(The shipwreck happened in the early hours of April 15, 1912)
Among the various hypotheses, already 100 years after the sinking of the Titanic, which caused 1,500 victims, the lunar theory is now emerging.
Donald W. Olson, a physicist at Texas State University who is part of a team of forensic astronomers in the April issue of Sky & Telescope, analyzes in detail a theory floated at the time by oceanographer Fergus Wood: A large wave caused by a a rare alignment of the Moon and the Sun almost four months before the tragedy (which occurred in the early hours of April 15, 1912) made it possible for the iceberg that struck the ship to pass the natural barriers created between Terranova and Labrador. This iceberg sailed close to the southern coast until the fatal collision.
Olson, however, adds: “No one can know exactly where the iceberg was on January 4, 1912, but what we have reconstructed is a possible scientific scenario. The tragedy of the Titanic actually began four months before the collision. But on January 4, a hundred years ago, an extraordinary astronomical fact happened: the Moon and the Sun were aligned behind the Earth (a fact that is actually verified every 15 days) giving rise to a syxitic tide, that is, a big tide. But on that date the Moon was also in perigee (so at the closest point to the Earth). And moreover, the perigee of that date was not normal, but the maximum perigee of the last 1400 years.
The Moon actually reached a minimum distance of 356,375 kilometers from the Earth’s surface, i.e. about 7.3% less than the average distance. So the Moon and the Sun together exerted a great force on the earth that also reflected in the movement of the waters.
It is therefore very likely that on January 4, 1912 the ebb tide was much stronger than average enough to allow the Titanic iceberg and many other icebergs to cross the Terranova barrier. But Captain Edward Smith, a super experienced commander who had been down that road several times, couldn’t know that. When he was told that there were many icebergs in his way, he ignored the announcements as he thought that such a thing could not happen. Maybe he hadn’t seen the moon four months ago