Archive for January, 2010

Force orientation in our part of the galaxy

Posted: January 18, 2010 by tallbloke in Uncategorized

If you are wondering where the big  thread ‘Meet the new Kepler’ on Semi’s paper has gone it’s here. You can always get to it or any other post by going to the ‘Archives’ on the right of the page. Detailed discussion of planetary motion is now continuing here.

Solar system orientation

It’s difficult  to get a handle on the ways forces acting on and in the solar system are orientated. This thread will raise more questions than answers about the origin and  magnitude of the forces, but it might help with the orientation issues. The solar system is apparently orbiting the Milky Way galaxy at around 224km/s.

On the larger scale, as well as the movement shown in this graphic, Dr Leif Svalgaard informs me that according to his way of measuring velocity and distance, there is a motion of 627km/s of the galaxy “towards the centre of the local group”.

Additionally, there is the motion of the of the Local Interstellar Cloud, which is depicted here as moving in the direction of the south celestial pole. Dayton Miller in the 1920’s, confirmed by Yu. Galaev in 2002,  concluded that the Earth was drifting at a speed of 208 km/sec. towards an apex in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere, towards Dorado, the swordfish, right ascension 4 hrs 54 min., declination of -70° 33′, in the middle of the Great Magellanic Cloud and 7° from the southern pole of the ecliptic. It seems possible therefore, that the solar system is headed in a similar direction to the LIC, in addition to it’s orbital motion wrt the galaxy. However, it is also thought that the solar system will soon be leaving the LIC and heading into a colder cloud. Perhaps someone here can clarify which direction we are heading out of the Local Cloud in.

Motion of solar system

Motion of solar system. Adapted from Alexander et al 2007

The planets orbit the sun at approximately 45 degrees wrt the direction of the solar system’s galactic orbital motion, as evidenced by the angle the band of the  milky way makes in the night sky, remembering the Earth is inclined a further 23.5 degrees to the invariant plane (the average of the planetary orbital planes). It is thought that this tilt is necessary in order to maintain the conservation of angular momentum as the solar system moves in it’s orbital path round the galaxy.

Solar System Schematic 1/2010

Within the solar system, the Sun has it’s ‘head back’. That is, the Solar polar axis is tilted at around seven degrees to the invariant plane, with the north solar pole tilted away from the direction of the solar system’s motion around, and slightly towards the galactic centre. At the moment, Jupiter Uranus and Neptune are  below the solar equatorial plane and ‘leading’ the sun in the direction of the nose of the heliosphere, and Saturn is opposite, above the solar equatorial plane, and trailing ‘behind’ the Sun,

HCS and Ribbon of ENS at heliosheath

HCS and Ribbon of ENS at heliosheath

Vukevic has prepared this graphic which represents the orientation of the newly discovered ‘ribbon’ on the outer edge of the heliosphere, compared to the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) as depicted by Caltec, and has some ideas about it’s cause he’d like to discuss in a reasonable environment.

Have at it Vuk!

A lot of people might visit here, see some fairly technical conversation going on, and wonder, “What’s it all about?” So I thought I’d devote a thread to explaining what we mean when we refer to ‘solar – planetary theory’. This thread is a first attempt at clearly summarizing it, and I hope a stimulating discussion will follow so that we can refine the hastily written outline presented here.

In a nutshell, it is the hypothesis that the solar system is a system in the fullest sense of the word. That is: As well as the sun having a big effect on the planets (warming them with it’s radiation, keeping them in their orbits with it’s gravity, warding off a lot of the galactic cosmic rays from entering with it’s solar wind etc), the planets also have an effect on each other, and on the sun, causing it’s complicated motion around the centre of mass of the solar system, modulating solar magnetic activity and the production of sunspots.

Issac Newton in his famous book ‘Principia Mathematica’ described the motion of the sun around the centre of mass, but held the opinion that ‘the sun feels no forces’ because according to his theory of Gravitation, the sun would be ‘in free-fall’.

So why do proponents of solar-planetary theory think the planets can affect the sun?

Firstly, Newton, although he quantified the gravitational force, didn’t try to explain what gravity was, or how it has it’s affect on matter. “I frame no hypotheses” he famously said. He lived in an age when ‘Natural Philosophy’ was trying to escape ideas which involved ‘action at a distance’. But gravity seemed to be an ‘action at a distance’ force par exellence.

Secondly, Newtons laws of motion deal with idealized objects which are homogenous, rigid, and free of frictional and other forces. We don’t know much about the interior of the sun, but we do know it’s surface layers are much less dense than it’s deeper layers, and that the density gradient from surface to core may not be linear. We also know the surface layers are highly mobile and fluid, and are highly magnetized. This means the sun might get jiggled around internally as it moves in it’s complicated dance around the solar system barycenter.

Thirdly, there appear to be correlations between changes in solar activity (particularly sunspot number) and the inter-related motions of the planets over the course of time. Paul D. Jose in his 1965 paper showed a coincidence between the changes in the sun’s angular momentum as it jiggled around the solar sytem’s center of mass, and the number of sunspots appearing on it’s surface.

So what’s the problem? Why is this a controversial area of research?

