Moon caused the Titanic to sink? - MyMoon

NASA and MyMoon have teamed up to blog about everything lunar. Art, literature, music, movies, science, and everything in between!

All quiet on the twitter front.


Recent research by astronomers David Olson and Russell Doescher has found a "supermoon" event coinciding closely with the Titanic's shipwreck. A supermoon occurs when the full Moon coincides with the perigee of the Lunar orbit, when the Moon comes closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbit, and subsequently exerts a greater force on the Earth. The full Moon also means that the Sun is directly opposite from the Moon, and the tidal forces from the two bodies combines to result in even stronger tidal forces on the Earth. During a supermoon event, these two effects take place at the same time and cause higher than average tides on the Earth. Olson and Doescher discovered that a supermoon event took place on January 4, 1912, just a day after the perigee of the Earth's orbit around the Sun. The strong tide that followed likely helped dislodge icebergs and carry them into cold, southbound, currents. The astronomers estimate that it would have taken about three months for the newly dislodged icebergs around Labrador and Newfoundland to make their way to the North Atlantic shipping lanes, correlating with the sinking of the Titanic on April 14, 1912.

Of course, there is no way to confirm whether or not the iceberg that sank the Titanic was a direct result of the 1912 supermoon event, but this research provides a very plausible cause for the large number of icebergs that were recorded in the North Atlantic in the spring of 1912. The research is detailed in the April 2012 issue of Sky & Telescope.


Andy S.

Thursday Mar-15-2012


or use your MyMoon login.