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View from a Scope | April 23, 2019

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Why does the Moon affect Earth’s tides more than the Sun?

The tides are a result of the difference between the forces of gravity on opposite sides of the Earth. Because the Earths diameter is such a small fraction of the Sun-Earth distance, the gravitational pull only changes by 0.017% across the Earth. But for the moon that difference is 6.8%, 400 times greater. If you factor in the overall stronger pull from the Sun this means that the Sun’s tidal effect is only 44% that of the Moon.

Posted in: Earth