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Titanic: What really happened

National GeographicTHE sinking of the Titanic was one of the 20th century's great dramas, a mystery that has confounded scientists and historians for decades.

 New photos of the ship that sank 100 years ago on April 15, on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, will be published in the April edition of National Geographic Magazine for the first time giving a sense of what the wreck looks like today.

The photographs, shot by independent research group Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, provide a greater understanding of what happened on that fateful day.

The photos are the by-product of a multi-million dollar, two-month expedition that used a number of different approaches to get never-before-seen views of the wrecked ship.

For much of August and September 2010, explorers used robotic vehicles to sweep the 5km-by-8km site, scanning images that were later combined to produce the first shot below.

Side-scan and multibeam sonar was used to store the minute details of the ship and to evaluate what has changed since previous exploratory expeditions.

During these sweeps, the robots stored "ribbons" of data, with the products of the repeated attempts then collected together and observed as a whole unit.

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