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Titanic And Moon Do Have Something In Common

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03/08/2021 10:41 AM ET

Titanic Moon - April 14 will mark 100 years since the Titanic sunk on her maiden voyage after striking an iceberg, but recent research from the Texas State University suggested that a rare lunar event might have contributed to the tragedy. Physics faculty members Donald Olson and Russell Doescher published their findings in the April 2012 edition of Sky and Telescope magazine, which is on newsstands now.

Olson and Doescher’s research suggested that a “one-in-a-lifetime” event on Jan. 4, 1912, brought the moon closer to the Earth than it had been in 1,400 years.

The moon’s close proximity could have caused unusually high tides, which caused icebergs usually near the coast of Greenland to move significantly south, into Atlantic shipping lanes. The extremely high tides linked to the lunar event could have dislodged the coastal icebergs and ocean currents could have carried them south, Olson and his colleagues believe.

Despite the potential involvement, Olson stressed that the Titanic sunk because she hit an iceberg and nothing else.

“The Titanic failed to slow down, even after having received several wireless messages warning of ice ahead,” Olson said. “They went full speed into a region with icebergs — that’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.”

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