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Lunar tides

Lunar tides

E260/0013

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Credit

JON LOMBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JON LOMBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lunar tides. Diagram illustrating the high and low tides on Earth that result from the Moon producing tidal bulges in the oceans. Tidal phenomena arise from the changing gravitational field strength of one celestial body, felt across another celestial body. In this case, the Moon (far right) stretches a sphere of water (representing Earth's oceans, upper left) into an ovoid (egg-like) shape (lower left). The gravitational force of the water droplet on itself maintains the symmetry and ensures a tidal bulge on both sides of the Earth. Unlike the Moon, the Earth is not locked by tidal forces and still rotates its solid surface past its tidal bulges, resulting in high and low tides.

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