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, 2012 — 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.

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