When we think of gravity, we think of what keeps our feet on the ground and why things fall to earth. Earth’s gravity is the most significant pull that we experience from a large mass. The moon’s pull comes in a distant second, while the pull of the sun comes in at approximately half that of the moon. Despite having a much larger mass than the moon, the sun is much further away from planet earth than the moon. The force between two bodies is proportional to their combined mass and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

Although we are not overly aware of the gravitational pull of the moon or the sun, the earth’s oceans are impacted, primarily because they the most fluid part of the planet.

The gravitational pull of the moon actually causes the water in the earth’s oceans to bulge out toward the moon, while the spin of the earth produces a bulge on the opposite side. This pull on the earth’s water combined with the spin of the earth results in a rise and fall of water levels all over the planet.

The Earth’s spinning means that another high tide occurs on the opposite side of the Earth to the Moon. Shutterstock

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