Earth and the Moon


What is a “spring tide”?

When the Moon is in its new phase, or its full phase, the Moon, Earth, and the Sun fall roughly along a straight line in space. As a result, the tidal effects on Earth’s oceans are magnified compared to other times in the Earth/Moon/Sun orbit. We call tides that occur at these times the “spring tides,” even though they can happen any time of year and have nothing to do with the seasons. The term actually comes from the German springen, meaning “to jump” or “to rise up.”


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