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  • Why does one cycle of tides take 24 hours and 50 minutes?
  • As Earth rotates through its 24-hour day, the Moon makes progress in its 27.3-day journey around Earth. So in 24 hours, the Moon has moved enough so that it takes another 50 minutes for any specific point on Earth to catch up so that the Moon will again be directly "overhead."
  • The Moon appears new (dark) when it is directly between Earth and the Sun (with the Sun lighting up its backside), and full when Earth is between the Moon and the Sun. In both these cases, the gravitational pull of the Sun on Earth is added to the gravitational pull of the Moon on Earth. The Sun's pull is almost half as strong as the Moon's, so working together, the oceans bulge even higher.
  • so then Why do the highest tides occur when the Moon is new and full?
  • Why do high tides sometimes occur either before or after the Moon is is highest in the sky?
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