Geek Trivia

In What Field of Study Is “Spaghettification” A Technical Term?

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A computer rendering of a black hole stretching time and space
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Answer: Astrophysics

If you’ve ever seen prominent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson get excited during an interview and start talking about the experience of “spaghettification”, you’d be forgiven for thinking, “Now this guy is just making stuff up!”

The term, however, has a long history in the field of astrophysics and refers to the vertical stretching and horizontal compression experienced by objects under the effect of very strong non-homogenous gravitational fields. In minor cases, the object changes size slightly and in extreme cases, such as when an object approaches a black hole, the spaghettification process is so extreme that the object is stretched, quite literally, like a strand of spaghetti.