I am sorry to bring you yesterday’s news, but it’s possible that you weren’t aware of the event, so there’s that. This is what it was – there was a total lunar eclipse yesterday. There it was …. and … it’s gone.
Apparently, it was a Blood Moon (which should please all the vampire / werewolf lore people – awooooo!) but interestingly – the full eclipse was only visible from locations such as:
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China
Mexico City, Federal District, Mexico
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Seems those in Engalend didn’t get much a look-in on this one, but hey.
Anyhow, now you know. In a recent blog, I spoke about the demise of the planet Pluto to just a body, but this blog is not really about the planetary aspect of the moon, but more about what it is that makes the Moon affect the tides.
How, what and why – *The alternating pattern of rising and falling sea level with respect to land is what we know as the tides. What causes this ‘motion of the ocean’? In one word, gravity. Specifically, the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon.
The key to understanding how the tides work is understanding the relationship between the motion of our planet and the Moon and Sun. As the Earth spins on its own axis, ocean water is kept at equal levels around the planet by the Earth’s gravity pulling inward and centrifugal force pushing outward.
However, the Moon’s gravitational forces are strong enough to disrupt this balance by accelerating the water towards the Moon. This causes the water to ‘bulge’. As the Moon orbits our planet and as the Earth rotates, the bulge also moves. The areas of the Earth where the bulging occurs experience high tide, and the other areas are subject to a low tide.
Water on the opposite side of Earth facing away from the Moon also bulges outward (high tide), but for a different and interesting reason: in reality, the Moon and the Earth revolve together around a common gravitational centre between them, or centre of mass. Here’s a rough but helpful analogy: picture yourself swinging a heavy object attached to a rope around your body as you rotate. You have to lean back to compensate, which puts the centre of mass between you and the object. With the Earth-Moon system, gravity is like a rope that pulls or keeps the two bodies together, and centrifugal force is what keeps them apart. Because the centrifugal force is greater than the Moon’s gravitational pull, ocean water on the opposite side of the Earth bulges outward.
So there you have it – well, the basics at least.
*extracts from an article at Moon Connection