Is it possible to survive falling into a black hole?
Eight-year-old Dane Rogan Showalter, a science enthusiast, posed this question to "Cosmos" host Neil deGrasse Tyson during a recent segment on HuffPost Live. And Tyson didn't feel a need to dumb down his explanation.
"The way you won't survive is if you go straight to the center. Then you're like, completely ripped apart, so that would be, like, really bloody," Tyson told HuffPost Live's Josh Zepps in the interview on Monday.
That doesn't sound good! But, he added, there may be certain trajectories that would allow you to come through and survive. Hypothetically.
"We think there are ways where you can survive your trip through a black hole on a very special pathway into it," he said. "The equation of the black hole that comes to us from Einstein, the general relativity equations, tell us that a whole new space-time opens up inside that black hole -- in the future history of your life."
"It's a freaky idea," Tyson said. "But until someone actually does the experiment, that's what our equations show us and these are equations that have been right in so many other ways regarding the universe. That's why we have some confidence that it would be true if you actually went there. But no one's actually performed that experiment -- yet."