Have you ever wondered why sea levels are constantly rising and falling? What is the reason for this phenomenon that has now become so normal in everyday life? Well, you should know that tides are one of the most amazing manifestations of the influence of cosmic bodies on our planet. It is therefore a natural scene that is repeated without interruption, driven by it The work of the moon and sun on our planet Earth. However, its effects and influence extend beyond changes in the level of beaches, as it equally affects navigation, marine life, and even the beliefs of some cultures.
Thus the moon becomes the main cause of tides. but why? Well, because The action of a force called gravity This explains the attraction between different bodies in the universe, which was discovered by a well-known physicist: Isaac Newton. This is a law that states that all objects with mass will feel it gravity between them. In our case, this force would be responsible for keeping the Earth and Moon together, but it would also have major impacts on the planet.
One such effect in particular is the tides because the Moon, due to its close proximity to the Earth, exerts a particularly strong gravity on the planet, which also affects the planet’s oceans and water masses. In this way, gravity creates that, at every moment, Water column The one on the side of the Earth closest to the Moon rises slightly above the rest, creating a sort of “swelling“As a result, the water level in that area rises, producing an effect we can know as high tide.
However, as the Earth rotates on its axis, the area of the ocean attracted by the satellite changes, creating an ocean Regular tidal pattern Along the coasts: At the point closest to the moon, the first high tide of the day will occur. The cycle repeats approximately every 24 hours and 50 minutesWhich explains why high and low tide times change slightly each day.
A diagram representing how lunar gravity causes bulge on the planet. In the illustration, “low tide” means low tide, “high tide” means high tide, and “moon” means the moon.
Thus, in the same way that the Moon affects the Earth with its gravity, the Sun also has a significant effect on it. Although more distant, Its mass is very large This cannot be ignored and generates gravity on the planet Earth, which causes, as in the previous case, the part of the oceans closest to it to swell. However, it should be noted that The effect is much less noticeable From mole.
However, it is a particularly interesting phenomenon, because these two types of tides can cause it Overcome or confront themWhich leads to “private tides”. For example, when the Moon and Sun are in alignment, on a full or new moon, their influences combine, creating particularly high or low tides, known as Spring tides. On the other hand, when the two objects are at right angles, as in the case of a waxing or waning moon, their effects counteract each other, resulting in less pronounced rises and falls in sea level, called Tides.
Tides and daily life
But, beyond being a simple coastal visual spectacle, tides have a strong impact on the daily lives of people living near the sea, greatly affecting certain activities and aspects of daily life. An example of this is navigationThe tides affect the depth of the water in ports and on the coasts, so that ships can become stranded during times of low tide or face some difficulties in navigating their waters.
The boat was stranded due to low tide.
It is also a point to take into consideration for Hunters And all those responsible for it Work or leisure activities It is directly connected to the sea. In the first case, because high or low tides can bring certain groups of fish closer or further from the coast, and in the second, because some sports require specific conditions for their practice: surfing will look for high tides that provide big waves, while Windsurfing prefers low tide as access to shallow, protected areas is guaranteed.
Its ebb and flow has greatly influenced different cultures and many social movements. For example, in ancient Rome, tides were believed to be related to a The magical entity known as “Living Water”, which rises and falls, and with its movement creates different tides and ebbs. Throughout history, some myths related to… The influence of the moon and tides on agricultureThis led to the belief that planting crops in certain phases of the moon could affect their growth. However, there is no strong scientific evidence to support these ideas.
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