You are here

Activity

Tides model

Summary: 
Use a gravity well to model the pull of the moon on water, which causes the tides.
Lessons activity is in: 
Materials: 
Procedure: 

EDITING IN PROCESS. MORE INFO SOON.

The moon has gravity, and pulls the ocean water towards it. Because of the difference in the gravitational pull of the Moon on the near and far side of the Earth, water is also pulled out on the opposite side from the Moon.
The Earth rotates under the tidal bulges, so each point on earth moves through two high tides.
The sun also pulls on ocean water. When the sun and the moon are lined up (new or full moon) the tides are higher (called spring tides). This happens twice a month. At half moon, the sun and moon are pulling water in different directions, so the tides are lower (neap tides).
The land masses and the varying ocean depths mean that the tides are on a more complex cycle than this, but they all originate with the pull of the moon on water.