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Forums » Misc » The Full Moon and the sinking of the great Titanic
lore7 March 2012 at 2:44pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
Hello to you my dears,
Here's an interesting Full Moon fact, or perhaps theory is a better word. There is now speculation that the sinking of the mighty Titanic Ocean Liner can be attributed, at least partially, on the full moon and the high tides! The moon was completely full a mere 6 minutes before it hit that fateful iceberg.
So there ya have it! And here it is...
Did the moon help sink the Titanic?
Several months before the Titanic’s fateful encounter with an iceberg, the moon had been closer to Earth than in 1,400 years, and it was full just six minutes before.
Astronomers at Texas State University announced today (March 5, 2012) that the pull of the moon – its creation of tides in Earth’s oceans – might have played a role in the sinking of the Titanic nearly 100 years ago, causing death by ice water for approximately 1,500 people in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Their announcement comes as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic – on April 14, 1912 – is almost upon us.
Texas State has a nice write-up about the moon’s possible role, which includes a cool Titanic image gallery apparently owned by one of the astronomers. The story is that an unusually close approach by the moon on January 4, 1912, would have caused abnormally high tides that might have pushed the fateful iceberg into the Titantic’s path. According to a press release from Texas State:
What they found was that a once-in-many-lifetimes event occurred on that Jan. 4 . The moon and sun had lined up in such a way their gravitational pulls enhanced each other, an effect well-known as a “spring tide.” The moon’s perigee—closest approach to Earth—proved to be its closest in 1,400 years, and came within six minutes of a full moon. On top of that, the Earth’s perihelion—closest approach to the sun—happened the day before. In astronomical terms, the odds of all these variables lining up in just the way they did were, well, astronomical …
Initially, the researchers looked to see if the enhanced tides caused increased glacial calving in Greenland, where most icebergs in that part of the Atlantic originated. They quickly realized that to reach the shipping lanes by April when the Titanic sank, any icebergs breaking off the Greenland glaciers in Jan. 1912 would have to move unusually fast and against prevailing currents.
According to the Texas State group, the answer lies in grounded and stranded icebergs. As Greenland icebergs travel southward, many become stuck in the shallow waters off the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. Normally, icebergs remain in place and cannot resume moving southward until they’ve melted enough to refloat or a high enough tide frees them. A single iceberg can become stuck multiple times on its journey southward, a process that can take several years.
But the unusually high tide in Jan. 1912 would have been enough to dislodge many of those icebergs and move them back into the southbound ocean currents, where they would have just enough time to reach the shipping lanes for that fateful encounter with the Titanic.
This research comes from Texas State physics faculty members Donald Olson and Russell Doescher, along with Roger Sinnott, senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. They published their findings in the April 2012 edition of Sky & Telescope, on newsstands now.
Bottom line: An especially close full moon might have caused high tides that ultimately sent an iceberg into the path of the Titantic, on April 14, 1912. That’s according to Texas State physics faculty members Donald Olson and Russell Doescher, along with Roger Sinnott, senior contributing editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, who published their findings in the April 2012 edition of Sky & Telescope.
lore7 March 2012 at 2:46pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
Speaking of which, I for one am preparing myself to be emotionally moved when I go see the great James Cameron film, The Titanic, in 3-d.
lore7 March 2012 at 2:53pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
Whoops, the moon was NOT full the night the Titanic sank, in fact it was pitch black with the new moon.
I'm glad I looked that up...
“New Moon in the arms of the Old Moon”
The moon was waning to her last quarter when the Titanic set out from Southampton. By the time of the impact with the iceberg on the evening of Sunday, April 14th, all that remained was a pale sliver before the new moon. Below are the moon phases for April 1912, courtesy of NASA archives. Many old superstitions surround the phases of the moon. A man catches a glimpse of the new moon over his left shoulder, and he says: “This is bad luck.” It was considered an antidote for bad luck to turn over the paper money in a wallet at the new moon, thus guaranteeing good financial fortune for the future weeks. As the moon and tides are forever entertwined, death comes on the ebbing tide and ebbing moon, so the folklore goes. The waning moon proved bad luck and ill fortune for those aboard Titanic.
Nemesis_478 March 2012 at 11:24pmPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
They say (whoever they are) that no moon has as much power as the full moon, just in a different way.
Be interesting to see if this full moon triggers any earthquakes - not hocus pocus but the pull of the moon on the earth, and if a fault is ready to go, it could trigger a big one.
lore9 March 2012 at 2:13amPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
Well, if one adds in the recent x-class solar flares.. there are some concerns about quakes, especially in the New Madrid fault line area. And the Pacific N.W.
Nemesis_479 March 2012 at 9:42amPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
This area has large quakes quite often
Geographic coordinates: 19.115S, 169.643E
Magnitude: 6.7 M
Depth: 31 km
Universal Time (UTC): 9 Mar 2012 07:09:53
Time near the Epicenter: 9 Mar 2012 18:09:53
Local standard time in your area: 9 Mar 2012 07:09:53
Location with respect to nearby cities:
61 km (38 miles) NE (40 degrees) of Isangel, Vanuatu
208 km (129 miles) SE (137 degrees) of PORT-VILA, Vanuatu
324 km (201 miles) NE (35 degrees) of Tadine, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia
1936 km (1203 miles) ENE (65 degrees) of Brisbane, Australia
lore9 March 2012 at 2:13pmPosts: 1659 (0 today)Status: offline
yep, i am aware of that region, they have frequent quakes. the concern is for more populated areas.
Rev Bob9 March 2012 at 3:26pmPosts: 2229 (0 today)Status: offline
I guess I need some schooling on just how it is that the Moon has these apparent effects...
