Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic possibilities

Did you see the image today at NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day site? It's a photograph of a Fata Morgana (warning to dial-up users: huge image), which is an illusion sometimes seen on the sea. (The linked image shows a wall of water in the background of a photo of the ocean, as if there is a giant tidal wave out in the distance.)

According to NASA, a Fata Morgana can: 
"make strange shapes or a false wall of water appear above a watery horizon . . . [S]uch a Fata Morgana mirage might have obscured real icebergs from the clear view of crew onboard the Titanic."
This notion is supported by a report from a nearby vessel, the S.S. Californian, that said they saw just such a mirage. Even a hundred years later, the story of the Titanic's ill-fated voyage remains haunting. I will always be fascinated by the Titanic. It stands alone (if we can keep that damn Cameron fellow away from it).