Astrophysics (Index)About

galactic tide

(effect of one galaxy's gravity, such as on another galaxy)

A galactic tide is the result of a tidal force imposed by a galaxy. If two galaxies pass sufficiently close (a galaxy collision or just a close encounter) their gravity can affect orbits of stars in the other (galaxy interaction), For example, disruptions such as a tidal arm or tidal tail can result, or a disk galaxy can lose its symmetry (an asymmetrical galaxy). An interacting galaxy is a galaxy displaying evidence of such interaction. A galaxy merger would be the most extreme interaction.

The phrase galactic tide has also been used to describe effects within the galaxy. For example, the Oort Cloud is presumed to be disturbed a bit when the Sun's orbit passes closest to the galactic center, possibly resulting in long-period comets passing through the inner solar system.

Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
ring galaxy
tidal arm
tidal force
tidal tail