Moons of our Solar System
Moons of our Solar System

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Moons of our Solar System

3.9 Spring and neap tides

The Sun also has an effect on the Earth’s oceans. When the Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line the lunar and solar tides will add together creating a higher high tide and a lower low tide. This is known as a spring tide and occurs during the full Moon and new Moon. When the Earth, Moon and Sun are at right angles the solar tide will make the lunar tide smaller. This tide is called a neap tide and occurs during the first-quarter and third-quarter phases of the Moon.

Described image
Figure 43 A graph showing how tidal range varies because of the competing tidal pulls of the Sun and the Moon as their positions in the sky change (the next month would be similar, but not an exact repeat)
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