The Moon Tides

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The Earth attracts the Moon but the Moon, even if it is smaller, also attracts the Earth a little. As the water around the Earth is light it moves all the time and is attracted to the moon like a magnet.

When the full Moon or New Moon is close to Earth, the waves can rise very high on the beach. These are the tides of bright waters or high tides. It is said that it is the rising tide. The water rises for 6 hours then goes down for 6 hours and then it starts again following the rotation movement of the Moon around the Earth. You can see 2 high tides and 2 low tides in 24 hours. As the tides follow the movements of the Moon, every day the tide is shifted by 50 minutes.

To find out if there is enough water to navigate and carry the boats, the sailors use ephemerides, tables of figures prepared by astronomers that indicate the tidal coefficient, a number that varies between 20 (low tide) and 120 (tide of bright waters).

Tides are important not only for sailors but for the evolution of the Earth and the Moon. Indeed, because of the tides generated by the Moon and the irregularity of the orbit of the Earth, our planet turns a little slower on itself, which allows the Moon to slowly move away from the Earth. Thus each year the Moon moves away from 3.5 cm from the Earth.

It has been calculated that in 600 million years the Moon will be 21000 km farther away and there will be no more total solar eclipses and one day it is even possible for the Moon to definitely leave Earth’s orbit. But do not worry, it will not happen for a few billion years, no doubt.


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