo the shore

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    because although it is much smaller, it still has gravitational pull like all objects, and because water is easier to move than solid, it pulls the water towards it depending where it is. This only works in oceans because lakes are not large enough to be as effected.

  • 6 years ago

    well the cat jumped over the moon and then he ate maccas then he jumped into the ocean and changed the tides

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    the moon has a gravitational pull on the earth's tides, b/c the earth is tilted on its axis in such a way.

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