The Moon takes 27.3 days (sidereal month) to complete its actual orbit around the Earth. Like the Sun, the Moon rises in the east and sets in the west each day. The timing of the moonrise and moonset depends on the phase of the Moon and occurs about 50 minutes later with each successive day. A person on Earth can only see part of the Moon illuminated by the Sun, which can be as much as 59 percent of the Moon’s surface depending upon its phase. The remainder of the Moon’s surface never faces towards the Earth due to the Moon’s rotation being the exact same speed as its orbit. The line that separates the illuminated portion of the Moon from ...
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...nal, mixed, and diurnal. Semidiurnal tides have two high tides and two low tides that are similar in height. Mixed tides have two high and two low tides that differ in height. One high and one low tide characterize diurnal tides. Two tidal phenomena also occur every month due in part to the cycles of the Moon. The Earth, Moon, and Sun are almost in perfect alignment twice a month during the new and full moon. The gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun are combined during this period causing the oceans to bulge more than normal. As a result, the high tides are more elevated and the low tides are lower than usual. These tides, known as spring tides, are very strong. The Sun and Moon are perpendicular to each other during the first and last quarter moon, which causes weaker neap tides. Neap tides are slightly lower high tides and slightly higher low tides.
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