As the RMS Titanic spent its last moments above sea level, a breathtaking sight unfolded above the ship’s crew and passengers. There were strong northern lights in the sky.
– There was no moon in the sky, but the northern lights sparkled like lunar rays shot from the northern horizon, the officer of the first RMS Carpathia ship to reach the scene James Bisset described later.
Carpathia responded to the Titanic’s distress call on April 14, 1912, after the ship had collided with an iceberg with fatal consequences. It arrived at the scene of the accident four hours after the collision. By that time, the Titanic had been on the sea floor for two hours, and some of the people in the lifeboats had died of the cold.
However, the sky still shone as Carpathia arrived at the scene of the Titanic sinking.
– The special conditions intensified as our journey along the ice field progressed. The greenish rays of the northern lights shone and stirred the horizon that opened up in front of us, Bisset wrote.
Lawrence Beesley, a passenger rescued from the ship, also described the northern lights he saw. He watched them while awaiting rescue on one of the Titanic’s lifeboats.
– The soft light intensified, weakened, intensified and remained in place for a few minutes. I realized it was northern lights. The light curved in the direction of the wind along the northern sky, and its faint currents extended towards the North Star, he wrote.
Magnetic fields confused?
The northern lights described by Bisset and Beesley may have a partial effect on the destruction of the Titanic, at least if a meteorologist Mila Zinkovan theory is believing. He suspects that the northern lights have been caused by a space storm that has disturbed the Earth’s magnetic field in the face of damage.
Published in the Royal Meteorological Society in September in his article Zinkova suspects that a powerful geomagnetic storm would have stirred the Titanic’s compasses, directing the ship toward its destruction.
According to the Finnish Meteorological Institute, a geomagnetic storm occurs when the solar wind is faster than usual. As a result, magnetic field disturbances as well as higher than normal amounts of atmospheric particle rain can occur on the ground. It also causes northern lights.
The crash night data show that a spike was actually observed in the Earth’s magnetic field on the crash night. Expert at the British Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Mike Hapgoodin according to him, however, the action was so weak that it crammed Zinkova’s theory.
Business Insiderille in an interview, he says that while the intensity could explain the appearance of the northern lights, it would not have been enough to confuse the Titanic’s compasses.
According to reports, geomagnetic activity was at its peak when the Titanic collided with an iceberg. If it had really mixed the compasses, causing a collision between a ship and an iceberg, the most magnetically disturbing time should have been well in advance of the collision.
Emergency calls missing
However, in one case, Zinkova may be right: geomagnetic activity may have interfered with post-collision radio signals.
The disturbances could explain why the SS La Provence, which sailed in the vicinity of the Titanic, never received an emergency call from the Titanic even though it received signals from other vessels. The SS Mount Temple ship, on the other hand, heard the Titanic’s messages, but the Titanic never received its response to its distress calls.
Historians are therefore still of the opinion that the cause of the sinking of the Titanic and the death of 1,517 people was essentially Captain Edward J. Smithin in the ambitious decision that the ship would sail forward at full speed even though the sea was dangerously icy.