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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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- Fall '10