Glowing auroras twinkled in the North Atlantic sky on April 15, 2012 – the night the RMS occurred Titanic Sank. Now, new research suggests that a geomagnetic storm behind the Northern Lights may have disrupted the ship’s navigation and communications systems and impeded rescue efforts, fueling the disaster that claimed more than 1,500 passengers’ lives.

Eyewitnesses described the aurora glows in the region as the Titanic descended, as an observer testified that “the northern lights were very strong that night,” Mila Zinkova, an independent researcher and weather photographer, said in a new study published online on August 4. In the magazine weather.