The gravitational attraction of the Sun and Moon on the Earth produces tides. The Sun's tidal effect is about half as great as the Moon's. The direct pull of the Sun on the Earth, however, is about 175 times that of the Moon. Why is it that the Moon causes larger tides?
The Attempt at a Solution
I read on several web pages that the tides are due to the difference in gravitational field, not the direct gravitational force, but I have no idea what that means. I think the "direct pull of the Sun on the Earth" is the gravitational force between the sun and the center of the earth. Somehow the tides need to be caused by something else, maybe the way the Earth is orbiting or spinning? Clearly I'm missing something here....