The Moon and Tides Observation Essay

The Moon and Tides Observation Essay

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An observation of the Moon was conducted from Friday, November 8, 2013 to Thursday, November 14, 2013. The study of the Moon during this period occurred consistently between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. EST within the Northern Hemisphere at 37.3346° N, 79.5228° W (Bedford, V.A.). The Moon was noted to be illuminated on the right side and had a dark shadow on the left side indicating a waxing phase. The light region grew over the surface of the Moon with each subsequent night. The first night’s phase was waxing crescent with over 25 percent of the Moon lit up. The next night, the light had grown to cover more of the Moon as it continued through its waxing crescent phase. On November 10th, the Moon exhibited traits of being at first-quarter or half-moon status because at least 50 percent of its surface was illuminated. In the following nights, the Moon displayed characteristics of waxing gibbous as the light continued to grow across the moon’s surface from right to left. The Moon was nearing closer to the full moon phase on November 14th as only a very small dark shadow was visible on the left side.
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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