It doesn’t take place at the Italian restaurant on the corner and it has nothing to do with the Pastafarians and their flying spaghetti monster. But anyone who travels far enough through the universe could fall victim to spaghettification, at least in theory. But What is spaghettification?
Spaghettification is a term coined by none other than physics icon Stephen Hawking. It starts where you might least expect it that is far from Earth, thousands of light-years away from mankind. It’s called that because it describes a process, the result of which is very similar to the well-known noodle. Though an essential prerequisite is a black hole and we all know what happens to something that dares to come near it.
The greatest adventurers would be to fly into a black hole, even though it be the last adventure one will ever have. It is predictable how the story would end. If you get too close to a black hole, one of those mass monsters that are located in the center of every galaxy, you die. And if the black hole is one of the smaller types, you will very likely die spaghettified.
The gravity is incredibly strong in the vicinity of a black hole. If you are close especially with the smaller ones and fly feet first, gravity pulls on your legs much more than your head. You would get terribly elongated. That is the effect called spaghettification.
The Clocks Tick Differently
Of course, this effect does not only affect hypothetically free-flying human bodies. Gas clouds in the vicinity of black holes, for example, are also stretched and torn apart, i.e., spaghettified. And that’s not the only spectacle black holes can come up with. What else they have to offer seems more harmless, but has far-reaching consequences. For example, they have a strange time movement.
Space-time is strongly distorted near a black hole. When two spaceships fly next to each other, one expects the clocks to go the same in both. But when they approach a black hole and one of the two Spaceships are closer than the other, then the clocks go differently. From the point of view of those who are further away, the time would pass much more slowly for those who are closer to the black hole. And conversely, the latter would find that the time is at the one who is further away suddenly races.
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That would have recognizable effects like the crew on the spaceship further away would age faster. In addition, the lights would go on and off there all the time, because the course of day and night accelerates sharply. From the point of view of those who are closer to the black hole. If you go on vacation in the vicinity of a black hole and someone decides to take a day trip closer to the Blackhole adventure park, then the spaceship crew would see that the person will come to keep on flying never to stop but his clock would seem to have stopped.
Spaghettification Changes The Light
On his trip, the vacationer would possibly also be exposed to strong radiation. Because the light gains energy near a black hole. That means red light can turn into blue or blue light into ultraviolet radiation. In the worst case, a strong light source could even spoil your day with X-rays or gamma rays.
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The next black holes that we know of are far too far away to be reached by a machine so far. Thanks to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, astrophysicists still know quite well about how black holes affect their surroundings.