Did The Aurora Borealis Contribute To The Sinking Of The Titanic?

Yithian

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Aurora Borealis May Have Contributed to Sinking of Titanic, Suggests Meteorological Researcher
Erika P.Sep 17, 2020 07:40 AM EDT

On that fateful night of April 15, 1912, the seemingly unsinkable RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sunk for hours, killing over a thousand passengers.

More than a century later, a new study proposes that the RMS Titanic was slightly thrown off course by the Northern lights present during that night. According to a U.S.-based meteorological researcher, the Titanic's last night of sailing at the Atlantic ocean was illuminated by the aurora borealis.

The researcher based her study on the accounts of the eyewitness during that night and argues that the geomagnetic storm might have been large enough to affect the navigation system of the Titanic to a small but significant degree.

She believes that the interference might have disrupted the wireless transmission between the Titanic and other nearby vessels, which blocked the distress calls and messages from the sinking ship. However, the magnetic disruption may have also offset the error by accidentally sending the Titanic's broadcast position to another vessel, which leads it to the correct location of the titanic's lifeboats.


Article Continues:
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articl...e-rms-titanic-sinking-revealed-researcher.htm
 

EnolaGaia

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That's interesting ... The presence of the aurora borealis that night is commonly mentioned, but I don't recall anyone suggesting it may have been associated with geomagnetic interference.

I can recall only one other suggested scenario involving the aurora (if only indirectly) - the one in which its illumination contributed to conditions very conducive to mirage effects. Such effects were reported by multiple other ships in the area during the fatal night and the next morning. This scenario suggests it was visibility problems (if not extant mirages) rather than compass disorientation that contributed to the disaster.

https://timmaltin.com/2015/12/16/superior-mirage-titanic/

NOTE: If nothing else this webpage provides details about the huge ice field Titanic encountered. It wasn't a matter of one ship / one lone iceberg as is often presumed or pictured.
 

Min Bannister

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Was the article written by a 6 year old? What awful writing. I can't read it.
 

DrPaulLee

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If you compare the Titanic's course with the location of the wreck, she was almost perfectly on track. Alright, the wreck is two miles south but it's close enough, especially when you consider she'd been in a southerly current for a few hours.
A few survivors did report seeing the Aurora but it was on the horizon: this implies a K planetary index value of 7: reasonably high, but not wonderfully so.
Any solar storm might have affected ship's wirelesses - and there is evidence that this is the case. Nearby ship's sometimes didn't hear a thing from the Titanic but further away vessels did. There's even a story that an amateur radio operator in Wales picked up the distress calls. Obviously there's some debate about that!

But yes, a massive icefield stretched across the Titanic's path. If she hadn't hit the iceberg, she would have encountered the field within 15 minutes. Whether the field would have sunk the ship is debatable - probably not, I think.
Needless to say, more details can be found on my own Titanic pages.
 
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