For the first time, the entire 15-sqaure-mile undersea debris field of the ill-fated RMS Titanic has been mapped, hopefully allowing researchers a greater understanding of what happened as the ship sank almost exactly a hundred years ago, according to The Associated Press.
The passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, causing the deaths of over 1,500 people in an historic catastrophe.
Discovered in 1985, the wreck sits at a depth of 12,415 feet and is disintegrating into the undersea currents, according to Wikipedia. More than 5,000 salvaged artifacts are to be auctioned on April 1, according to the AP.
RMS Titanic Inc released this 2010 footage of undersea exploration of the Titanic by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory team of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, or WHOI:
[ Video is no longer available. ]
The AP reports today that newly discovered tracks on the ocean floor have already suggested that the stern spiraled as it sank rather than simply plummeting.
"With the sonar map, it's like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it," Parks Stephenson, a historian and consultant for the 2010 exploration, was quoted as saying. "Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site."
The mapping occurred two years ago and was conducted by RMS Titanic, with WHOI and the Waitt Institute of Jolla, CA, according to the news agency, which said explorers used sonar imaging
The Associated Press also reported today that a special exhibition on the Titanic is scheduled to open on March 31 at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.