IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th September, 2023 Geography

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  • Galactic tides, which are analogous to ocean tides but on a much larger scale, are created by gravitational forces within galaxies induced by interactions between celestial objects such as stars and gas clouds.


Key facts about Galactic Tides

  • It is a tidal force felt by objects susceptible to a galaxy's gravitational field, such as the Milky Way.
  • They are created by gravitational forces that arise from interactions between celestial objects such as stars and gas clouds within a galaxy.

Galactic tides and their effects

  • Causes: Galactic tides are caused by gravitational interactions between celestial objects inside a galaxy, such as stars and gas clouds.
  • Effects of Galactic Tides: These tidal forces have a significant impact on many elements of a galaxy's evolution and dynamics.
  • Reshaping Galaxy Structure: Galactic tides can affect the structure of a galaxy by encouraging the production of tidal tails and bridges, altering its overall appearance.
  • Promoting Star Formation: They can play a role in stimulating star formation within galaxies by causing the gravitational collapse of gas and dust clouds.
  • Disrupting Smaller Systems: Smaller star systems or objects within a galaxy can be disrupted by galactic tides, resulting in fragmentation or dispersion.
  • Tidal Forces Alter Individual Star Orbits: Tidal forces alter the orbits of individual stars within a galaxy, resulting in long-term changes in the galaxy's general structure.
  • Interactions of Proximate Galaxies: Galactic tides determine how nearby galaxies interact with one another, influencing whether they merge, collide, or remain separate.
  • Andromeda observations: For example, in the case of the Andromeda galaxy, researchers have discovered tidal streams around its boundaries, which are thought to represent evidence of dwarf galaxies that were once grabbed and swallowed by Andromeda.
  • Effects on Supermassive Black Holes: Galactic tides influence the behavior of supermassive black holes in galaxies, causing events that change their interactions with neighboring stars and celestial objects.


What is the meaning of Galactic tides? Discuss its impact on other celestial bodies. (150 words)