Photos Show Beauty of California's King Tides

Posted: January 7, 2014  |  By: Stephanie Pappas [LiveScience]

The tide hit a high point — a very high point — today along the California coast, as seen in gorgeous photographs taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey.

The aquarium's stairs descend into the sea in images posted on Twitter. The extreme tide is known as a "king tide," a seasonal phenomenon caused by the interaction of the gravity of the sun and moon with weather.

Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction of the sun, moon and Earth. The Earth orbits the sun in an elliptical path, just as the moon's journey around the Earth is not perfectly circular. When the orbits of the three bodies bring them in closer proximity, the gravitational forces are stronger, and the tides higher. When Earth, moon and sun are farther apart, the tides are weaker. 

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