(CNN) — New images have been released showing the wreckage of the RMS Titanic as it has never been seen before: in full 8K quality, the highest screen resolution currently available.
That’s a horizontal resolution of 8,000 pixels, or twice as bright as a 4K TV. And it means there’s an unprecedented level of detail and color in this latest exploration of the 110-year-old shipwreck.
The video was taken by OceanGate Expeditions during its 2022 visit to the site, which lies 2.4 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland, Canada.
OceanGate organizes expeditions to the wreck of the Titanic with crews of diving experts, Titanic historians and research scientists, in addition to civilian mission specialists “who pay $250,000 for the privilege of being one of the few people to ever see the final resting place of the legendary ship.” be the first to see-hand.
“The amazing detail in the 8K images will help our team of scientists and maritime archaeologists more accurately characterize the Titanic’s decay as we capture new images into 2023 and beyond,” said Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, in a press release. What’s even more remarkable, he added, are “the phenomenal colors.”
Clarity never seen before
The newly released footage begins with the bow of the Titanic sliding up, which famously sank first after the British passenger ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 15, 1912.
Features of the ship, such as the name of the anchor maker, Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd on the port side anchor, are now visible. “I’ve studied the wreck for decades and made multiple dives, and I can’t recall another image that shows this level of detail,” said Rory Golden, OceanGate Expeditions Titanic expert and veteran Titanic diver, in the release.
The green lights on the port anchor as the camera pans forward are from the laser scaling system, explains Paul Henry Nargeolet, an experienced Nautile underwater pilot and Titanic diver. “With this system we can accurately determine the size of objects […] The distance between the two green lights is 10 centimeters.”
The five-person submarine named Titan will make its descent in 2021.
“Early in the video you can see the crane used to deploy the huge 15-ton anchor still on the deck of the shipwreck and the bracket originally attached to the main boom which has now collapsed,” explains Nargelot also out.
Later in the video we see three round structures along the inner railing. These, Nargelot said, are the triple cable guides that once carried the mooring cables to the mooring posts on the shore to secure the 269-meter ship when it was in port.
The statues also show the first of the Titanic’s two hulls, the huge anchor chain (each link weighs about 200 pounds), the first of the Titanic’s six cargo holds, and the ship’s solid bronze capstans.
There is also substantial evidence of decay where part of the ship’s rail has collapsed and fallen away.
“One of the most amazing clips shows one of the single-sided cauldrons that fell to the ocean floor when the Titanic broke in two. Specifically, it was one of the single-sided cauldrons first seen when the Titanic wreckage was identified. in 1985,” said Golden.
“When comparing footage and images of [our 2021 expedition]”We’re seeing minor changes in certain parts of the wreck,” Rush said. “Our science team will review the 8K, 4K and other images captured during the Titanic expedition in 2022 for any changes.”
The extraordinary wreck is sinking rapidly. Saltwater and sea pressure have been quietly wreaking havoc over the past century and more, as microbes eat away at the steel hull, creating thousands of rustics — those oxidized orange-green formations that hang from the Titanic like so many thousands of icicles. According to some estimates, the ship will disappear within a few decades.
It fits right into Titan.
OceanGate Expeditions hopes the new images will help determine the current rate of liner decay as future expeditions capture more images that can be compared year after year.
The video should also help scientists identify species observed on and around the Titanic, while allowing archaeologists to document the wreckage and debris field in more detail.
Spots are now available for the 2023 expedition, which departs Newfoundland in May next year. Those who went into the deep will be one of only two or three hundred to have made the journey — fewer people than have traveled to space.
Top image: Above the surface on OceanGate’s 2022 Titanic Expedition (credit: OceanGate).