Hi Aaron, "much refraction" at nighttime proves nothing. There is no single record of anybody observing refracted stars. Many polar explorers spent months of polar night in Arctic and Antarctic, but nobody reported seeing mirage of stars. The ship might have observed star pillars (there were ice crystals in the air). Could you please give me the link to that "sea mirror" thing? Neither the Californian nor the Titanic recorded temperature rise, they only recorded it drop. The temperatures of the air and the water were the same. No refraction could happene under such conditions.There had to be because the SS Marengo recorded great fraction on the horizon on the night of April 14th - 15th and they were south west of the icefield. It was seen by them at 8pm and 12 midnight and they also noted in their log how unusually clear and bright the stars were. The survivors and the crew of the Californian saw the brightness of the stars and how they never saw a night like that before. Another ship passed over the area and saw "sea mirrors" on the horizon. They recorded a sudden temperature drop and rise as they passed over the region of the ice, and the brightness of the stars would have illuminated the area bright enough to cast the refraction. Although the lights of the Titanic is all the illumination the Californian needed to see the affects of the refraction because the vessel I saw was surrounded in total darkness and the refraction had reflected her lights onto a false horizon below which created the illusion the ship was much closer and masked her true appearance.
Hi Aaron, "much refraction" at nighttime proves nothing. There is no single record of anybody observing refracted stars. Many polar explorers spent months of polar night in Arctic and Antarctic, but nobody reported seeing mirage of stars. The ship might have observed star pillars (there were ice crystals in the air). Could you please give me the link to that "sea mirror" thing? Neither the Californian nor the Titanic recorded temperature rise, they only recorded it drop. The temperatures of the air and the water were the same. No refraction could happene under such conditions.
Aaron superior mirage is called sometimes cold water mirage.As Pitman said - "We had something else to think of besides log books, sir." Or as Captain Lord said - "It was a very deceiving night."
The haze ahead of the Titanic was likely affected by the refraction which elevated and masked its true appearance, so that it appeared as a peculiar haze on the horizon. There was also a haze in the water around the ship which several survivors noticed. e.g. Jack Thayer - "It had become very much colder. It was a brilliant, starry night. There was no moon and I have never seen the stars shine brighter. They appeared to stand right out of the sky, sparkling like cut diamonds. A very light haze, hardly noticeable, hung low over the water." I believe the proximity of the ice around them and the difference in temperature underneath them (owing to the Labrador current) caused the icy horizon to become an elevated haze. The Titanic was much more south easterly than many people realized which made it difficult to find the wreck. The ice had melted and survivors said it was "soft ice" which scooped off the iceberg and dropped onto the deck and they observed the iceberg break into pieces as it passed behind the ship. The people in lifeboat 2 could hear the ice crunching as it continued to break apart, and there is speculation that the iceberg had melted so much that it had recently turned over. All of this points to the Titanic being in warmer water when she sank as she was well to the south east of the main ice field.
This summary video clip demonstrates the gist of it.
Aurora does not change a visibility of distant objects. There was nothing to report. Super refraction does. There were questions about refraction during the inquiries. Nobody reported seeing it.Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water.
Hello, Aaron.The officers on all surrounding ships made no mention of the Northern Lights which illuminated the night sky and were described by one survivor as a "search light" owing to their intensity, yet none of the officers on either ship mentioned it. That of course, does not mean it wasn't present. When the Titanic sank the survivors in the boats saw a huge plume of smoke rise up and flatten at the top like a mushroom, as if it had reached an invisible barrier. This was a layer of cold and warm air meeting. Survivors close to the wreckage saw a haze hovering just above the sea. This was another indication of the temperature difference. Survivors such as Charles Joughin said he felt much colder out of the sea than he did when he was in the water. The ice was melting all around them as they were in the warmer Labrador current and the ice was scattering all around them as it melted free from the icefield which was I understand the size of Manhattan. The wreck was found far to the south east of her position and the expeditions to find the wreck were surprised to find out she had drifted so far east owing to the warmer Labrador current.
When I saw the refraction it was a dark overcast night. There were no stars, and the vessel which was affected was surrounded in a dazzling glare, like a cloud or haze. According to my local weather reports the temperature of the air and sea was only 1 or 2 degrees different that night. When I zoomed in with the camera I could see the real lights were clear and easy to focus on, but the affected lights that were reflected were in a glare and impossible to focus on. I believe that is what the crew on the Californian had witnessed and why the glare of her reflected masthead light was possibly mistaken for a second masthead light. It also explains why the ship appeared 4-5 miles away when she was perhaps 20 or more miles away and why they could not hear the rockets, and why they could not see Boxhall's green light as his boat was closer to the water and further south and just out of reach to be raised up by the refaction onto the elevated horizon. When the survivors saw the lights of a ship to the north (Californian) the lights were described as being in a haze and a glare. They could not see it distinctly owing to the refraction. The atmospheric effects of the massive ice field would have played tricks on anyone in the vicinity of it.
The SS Paula steamed through the area on April 29th and reported heavy pack ice and many icebergs and they had to change course and steam south and around the ice field to avoid it. Their logs show a radical change in the water temperature as they steamed through the icy region. According to the narrator of the above documentary. The temperature dropped sharply and rose sharply as it passed the region during that day / night / day, as it went from:
A screenshot from the documentary shows the moment of the radical drop and rise as they passed the ice field and saw the icebergs.
View attachment 39490
Regarding the observance of smoke. I believe the brightness of the stars and the continued electric lights in the stern after the break allowed the survivors to see the smoke and confirm its presence after she broke in two.
"I last saw the ship with her stern high in the air going down. After the noise I saw a huge column of black smoke slightly lighter than the sky rising high into the sky and then flattening out at the top like a mushroom."
"When the ship was sinking a volume of smoke came up."
"You could see the explosions by the smoke coming right up the funnels......It was all black. Looked like as if it was lumps of coal, and all that."
Q - There was a great amount of black smoke coming up through the funnels just after this explosion?
A - Just after the explosion.
Q - And there were lumps of coat, etc, coming up?
A - Yes; pretty big lumps. I do not know what it was.
Q - Did any water come up?
A - I never seen no water; only the steam and very black smoke.