Sunday, September 20, 2020

"Did a Solar Ejection Hinder the Titanic?"

From Hakai Magazine:

Space weather may have played a small role in the famed steamer’s sinking.

It was a moonless night. James Bisset, the second officer of the steamship RMS Carpathia, peered out across a chilly North Atlantic. The sea was calm, there was no wind. Above him, the effervescent aurora borealis danced in the sky. And roughly 100 kilometers away, a much larger ship—the RMS Titanic—was heading for disaster. It was April 1912, and the world’s most well-known maritime catastrophe was about to unfold.

The Titanic’s sinking caused the deaths of around 1,500 people, a disaster that has been portrayed in countless books, films, and TV series. Historians have picked over the incident for more than a century. But a new theory has recently emerged that could help explain what happened.

“Most people who write about Titanic, they don’t know that northern lights were seen on that night,” asserts independent weather researcher Mila Zinkova, a retired computer programmer, who lives in San Francisco, California. Zinkova recently published an article in the journal Weather in which she put forth a novel idea: a blast of electromagnetic radiation from the sun slammed into the Earth, lighting up the sky with the aurora and interfering with the compasses and radio equipment aboard the Titanic and nearby vessels. It is well known that solar ejections can influence compass needles and cause radio interference.

Zinkova suggests that an ejection of charged particles from the sun may have caused the crew to make navigational adjustments that led the Titanic along a slightly different course than intended, potentially sending it in the direction of the iceberg that ultimately scuppered the great liner.

“Even if the compass moved only one degree, it already could have made a difference,” says Zinkova.

Compass errors, however, could also have saved lives. The Carpathia, which responded to the Titanic’s SOS call, received the wrong position for the sinking ship—it was directed to a point 11 kilometers from the actual location. But because the Carpathia was perhaps also affected by the solar storm, the crew caught sight of the survivors’ lifeboats and signal flares, and managed to save 705 people.

But the Titanic’s SOS wasn’t heard by everyone in the vicinity. Zinkova thinks space weather may be to blame for this, too. A steamer, SS La Provence, did not receive messages from the Titanic, though it did hear broadcasts from other ships. And the SS Mount Temple got the Titanic’s SOS, but the stricken vessel never received its reply....MORE

I don't know...if interested see also:

Last message from RMS Titanic, April 15, 1912.

Via the BBC:
"Titanic: The final messages from a stricken ship