I got up at 4AM today and found the beautiful full moon setting, do they call that “moonset”? Well, that got me thinking about how the ocean tide works and me questioning myself, “does the moon pull water from the ocean?” or is it the other way around? I know moon has some gravitational/magnetic pull on earth but is that strong (stronger than the sun) enough to pull waters? Or the sun doesn’t have much magnetic pull because it’s much farther away from the earth than moon?
I decided to do some research so my brain gets smarter.
According to Wikipedia, distance from earth to moon:
The distance between the moon and the Earth varies from around 356,400 km to 406,700 km at the extreme perigees (closest) and apogees (farthest).
and distance from earth to sun:
An astronomical unit (abbreviated as AU, au, a.u., or ua.) is a unit of length equal to about 149,597,870.7-kilometre (92,955,807.3 mi) or approximately the mean Earth–Sun distance.
That means roughly sun’s about 357 times farther away from earth than moon.
Okay, call me dumb but it seems like I’ve revisited my quantum physics lessons again, everything in our universe exerts some kind of force on everything else.
So, the question still remains, does the moon pull water from the ocean?
Yes, the moon does pull water in its direction and that is why we have two high tides and two low tides daily in most places on earth.
Above diagram shows what is happening with our tides.
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More resources on Moon Tide: