HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » Titanic Sunk by "Sup...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:11 PM

Titanic Sunk by "Supermoon" and Celestial Alignment?

National Geographic Article

Just weeks before the Titanic shipwreck's hundredth anniversary, scientists have a brand-new theory as to what might have helped spur modern history's most famous maritime disaster. (See pictures of Titanic's rediscovery in 1985.)

An ultrarare alignment of the sun, the full moon, and Earth, they say, may have set the April 14, 1912, tragedy in motion, according to a new report.

R.M.S. Titanic went down on a moonless night, but the iceberg that sank the luxury liner may have been launched in part by a full moon that occurred three and a half months earlier, scientists say.

That full moon, on January 4, 1912, may have created unusually strong tides that sent a flotilla of icebergs southward—just in time for Titanic's maiden voyage, said astronomer Donald Olson of Texas State University-San Marcos.

24 replies, 3763 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply Titanic Sunk by "Supermoon" and Celestial Alignment? (Original post)
Celebration Mar 2012 OP
laconicsax Mar 2012 #1
montanto Mar 2012 #20
orpupilofnature57 Mar 2012 #2
digonswine Mar 2012 #3
eppur_se_muova Mar 2012 #7
laconicsax Mar 2012 #8
eppur_se_muova Mar 2012 #12
laconicsax Mar 2012 #14
harmonicon Mar 2012 #11
digonswine Mar 2012 #19
eppur_se_muova Mar 2012 #24
digonswine Mar 2012 #4
DCKit Mar 2012 #5
Sanity Claws Mar 2012 #6
GETPLANING Mar 2012 #9
SemperEadem Mar 2012 #10
sybylla Mar 2012 #13
fascisthunter Mar 2012 #16
shanti Mar 2012 #23
thesquanderer Mar 2012 #15
RoccoR5955 Mar 2012 #17
AtheistCrusader Mar 2012 #18
tclambert Mar 2012 #21
pansypoo53219 Mar 2012 #22

Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:14 PM

1. Maybe we didn't go far enough when we bombed the moon.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to laconicsax (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:06 PM

20. Ain't that the truth. Too little, too late.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:17 PM

2. A cosmic event!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:17 PM

3. A full moon is no more powerful-

than a new moon--just brighter--from reflected light from the sun!! Wowee!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to digonswine (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 02:04 AM

7. Full moon and new moon coincide with "spring" tides ...

because the tidal forces of sun and moon are acting in concert. Half-moon (waxing or waning) coincide with weaker "neap" tides.



OTOH -- Either there was an iceberg in the ship's path or there wasn't. Saying the Titanic sank "because" of an unusally strong tide is stretching the word "because" beyond any reasonable meaning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 02:08 AM

8. Little nitpick:

 

That graphic is wrong--the tidal bulges aren't directly under the moon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to laconicsax (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 01:56 PM

12. Also, the Sun doesn't have a human face. :)

And the tidal bulges aren't nearly that big. Sometimes you can't draw things to scale and make the point -- I doubt the deviation from the Earth-Moon axis is really large enough to be visible unless greatly exaggerated:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_acceleration#Effects_of_Moon.27s_gravity

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 02:43 PM

14. The sun does too have a human face.

 

The graphic was obviously not to scale too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 12:10 PM

11. Yeah, this is quite a stretch.

It's just a case of putting something catching in a headline to report an otherwise boring science study, no matter how tenuous the connection.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:22 PM

19. Yes--I spoke too soon-

before I looked at the article--I should know better. I was assuming woo where there was none!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to digonswine (Reply #19)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 01:34 AM

24. Woo is not excluded, but for other reasons. :) nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:23 PM

4. Ok-actually read the article-

I still don't buy it--

The Earth is directly between the Sun and moon for every full moon. I find it hard to believe that the idea that the moon was closer, and the sun was closer to the earth at that time can be blamed for this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:25 PM

5. No! It was caused by the ghosts of dinosaurs!

 

Geez, people, there's a reason they're called accidents.

Then again, who was supposed to be watching out ahead of the ship for obstacles? It's not as if they had radar, or sonar, GPS or accurate charts in those days.

At least the captain of the Titanic didn't push women and children out of his way in order to reach the first lifeboat - in those days, even most of the 1% didn't do that, and some ended up going down with the ship, becoming heroes. Not all, but some.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Tue Mar 6, 2012, 09:37 PM

6. The fault does not lie in the stars

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 09:58 AM

9. That's an interesting hypothesis and may even be true, but

the builder's decision to use thinner steel in the hull to save weight (and cost) was the reason the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg. Thinner steel held in place with smaller rivets was more brittle in the freezing water and fractured rather than bent inwards in the collision. I believe there was an expedition down to the Titanic to examine the hull to determine whether the failure of the hull was a gash in the metal plates, or failure of the rivets, and the rivets were found to have been the culprits.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 11:20 AM

10. doesn't matter what celestial alignment occurred

to send a gazillion ice bergs... fact of the matter was Captain Smith, on Bruce Ismay's orders, was running the ship too fast through the ice field in order to break the record of sailing to New York. He ignored the warnings sent earlier in the day regarding the icebergs in his path.

Had there been more spy glasses for the men on watch in the crow's nest and had the ship not been barrelling through the ocean, things may have turned out differently. Had there been enough lifeboats for every passenger, the loss of life would probably not have been so high.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 02:31 PM

13. Just goes to show how far NatGeo has sunk.

Okay, that might have put the iceberg there, but that didn't put the stupid in charge.

And that's a huge MAYBE.

Scientists know better than make such blatantly idiotic connections on pure speculation.

I thought it was just their crappy cable channel that did the dumbest non-science BS. Apparently they can even out-stupid the History Channel.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sybylla (Reply #13)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:08 PM

16. No kidding... their Cable Channel is nothing but Military Industrial Complex propaganda

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fascisthunter (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 10:53 PM

23. it didn't use to be like it is now

nat geo was my favorite channel (dog whisperer, etc.), but over the past few years it has become increasingly filled with right wingnuttery. have definitely noticed a huge increase in military/police oriented shows, which i refuse to watch. really, there's not that much to watch on cable anymore; i'm considering dropping it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 04:36 PM

15. Where was Newt's moonbase when we needed it... (n/t)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:16 PM

17. If you believe this...

I have a bridge for sale, cheap.
How many times are people going to buy into some stupid notion, with no proof, and what kind of rag is the National Geographic turning into, by spewing such bovine fecal matter?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 05:17 PM

18. They probably would have made it if they hadn't tried to turn.

Well, anyone not in the forward 3 compartments, or standing too close to glasswork, etc.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 06:09 PM

21. I thought they already blamed it on dihydrogen monoxide.

Nasty stuff. It can be found in every cancerous tumor, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Celebration (Original post)

Wed Mar 7, 2012, 10:11 PM

22. i found an old 20's astrology book years ago at an estate sale. according to the 'stars'

is was doomed. neat old book. so yes. now the stars REALLY did it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread