Why are spring tides so large compared to other tides?

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Why are spring tides so large compared to other tides?

In: Physics

Both the moon and the sun have influence on the height of the Tide. During spring tide, sun, moon and earth are aligned, so the two forces add Up (they’re pulling the Water in the same direction). During neap tide, moon and sun are in a 90 degree angle to the earth, therefore the height of the tide is at its lowest.

The thing to understand is that the sun causes tides close to half as large as the moon. When the tides due to the sun and the tides due to the moon coincide, they’re naturally larger. This happens whenever the sun and the moon are close to each other in the sky (which is at new moon) and also whenever they’re in opposite sides of the sky (which is at full moon). When the sun and moon are working against each other in making tides, i.e., when the moon is half-full (first or third quarter moon) you get “neap” tides, which are the least extreme tides.

Note that “spring” in this context has nothing to do with the season called spring.