Term Paper: Earth Science and Astronomy

Pages: 3 (904 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Topic: Astronomy  ·  Buy This Paper

Earth science and astronomy are incredibly broad, ever-expanding fields. The disciplines incorporate the varying and intersecting strains of scientific investigation aimed at better understanding the world around us. As such, we have made tremendous innovations in the field of meteorology with the interest of better predicting and understanding weather patterns around us. Biology provides us with a comprehensive knowledge of plants, animals and humans that allows us to better understand the implications of our interconnected ecosystem. Geology offers us clues as to the age, formation and composition of the earth itself. These sub-disciplines of Earth Sciences imply an interconnectedness that makes each field a powerful strand of a yet more powerful area of study. This interconnectedness, in fact, extends even beyond the boundaries of our planet. So denotes Astronomy, the study of the stars and planets in our broader solar system, galaxy and universe. As the discussion here will demonstrate, the study of astronomy is a critical one which connects closely to a number of decidedly earth-bound phenomena.

Among those phenomena, one of the most familiar and simultaneously most fascinating is that which pertains to the tides. Most visible on the shores of our oceans but also evident in some measure in smaller bodies such as lakes, ponds and underground springs, the movement of the tides is actually created directly by a lunar gravitational pull. Here, the field of astronomy provides the most useful lens through which to understand the cycles projecting high and low tide. According to Cooley (2002), "tides are created because the Earth and the moon are attracted to each other, just like magnets are attracted to each other. The moon tries to pull at anything on the Earth to bring it closer. but, the Earth is able to hold onto everything except the water. Since the water is always moving, the Earth cannot hold onto it, and the moon is able to pull at it. Each day, there are two high tides and two low tides. The ocean is constantly moving from high tide to low tide, and then back to high tide. There is about 12 hours and 25 minutes between the two high tides." (Cooley, p. 1)

As Cooley indicates, it is incumbent upon us to understand exactly how these variances in magnetic attraction cause the variances that we experience with the ebb and flow of the tide. The Cooley text explains that what we are actually seeing as we witness the swelling and shrinking of the waters which reach the shoreline is the end result of a bulging within the broader body of water. That is, during low-tide for instance, the magnetic pull of the moon will attract a bulge in the middle of the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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