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Sun/Earth/Moon Relationships

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Lesson Focus


Earth & Space Science

Learning Made Easy

You get to explore the relationship between our Earth, the sun, and the moon, learning about tides, eclipses, seasons, and ocean currents. Manipulate a sun-Earth-moon model to investigate eclipses.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain ocean tides.
  • Relate the position of the moon to the ocean tides.
  • Relate the position of the sun to the ocean tides.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What are tides?

~ Tides are the movement of bodies of water due to the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun.

How does the moon's gravitational pull affect the water in the oceans?

~ The gravitational force of the moon pulls the water on the side of the Earth that is closest to it and faces it. This results in a high tide along the coastlines in those regions. At the same time, a high tide also occurs on the opposite side of the Earth. Meanwhile, the other sides of the Earth experience a low tide.

What is a spring tide and how often does it occur?

~ A spring tide is the highest tide experienced every month when the Earth is in line with the moon and sun. This phenomenon occurs twice a month.

When do neap tides occur?

~ Neap tides occur at the first and third quarters of the moon, when the sun and moon are aligned at 90-degree angles.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should have a general understanding of high tide, low tide, and the moon.
Course Earth & Space Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary high tide, low tide, moon