Just as the earth’s oceans at their shores, the universe’s galaxies also experience tides, but on a much larger scale.
- Galactic tides is a tidal force experienced by objects subject to the gravitational field of a galaxy such as the Milky Way.
- They are caused by gravitational forces within a galaxy, arising in the interactions between celestial objects like stars and gas clouds.
- These tidal forces influence various aspects of a galaxy’s evolution.
- They can reshape a galaxy structure by creating tidal tails and bridges, promoting star formation, and disrupting smaller star systems.
- They also disrupt the orbits of stars, leading to long-term changes in galactic structure.
- Galactic tides also have a say in the ways in which proximate galaxies do and don’t interact.
- Researchers have observed the closest galaxy to the Milky Way, the colossal Andromeda, and found that tidal streams near its edges could be signatures of dwarf galaxies that were later devoured.