Is it the amount of reflected light during the various phases having the effect?
Is it the Moon's distance from Earth as it travels around us that's at play?
The Moon's phases are the result of how much of the illuminated surface we can see from Earth and have nothing to do with it's distance. If you stand in front of your car at night, turn on the headlights, hold an orange at arm's length and slowly rotate as you stand in one spot the shadow cast by the headlights upon the orange changes - just as the phases of the Moon are created by the Sun. The shadows do not change if you draw the orange nearer you. The amount of light we see during the Moon's phases changes, but distance is not a factor.
The Moon's albedo (a measurement of light reflection) is 0.12 - 12% of the Sun's light is reflected back and 88% is absorbed. Of that reflected light, much of it (according to Apollo mission data) is reflected back at the Sun - giving the Moon an Earth-related albedo of 0.08
If the amount of light is the key factor, shouldn't we expect to see a marked increase in effect(s) nearer the poles during those times of the year when there is daylight all day? Unless, of course, reflected sunlight is somehow different enough to have an effect - even at these low levels.
The Moon's distance from Earth have no bearing on its phases. There is only 1 full moon this year (May 6th) that occurs during the Moon's perigee (when it's the closest) and only 1 full moon (Nov 28th) during the Moon's apogee (when it's the farthest away). If distance is the factor, how can both have an impact? What about all the other full moons when it's somewhere in-between perigee & apogee?
And while we're on the subject... a common argument for the Moon's effects is its affect on oceans - and tides. Tides happen twice a day... shouldn't we see a twice-daily barrage of effects?
Curious minds want to know.
Nemesis_479 March 2012 at 8:27pmPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
In the wild
In nature, the moon is nothing to scoff at. Animals time routine activities around the light, and the oceans' tides depend on it.
The moon and the sun combine to create tides in Earth's oceans (the gravitational effect is so strong that our planet's crust gets stretched daily by these tidal effects). But tides are large-scale events. They occur because of the difference in the gravitational pull felt on the side of the Earth closest to the moon, compared to the side of the Earth farthest.
Even though our bodies are about up to more than 60 percent water, the difference in the moon's pull on one side of our body compared to the other is much too small to have an impact.
As for animals, the moon does show some effects.
For instance, a few nights each year, after the full moon, hundreds of species of reef-building corals spawn synchronously, releasing their eggs and sperm into the water in one of the biggest moonlight sex events on Earth. Research published in 2007 in the journal Science reveals that in at least in one type of coral called Acropora millepora a light-sensitive gene may be key. This gene seems to be most active during full-moon nights.
And creatures called Azara's owl monkeys, which prowl the forests of Argentina after dark, are more active on full-moon nights, according to a study published in 2010 in the journal PloS ONE. The researchers also found that the morning after those full moons, the tuckered-out monkeys often slept in.
When the moon was new (and so not visible from Earth), however, monkeys hunkered down for the night and waited for morning before moving about. During three lunar eclipses (when the moon moves into the Earth's shadow) during the course of the study, the monkeys also stayed put.
There is evidence that prey are less active during full moons, when the extra light could make them easy pickings for predators. To see if predators follow suit, researchers tracked three wild wolves during full and new moons over four lunar cycles. And indeed, the wolves traveled significantly less during the full compared with the new moons, according to the research detailed in 2006 in the journal Behavioral Processes.
Rev Bob9 March 2012 at 8:55pmPosts: 2229 (0 today)Status: offline
Yes, I've read about the mosquito-sized impact the Moon has on our bodies... but I've had a few occasions when such an event has created a lasting effect - particularly when the little blood-suckers land on a knuckle... that sure can be irritating. But that's about the biting, not the mere landing.
As for light sensitivity in animals... well, that makes sense. Some folks suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, when the winter months deprive them of sunlight. As far as the coral sex party, I see more correlation than causation. The same goes for the hunting / preservation habits mentioned. If I'm somebody's possible dinner, I'm going to move around a whole lot less when it's easier to be seen. If I'm looking for food, I'll do it when there's food to be found. The Moon isn't causing these things to happen.
Even I'm smart enough to read with the light on, not in the dark.
But you're Bob. Surely part of Rev Bob powers is reading in the dark.
Rev Bob9 March 2012 at 10:20pmPosts: 2229 (0 today)Status: offline
Only when it's Braille.
Nemesis_4710 March 2012 at 3:24pmPosts: 989 (0 today)Status: offline
Mapping: This image shows debris surrounding the stern of the Titanic on the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. An expedition team used sonar imaging and more than 100,000 photos taken from underwater robots to create the map
At rest on the seabed: The wreck of the Titanic as never seen before after sonar images reveal details of the doomed liner
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 03:49 GMT, 9 March 2012 | UPDATED: 00:18 GMT, 10 March 2012
For almost three-quarters of a century its location at the bottom of the ocean was a maritime mystery.
Even when explorers found the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, they struggled to understand exactly what happened on that terrible night she sank.
Now researchers have come up with the clearest picture yet of the huge debris field at the bottom of the North Atlantic.
They used two robot vehicles to scan the ocean bottom day and night with sonar cameras, moving at 3mph back and forth in a grid pattern.
They then stitched together the 130,000 high-resolution photos on a computer to provide a detailed mosaic of the wreck.
The American team hope the results will provide clues about how the superliner broke apart after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people on its maiden voyage.
Marks on the ocean bottom suggest the stern rotated like a helicopter blade as the ship sank, smashing into the sea floor two and a half miles down at considerable speed, grinding the hull deep into the silt.
The bow, on the other hand, plunged straight down and landed relatively gently.
'When you look at the sonar map, you can see exactly what happened,' said Paul-Henry Nargeolet, one of the expedition's leader