(CNN) — Now we have new images showing the wreck of the RMS Titanic as never seen before: in 8K quality, the highest screen resolution currently available.
It is a horizontal resolution of 8,000 pixels, that is, twice the sharpness of a 4K television. And it means there’s an unprecedented level of detail and color in this latest scan of the 110-year-old wreck.
The video was captured by OceanGate Expeditions on their visit to the wreck, which lies 3.8 kilometers below the surface of the North Atlantic, about 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland, Canada.
OceanGate conducts expeditions to the wreck of the Titanic with crews of expert scuba divers, Titanic historians and research scientists, along with “civilian mission specialists” who pay $250,000 for the privilege of being one of the few people to have seen firsthand hand the last resting place of the legendary ship.
“The amazing detail of the 8K images will help our team of maritime scientists and archaeologists characterize Titanic’s decay more accurately as we capture new images in 2023 and beyond,” Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, said in a statement. a press release. What’s even more remarkable, he added, are “the phenomenal colors.”
sharpness like never before
The newly released images open with a pan of the bow of the Titanic, which sank after the British liner collided with an iceberg on the night of April 15, 1912.
Features of the ship are now visible, such as the name of the anchor manufacturer, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd, on the port anchor. “I’ve been studying the wreck for decades and have done multiple dives, and I don’t recall seeing any other images that show this level of detail,” said Rory Golden, Titanic expert with OceanGate Expeditions and a veteran Titanic diver, in the statement.
The green lights seen on the port anchor as the camera pans are from the laser scale system, explained Paul Henry Nargeolet, a veteran pilot of the Nautile submersible and a diver on the Titanic. “This system allows us to accurately determine the size of objects […] The distance between the two green lights is 10 centimeters.”
“At the beginning of the video you can see the crane used to deploy the huge 15-tonne anchor that is still on the deck of the wreck and the shackle that was originally attached to the main mast that has now collapsed,” Nargelot also explained.
Later in the video we see three round structures along the interior railing. It is, according to Nargelot, the three fairleads that once fed the mooring ropes to the bollards on land to secure the 269-meter ship when she was in port.
The images also show the first of Titanic’s two hulls, its massive anchor chain (each link weighs about 200 pounds), the first of Titanic’s six cargo holds, and the ship’s bronze winches.
There is also substantial evidence of deterioration where part of the ship’s railing has already collapsed and detached.
“One of the most amazing clips shows one of the single-ended calderas that fell to the ocean floor when the Titanic broke in two. In particular, it was one of the single-ended calderas that was first seen when wreckage of the Titanic was identified in 1985,” Golden said.
“Comparing the images from the 2021 expedition, we did see slight changes in some areas of the wreck,” Rush said. “Our science team will review 8K, 4K and other images captured during the 2022 Titanic Expedition for any changes.”
The extraordinary wreck is deteriorating at a rapid rate. Salt water and sea pressure have been quietly causing damage for the last century and more, while microbes corrode the steel hull, creating thousands of rusticles, those rusty, orange-green formations that hang from the Titanic like icebergs. . Some estimates say the ship will be gone in a matter of decades.
OceanGate Expeditions hopes the new images will help determine the liner’s current rate of deterioration, as future expeditions will capture more images that can be compared year after year.
The video should also help scientists identify species seen on and around the Titanic, while archaeologists will be able to document the wreck and debris in greater detail.
Places are now open for the 2023 expedition, which will depart from Newfoundland in May of next year. Those who go into the depths will be one of the two or three hundred who have made the trip, fewer people than have traveled to space.
Applicants for the 10-day mission (eight of them at sea) can contact OceanGate to discuss the qualifications, availability and price of a quarter of a million.