Spring Tides and Neap Tides

Spring Tides and Neap Tides - Earth-Sun line), the Sun and...

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Spring Tides and Neap Tides Another complication of a realistic model is that not only the Moon, but other objects in the Solar System, influence the Earth's tides. For most their tidal forces are negligible on Earth, but the differential gravitational force of the Sun does influence our tides to some degree (the effect of the Sun on Earth tides is less than half that of the Moon). Competition between the Sun and Moon in producing tides. For example, particularly large tides are experienced in the Earth's oceans when the Sun and the Moon are lined up with the Earth at new and full phases of the Moon. These are called spring tides (the name is not associated with the season of Spring). The amount of enhancement in Earth's tides is about the same whether the Sun and Moon are lined up on opposite sides of the Earth (full Lunar phase) or on the same side (new Lunar phase). Conversely, when the Moon is at first quarter or last quarter phase (meaning that it is located at right angles to the
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Unformatted text preview: Earth-Sun line), the Sun and Moon interfere with each other in producing tidal bulges and tides are generally weaker; these are called neap tides . The figure shown above illustrates spring and neap tides. Tidal Coupling and Gravitational Locking We have introduced tides in terms of the effect of the Moon on the Earth's oceans, but the effect is much more general, and has a number of important consequences that we will discuss further below . For example, as a consequence of tidal interactions with the Moon, the Earth is slowly decreasing its rotational period and eventually the Earth and Moon will have exactly the same rotational period, and these will also exactly equal the orbital period. Thus, billions of years from now the Earth will always keep the same face turned toward the Moon, just as the Moon already always keeps the same face turned toward the Earth....
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Spring Tides and Neap Tides - Earth-Sun line), the Sun and...

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