Study the first 3 graphics and then answer the questions that follow each. Once you are sure you understand how the lunar day, the position of the sun and the moon, and orbital variations affect the tides, then try to apply this knowledge, and Be the Captain.

Lunar Day

Position of the
Sun and Moon

Orbital Shape

Be the Captain

Knowing when and how much the tides will rise and fall each day is important to beachcombers, mariners, fishermen, and the people who operate seaside industrial and commercial facilities. Miscalculating the arrival and size of the tides can have expensive, even deadly, consequences.

Predicting the tides is complicated because the tides are affected by many factors. In this activity, you’ll have a chance to consider some of the most important and universal influences, those due to the movements of the sun, the moon, and the earth. In reality, a number of local and transient factors, such as the shape of the coastline, the flow of currents, and the weather, must also be taken into account.