What Sunk The Titanic? Scientists Say It Was A “Supermoon!”

moon & titanic

A century after the Titanic disaster, scientists say they may have found an unexpected culprit for the sinking: the moon. Anyone who knows history or has seen the blockbuster movies knows that the cause of the transatlantic liner’s accident was that it hit an iceberg. 

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 Monday (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. 

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.

Ever since the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, killing 1,517 people, researchers have puzzled over Read More from the Article Source: http://news.yahoo.com/sank-titanic-scientists-point-moon-203044687.html

Full “Supermoon” Brightest & Closest to Earth This Weekend!


Image Source: Pixabay.com

Look to the skies this Saturday night, and you’ll see the biggest and brightest supermoon of the year!  In fact, Science.com says that the full moon on March 19th of this year marks the closest and brightest Earth’s moon has orbited the planet in eighteen years.
A ‘Supermoon’ is a term coined by astrologer Richard Nolle over thirty years ago.  It refers to a moon that reaches the perigee of it’s orbit around Earth at a nearly new or full phase.  The perigee is the closest point to Earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit.  When the moon reaches it’s perigee this Saturday, it will be 100% full, making the satellite appear bigger and brighter than it’s been in years. (NASA.gov)
You may ask how a  “Lunar Perigee” is determined? A Lunar Perigee occurs when the moon reaches the closest point to Earth, as it travels along on it’s elliptical path.  Alternately, the moon is said to be at apogee when at it’s furthermost position.

The moon during lunar perigee is roughly 30,000 miles closer to Earth than at lunar apogee, or roughly 221,000+ miles away.

If you’re wondering what the supermoon will actually look like to the naked eye this Saturday night, Universetoday.com has the pictures, courtesy of NASA

At the very least, when the moon rises at sunset in the early evening of March 19, it’ll probably produce a great photo op.