What Kind of Tides Occur When the Moon & Sun Are at Right Angles?

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Tides that occur when the moon and the sun are at a right angle only happen rarely. Find out what kind of tides would occur when the moon and sun are at a right angle with help from an educational professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is, "What tides occur when the moon and the sun are at right angles?" So let's picture that this is the earth and this is the moon at different parts of the orbit and here's the sunlight coming in so that means that the sun is somewhere around here. So why is it 90 degrees? So 90 degrees is here and here. At this point if you look from the earth at the moon we see half of illuminated so that this will be first quarter and then if you look it from underneath you can sort of flip yourself 90 degrees and this is 3rd quarter. So what's happening with the tides at this point. So we can feel the gravitational gradient of the moon and we can feel the gravitation, gravitational gradient of the sun but both of them in opposite directions so the tides are not very strong so the, the low tide is not as low as it can be and the high tide is not as high as it can be and these are called the neap tides. So whenever you have the sun and the moon at 90 degrees you lose the gravitational gradient that cause the tides to be either extremely low or extremely high so they are somewhere in the middle and they're called neap tides. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is, "What kind of tides occur when the moon and the sun are at right angles?"

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