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posted by janrinok on Sunday May 21 2023, @03:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the only-2.5-miles-from-land-at-the-time dept.

Deep sea researchers have used two submersibles to make the first full, 3-dimensional scan of the wreck of the sunken passenger ship, The Titanic, including much of the 3-mile long debris field. This is a major step forward in evidence-based analysis of the wreck from over a hundred years ago.

The new scan was "devoid of that," he said, adding, "It is completely based on data and not human interpretation and that is why we are now seeing it in its larger context for the first time ever."

Atlantic Productions said "one major area of deterioration" had already been observed in the officers' quarters. "This included the room of Captain Edward John Smith and discovered that the iconic captain's bathtub has now disappeared from view," it added.

"Now we're getting objective, so we can get really serious with the science of understanding the wreck," Stephenson said.

He added that he was "absolutely convinced," that the photogrammetry model would now be used "not just for Titanic, but for all underwater exploration," because it "ushers in a new phase of exploration and analysis."

Much of the wreck lies in two main pieces, far apart from each other, at a depth of about 4,000 meters. Around 700k images where taken and stitched together to created the model.

(2022) Researchers Discover Wreck of Ship that Tried to Warn the Titanic
(2022) OceanGate Ramps Up the Research for its Second Deep-sea Expedition to the Titanic
(2020) An Aurora that Lit Up the Sky Over the Titanic Might Explain Why It Sank
(2020) US Court Grants Permission to Recover Marconi Telegraph from Titanic's Wreckage [Updated]
(2018) Finding the Titanic with ROVs and Navy Funding

Original Submission

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Finding the Titanic with ROVs and Navy Funding 7 comments

In the 1980s oceanographer and Naval Reserve commanding officer Robert Ballard found the resting place of the Titanic. It turns out that as part of the deal to get funding for the search from the US Navy, he was to first find the two missing nuclear submarines, the Thresher and the Scorpion, both of which sank in the 1960s. After finding both submarines, he located the remains of the Titanic in only 8 days by finding and following its debris trail, leaving the last 4 days of the mission to examine the wreck.

It starts in 1982, when Ballard, who had performed a number of top-secret Naval missions during the Cold War, was developing his own remotely-operated underwater vehicle.

Unable to get science grants, he asked Deputy Chief of Naval Operations Ronald Thunman if the Navy would help fund his project. "He said, 'All my life I've wanted to go find the Titanic.' And I was taken aback by that," Thunman recalled. "I said, 'Come on, this is a serious, top secret operation. Find the Titanic? That's crazy!'"

Thunman did say yes, but only if Ballard used the funds and the time to find two missing U.S. nuclear submarines – the Thresher and the Scorpion – which had sunk in the Atlantic in the 1960s.

Earlier on SN:
Titanic Engineering Facts (2015)

Original Submission

US Court Grants Permission to Recover Marconi Telegraph from Titanic's Wreckage [Updated] 58 comments

[20200601_233900 UTC: updated to elide a couple paragraphs and update suggestion to read original article.--martyb]

US court grants permission to recover Marconi telegraph from Titanic wreckage:

When RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, crew members sent out numerous distress signals to any other ships in the vicinity using what was then a relatively new technology: a Marconi wireless telegraph system. More than 1,500 passengers and crew perished when the ship sank a few hours later. Now, in what is likely to be a controversial decision, a federal judge has approved a salvage operation to retrieve the telegraph from the deteriorating wreckage, The Boston Globe has reported.

Lawyers for the company RMS Titanic Inc.—which owns more than 5,000 artifacts salvaged from the wreck—filed a request in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, arguing that the wireless telegraph should be salvaged because the ship's remains are likely to collapse sometime in the next several years, rendering "the world's most famous radio" inaccessible. US District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith concurred in her ruling, noting that salvaging the telegraph "will contribute to the legacy left by the indelible loss of the Titanic, those who survived, and those who gave their lives in the sinking."

However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is fiercely opposed to the salvage mission. The agency argues in court documents that the telegraph should be left undisturbed, since it is likely to be surrounded "by the mortal remains of more than 1500 people." Judge Smith countered in her decision that the proposed expedition meets international requirements: for instance, it is justified on scientific and cultural grounds and has taken into account any potential damage to the wreck.

[...] This latest ruling is bound to generate more controversy, given that the expedition's plans call for "surgically" removing the telegraph from the hull, risking further damage. (It's believed that the telegraph is located in a deck house near the grand staircase.) According to an Associated Press report, the company's 60-page plan calls for an uncrewed submersible to pass through a skylight. If that doesn't work, the expedition would cut through the roof, which is already heavily corroded. Then a "suction dredge" will remove any loose silt, and the submersible's arms will cut through any electrical cords.

The linked story at Ars Technica goes into considerable detail on the history of how several famous people vied for the claim of creator of telegraphy and wireless communications — well worth reading the entire article.

Original Submission

An Aurora that Lit Up the Sky Over the Titanic Might Explain Why It Sank 19 comments

An aurora that lit up the sky over the Titanic might explain why it sank:

Glowing auroras shimmered in skies over the northern Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 — the night the RMS Titanic sank. Now, new research hints that the geomagnetic storm behind the northern lights could have disrupted the ship's navigation and communication systems and hindered rescue efforts, fueling the disaster that killed more than 1,500 passengers.

