|MLA Citation:||Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 617"|
How Everything Works 19 Jan 2018. 19 Jan 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=617>.
Since we are being pulled toward the moon by the moon's gravity, you might wonder why we don't crash into the moon. That's because we're traveling sideways so fast that we perpetually miss the moon and circle it once every 27.3 days. Similarly, the moon perpetually misses the earth and circles it, too.
The only significant effect of the moon's gravity is to create the tide. The earth's oceans are so large that they're sensitive to variations in the moon's gravity. The moon's gravity decreases with distance from the moon, so that the oceans on the near side of the earth are pulled harder than the oceans on the far side of the earth. The result is two bulges in the oceans—one on the near side of the earth and one on the far side of the earth. These bulges create the familiar high and low tides that we observe at the seashore.