Thanks to the Morehead Planetarium
My granddaughter, Leah, and I went to see The Magic Treehouse Space Mission at the Planetarium last Sunday. She recommends it to all five year olds and I recommend it to other adults who are as ignorant as I am about space. And who never knew that spaghettification was a real word.
"In astrophysics, spaghettification is the stretching of objects into long thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong gravitational field, and is caused by extreme tidal forces. In the most extreme cases, near black holes, the stretching is so powerful that no object can withstand it, no matter how strong its components are.
The word spaghettification comes from an example given by Stephen Hawking in his book A Brief History of Time, where he describes the flight of a fictional astronaut who, passing within a black hole's event horizon, is "stretched like spaghetti" by the gravitational gradient (difference in strength) from head to toe."
This triggered a search for the Spanish equivalent. After a lot of misspellings, I found it: espaguetificación. I love it! That triggered searches as to why so many words that begin with "s" in English begin with "es" in Spanish: school/escuela, Spain/españa, stress/estress, spaghetti/espagueti, status/estatus, state/estado ... I couldn't find anything on the web but Marcela Rengifo told me that "s" followed by a consonant is not something Spanish speakers say. I went to the very large Collins dictionary we have and, lo, under S, the only words that start with "s" followed by a consonant are foreign words.
It turns out there are very technical explanations for all this, using words like epenthesis and fricative. Even when a Spanish word has an s followed by a consonant in the middle of a word, like transcribir or cascada, the s is part of the first syllable and the c (in this case) part of the second.