Did the moon and sun conspire to sink the Titanic?
In a way, yes, researchers at Texas State University say.
Donald Olson and Russell Doescher, members of the physics faculty at the university in San Marcos, teamed up with Roger Sinnott, senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, to determine how the iceberg the liner struck late on April 14, 1912, came to be in the North Atlantic shipping lanes. More than 1,500 people died when the liner sank less than three hours after hitting the berg.
The researchers theorize that the berg that sank the ship originated in Greenland and was stuck on the coast on Labrador or Newfoundland in early January 1912. Icebergs that become stuck there usually experienced significant melting before regaining enough buoyancy to float away from the coast.
But on January 4, the moon was near full and at its closest distance to the Earth in 1,400 years. A day earlier, Earth was at perihelion, its closest distance to the sun all year. The alignment of Earth, sun and moon created an exceptionally strong "spring tide" which could have refloated icebergs grounded on the northwestern Atlantic coast, the researchers said.
â€śIt was the closest approach of the moon to the Earth in more than 1,400 years, and this configuration maximized the moonâ€™s tide-raising forces on Earthâ€™s oceans. Thatâ€™s remarkable,â€ť Olsen said in a university press release.
The website Titanic Facts reports that in April 1912 there were about 300 icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, the most seen in the route between Europe and North America in 50 years.
â€śAs icebergs travel south, they often drift into shallow water and pause along the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. But an extremely high spring tide could refloat them, and the ebb tide would carry them back out into the Labrador Current where the icebergs would resume drifting southward. That could explain the abundant icebergs in the spring of 1912," Olson said in the release.
The abundance of icebergs that year would also be something the Titanic's experienced captain, Edward Smith, would not have predicted. He'd been sailing the North Atlantic for 26 years, according to Titanic Facts, and had not reduced the Titanic's speed despite receiving warnings of bergs ahead of his ship.
"The Titanic failed to slow down, even after having received several wireless messages warning of ice ahead,â€ť Olson said. â€śThey went full speed into a region with icebergs. Thatâ€™s really what sank the ship, but the lunar connection may explain how an unusually large number of icebergs got into the path of the Titanic."
So, more or less what they're say now, is that the Ti tanic was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If they, on that particular day, had not sailed from port, this would never had happen. It's amazing what you can come up with 100 years after the fact. Looks like someone wants to write a new "what if" book.
The headline says it all. Nothing newsworthy to write about today? What a heap of crap..
Still, it's an at-fault accident even if the bus you ran into was moving slowly. None of the criminal activity began until after the accident had occured, so the loss of life itself cannot totally be atributed to aligned stars.
Don't argue with the laws of nature. Icebergs have always had the right-of-way.
How many lives have been saved as a result of the loss of life in this one accident? Requiring liners to carry more boats, and all the other related improvements to ship handling that resulted may have saved more lives than were lost in that one tragedy.
Dang moon people.
Woulda Coulda Shoulda
It seems like that wreck was a confluence of events and errors.
- If the manufacturer hadn't used iron with too much sulfer, it wouldn't have been too brittle
- If the lookouts had had binoculars, they might have seen the iceberg in time
- If they had known the turning radius of the ship, they might not have gone so fast.
- If they hadn't been so all fired up about making a fast crossing, they might not have lit all the boilers.
- If they had heeded ice warnings, they might have stopped for the night like other ships in the area.
- If there had been a wind, the wave action against the berg would have made it more visible.
- If they had not turned, they would have hit the berg straight on and the ship would have survived.
- If they had not closed the watertight doors, the ship would have stayed afloat long enough for rescue.
i agree with everything except the last one, experts analyzed this and did a test and in fact if the watertight doors would have been left open the ship would have capsized rather than sink by the nose. They did it to a scale model and watertight door closed sinks by the nose, watertight left open capsizes.
-If the lookouts had not been momentariily distracted by Jack and Rose's burgeoning romance they would have noticed the ice sooner...
I concur. None of this.. astronomical crap.
Jack and Rose... the two greatest villains in the history of ocean travel.
Guess the next thing is some people will start demanding that we need to bomb the moon.
If Newt's gonna be up there, probably not a bad idea.
Good one Paul! LMAF!
I think these GOV. paid reserchers have to put out something to justify thier payday.
did you read the article?
this is from researches at Texas State University and Sky and Telescope magizine
I typed this very slowly because I'm sure you can not read very fast
If you are warned about something dangerous, your best advice is to heed that warning and take evasive action. Moon tides or not, the captain slipped up ..... badly!!!
Icebergs are just one of Natures Children that were here before us, and will out-last us unless all learn to factor their forces and live accordingly, gently.
You just loved Avatar, didn't you?
sounds cool and helped me with school.
awsome cass from cass
Didn't your mama choke to death on a ham sandwich in a hotel room?
If only they'd listened to Al Gore. He was around back then (Time Travel. He invented it. Look it up) and warned of the dangers of mixing rare astrological events, global warming, man-bear-pig (boy-cub-pig back then) and time travel. He doesn't talk about it much now, because unlike the internet, his time travel invention is something he is not proud of.
The bergs once flowed through the TN mountain streams near his home, but global warming melted them all. Now do you believe it is real?
This is a pretty well studied part of history. I'm pretty sure the iceburg had more to do with it than objects that are millions of miles away. Seems sort of like common sense to me. But what do I know.
chris : over the top .
I thought Sun Moon Yung was into marrying thousands of Koreans at once?!?! How'd he get wrapped up in this now?