Eyewitnesses described aurora glows in the region as the Titanic went down, with one observer testifying that "the northern lights were very strong that night," Mila Zinkova, an independent weather researcher and photographer, reported in a new study, published online Aug. 4 in the journal Weather.

[...] Auroras form from solar storms, when the sun expels high-speed streams of electrified gas that hurtle toward Earth. As the charged particles and energy collide with Earth's atmosphere, some travel down magnetic field lines to interact with atmospheric gases, glowing green, red, purple and blue, NASA says. These charged particles can also interfere with electrical and magnetic signals, causing surges and oscillations, according to NASA.

[...] And the northern lights were highly visible when the Titanic sank.

[...] At the same time that the solar storm's charged particles were generating a pretty light show, they could also have been tugging at the Titanic's compass. A deviation of only 0.5 degrees would have been enough to steer the ship away from safety and place it on its fatal collision course toward an iceberg, Zinkova said in the study.

"This apparently insignificant error could have made the difference between colliding with the iceberg and avoiding it," she wrote.

[...] Radio signals that night were also "freaky," operators on the ocean liner RMS Baltic reported (the Baltic was one of the ships that responded to the Titanic's distress call, but the RMS Carpathia got there first, according to the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University in Waco, Texas). SOS signals sent by the Titanic to nearby ships went unheard, and responses to the Titanic were never received, according to Zinkova.

Journal Reference:
Mila Zinkova. RMetS Journals, Weather (DOI: 10.1002/wea.3817)

Original Submission

OceanGate Ramps Up the Research for its Second Deep-sea Expedition to the Titanic 4 comments

OceanGate ramps up the research for its second deep-sea expedition to the Titanic:

One year after OceanGate's first expedition to the Titanic shipwreck, the Everett, Wash.-based company is gearing up for its second annual set of dives starting next week — and this time, science will be at center stage.

Last summer's expedition kicked off what's intended to be a yearly series of visits to the 110-year-old ruin, nearly 13,000 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. As any movie fan knows, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank during its first voyage from England to New York in 1912, causing more than 1,500 deaths.

The shipwreck was rediscovered in 1985, and there's been a string of crewed and robotic surveys since then. But OceanGate's plan is different. The 13-year-old company and its research partners aim to document how the rapidly deteriorating Titanic and its surroundings are changing on a year-to-year basis — supported by customers who are paying $250,000 each to be part of the adventure.

[...] "One of the ways that we're able to support this kind of scientific research is by finding different ways to fund it," Rush said. "We can take media, as we'll do this year and as we did last year, and film these wrecks and these locations. And we can bring people who are willing to help fund the operation to participate. That gives us a completely different way to fund this, and be able to go back to the Titanic and other sites every year."

[...] This year's expedition begins June 15 [...] is due to wrap up on July 25.

Original Submission

Researchers Discover Wreck of Ship that Tried to Warn the Titanic 8 comments

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

In 1918, the steam-powered SS Mesaba sank in the Irish Sea after being hit by a torpedo from a German submarine during World War I. The ship might have been forgotten, except that it had ties to the infamous Titanic disaster of 1912. On Tuesday, Bangor University announced that the shipwreck of the Mesaba has been located.

Mesaba was a merchant vessel traveling in the same waters as the Titanic. According to the Encyclopedia Titanica, a repository of Titanic research, the Mesaba sent the large passenger ship a radio message cautioning of heavy pack ice and a great number of large icebergs. The message, however, was never relayed to the Titanic's bridge. The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank later that evening, in a disaster that claimed more than 1,500 lives.

The research team found the Mesaba among 273 shipwrecks scattered across 7,500 square miles (19,400 square kilometers) of the sea. The researchers used an advanced seafloor mapping technology called multibeam sonar and combined the results with historical records and maritime archives to identify the merchant ship's final resting place. A dramatic sonar image shows the Mesaba split into two main parts.  

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2, Troll) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday May 21 2023, @06:24AM (2 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday May 21 2023, @06:24AM (#1307201)

    James Cameron won't be able to make 5 follow-up documentaries to milk the dive for all it's worth.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21 2023, @06:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 21 2023, @06:30AM (#1307202)

      There's always another scan, waiting to happen.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Tork on Sunday May 21 2023, @04:06PM

      by Tork (3914) Subscriber Badge on Sunday May 21 2023, @04:06PM (#1307229)
      I guess I'm the only one who thinks his dives are fucking cool.
      🏳️‍🌈 Proud Ally 🏳️‍🌈
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @12:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22 2023, @12:39PM (#1307315)

    Anyone find a link that describes how the camera locations were tracked & logged?

    Iirc, the earlier Titanic photo shoots included sonar beacons and the camera locations were triangulated that way. But I'm not sure that navigation system had the accuracy needed to assemble a 3D scan from 700,000 frames (as noted in the first link).

  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday May 22 2023, @04:31PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 22 2023, @04:31PM (#1307353) Journal

    It is difficult to imagine being in this situation at a time when there was no voice radio, no radio navigation, floating radio and strobe light beacons, nevermind GPS and satellite communication.

    If we tell conservatives that the climate is transitioning, they will work to stop it.