Do other planets influence Earth’s tides? © Getty Images

Do other planets influence Earth’s tides?

Despite what the latest astrology charts say, the planets are too far away to make any difference down here on Earth.

Asked by: Samuel Jones, Manchester

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Earth’s tides are dominated by the combined effect of the Sun and the Moon’s gravitational pull. But the other planets, since they have a gravitational pull of their own, also have a small effect on the tides. Venus is the strongest because it happens to come closest to Earth. However, even at its maximum, its influence is 10,000 times less than that of the Sun and Moon together. Even the giant planet Jupiter exerts a force less than one-tenth that of Venus. So, for all intents and purposes, the effect of the planets on Earth’s tides is imperceptible.


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