Space Science Tutorial: Spring and Neap Tides {VIDEO}

This space science tutorial video explains why the oceans experience two extra large tides, called spring tides, and two smaller tides, called neap tides, each month.

This combination of the moon and sun’s gravities, only align at the New Moon and Full Moon, and exaggerate the tides at these times, resulting in Spring Tides.

On the other hand, the sun’s and moon’s gravities don’t align at the First and Third Quarter, so the tides at these times are smaller than usual, resulting in Neap Tides.

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Video transcript:
Tides are caused by the moon’s gravitational force pulling on the earth and its oceans with different strengths. 611 The pull on the near-side ocean is the strongest because it’s the closest, so it moves towards the moon most. The earth also moves towards the moon, but not so much as it’s further away. Finally, the far-side ocean moves towards the moon least, because it’s farthest from the moon. These movements due to gravity create 2 high tides and 2 low tides as the earth rotates through 24 hours.
But there’s a big object that’s missing from our diagram- the sun. If we back up, we can also see the sun and how it lights up both the earth and moon into their day and night sides. In this New Moon position we can only see the moon’s night side, so it’s invisible to us from earth. It’s right in front of the sun. As the moon completes its monthly orbit, our view on earth changes to the 1st quarter where we can see half its day and half its night sides, then to the Full Moon when we can see its whole day side, then to the 3rd quarter, before returning to the New Moon to start all over again.
Does the sun also pull on the oceans and make them bulge like the moon does?] Yes, but the sun is much further away than the moon making its tidal effect is only about half compared to the moon’s.



  1. Get 1 aquarium, 1 balloon, 2 twisting balloons, 1 disk heater, ((2 mirrors (1 Sun size,1 moon size)), 1 (1/2") pvc. pipe . silicone grease. everything gets fill with water the twist balloon inside the big balloon.the pvc goes through the big balloon pushed against the twist balloon enough so the get secure. have everything summerge in the aquarium, with out the sun or moon the horizontal part will expand equally if you look from top down. now you will know what to do with the hvat dish, big and small mirror.

  2. Why spring tide also happened during a full moon? I mean during a new moon, I get it that the sun pulling force assist / join with the moon pulling force to pull the water stronger toward the moon (the water is pulling on 1 side). But during full moon, isnt it the earth will be pulled on both side, say on its right by the sun and on its left by the moon, therefore, it's like they are cancelling each other?

  3. The Full Moon was at 16:12h on dec 12th, yet the high spring tide in Sydney was on dec 14th. In Melbourne (same Moon, same Earth, same ocean) the high spring tide is even on dec 17th (please check tide tables if you don’t believe me). How can this be? This video suggests in can’t be true. Yet it is.

  4. Please, point out that you are talking about ‘tidal accelerations’ not about actual movements! Otherwise your story does not match what people can see for themselves when they check tide charts. In my case, the high tide shows up about three hours before (!) the Moon rises overhead. You make it too easy for pseudo-science believers to discredit you.

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