If the planets affect the sun, and the sun affects Earth’s climate, discovering how it works might alter the way we view climate change. Small changes in the Earth’s motion coincide with changes in climate, and Paul Vaughan has been discovering some very good correlations between these climate factors and changes in Earth’s motion caused by the other planets and the sun. Petr ‘semi’  Semerad has discovered that changes in Venus and  Earth’s angular momentum coincide with the ~11 year sunspot cycles. Geoff Sharp has discovered the big outer planets move in a rhythm coinciding with drops in solar activity every ~178 years, the size of which depend on the phase of the sunspot cycle when the sudden changes in angular momentum of the sun occur.

Another problem is that just like Newton didn’t know how gravity worked (and we still don’t), we don’t yet know for sure what the mechanisms are by which the planetary motions affect the sun and individual planets, although we have a pretty good body of evidence to show they do.  Several possible mechanisms have been put forward, and investigations using the available data are ongoing. These include three main areas covered by posts on this blog:

Tidal forces, similar to the tidal effects of the Moon on the Earth.

Gravitational effects on the angular momentum of different parts of the sun as it revolves in it’s peculiar orbit around the centre of mass or ‘Barycenter’ of the solar system (SSB for short).

Electromagnetic effects due to interactions between the solar and interplanetary magnetic fields and the magnetospheres of several of the planets.

Some physicists dismiss these possibilities because they believe the forces involved would be too small to have any effect on the sun. Proponents of the solar- planetary theory disagree, and believe that the possibilities must be quantified, predictions made and tests performed before the hypothesis can be falsified.

What form could these tests take?
What resources are required?
Who’s going to fund a program of investigation?

Answers on a postcard, or just add your thoughts or questions below.

Russian scientist Yu.M. Galaev published a paper back in 2002 which is destined to become a seminal work.


This paper confirms the experimental work of Dayton Miller, who used a better interferometer in a more sensible location than that used by Michaelson and Morley in their underwhelming 1887 experiment, misrepresented as a null result and disproof of the existence of the ether, a transmissive medium pervading space. Miller and his work were subjected to a rather inept hatchet job by his former assistant Robert Shankland.
R.S. Shankland, S.W. McCuskey, F.C. Leone and G. Kuerti, “New Analysis of the Interferometer Observations of Dayton C. Miller”, Reviews of Modern Physics, 27(2):167-178, April 1955.
Shankland was rewarded for this infamy with a string of audiences with Einstein, and a well paid job as a pen pusher in the nuclear industry.

H/t to James DeMeo for most of the following:

Miller’s work, which ran from 1906 through the mid-1930s, most strongly supports the idea of an ether-drift, of the Earth moving through a cosmological medium, with calculations made of the actual direction and magnitude of drift.

Miller's Interferometer at Mount Wilson

Miller's Interferometer at Mount Wilson. - Case W. R. U. Archive

By 1933, Miller concluded that the Earth was drifting at a speed of 208 km/sec. towards an apex in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere, towards Dorado, the swordfish, right ascension 4 hrs 54 min., declination of -70° 33′, in the middle of the Great Magellanic Cloud and 7° from the southern pole of the ecliptic. (Miller 1933, p.234) This is based upon a measured displacement of around 10 km/sec. at the interferometer, and assuming the Earth was pushing through a stationary, but Earth-entrained ether in that particular direction, which lowered the velocity of the ether from around 200 to 10 km/sec. at the Earth’s surface.
Dayton Miller, “The Ether-Drift Experiment and the Determination of the Absolute Motion of the Earth”, Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol.5(2), p.203-242, July 1933.

This figure of 208km/s agrees well with estimates of the velocity of the solar system through space made by other means.

This does not bode well for Big Bang or General Relativity. Einstein himself knew that if Miller’s experiments were successful, the jig was up:

“I believe that I have really found the relationship between gravitation and electricity, assuming that the Miller experiments are based on a fundamental error. Otherwise, the whole relativity theory collapses like a house of cards.”

— Albert Einstein, in a letter to Robert Millikan, June 1921 (in Clark 1971, p.328)

“My opinion about Miller’s experiments is the following. … Should the positive result be confirmed, then the special theory of relativity and with it the general theory of relativity, in its current form, would be invalid. Experimentum summus judex. Only the equivalence of inertia and gravitation would remain, however, they would have to lead to a significantly different theory.”

— Albert Einstein, in a letter to Edwin E. Slosson, July 1925

I also found this gem:

Recently, Nobel laureate Maurice Allais has done extensive study of Miller’s results, and has concluded in his abstract: “It is utterly impossible to consider that the regularities displayed in Miller’s interferometric observations can be explained by temperature effects. As a result the light velocity is not invariant whatever its direction and consequently the principle of invariance of light velocity on which fundamentally does rest the special theory of relativity is invalidated by the observation data.” Allais adds: “Shankland’s and et al’s conclusions on the temperature effects are based on shaky hypotheses and reasonings. They are totally unfounded” (L’origine des régularités constatés dans les observations interférométriques de Dayton C. Miller (1925-1926): variations de température ou anisotropie de l’espace,” C. R. Academy of Science, Paris, t. 1, Sèrie IV, p. 1205-1210, 2000, translated from the French, p. 1205). In addition to Allais, Reginald T. Cahill points out that the non-interferometer coaxial cable experiments of DeWitte (1991) and Torr and Kolen (1984) show results of motion equal to Miller’s 1925 data. In the midst of analyzing the results Cahill concludes: “So the effect is certainly cosmological and not associated with any daily thermal effects, which in any case would be very small as the cable is buried” (Novel Gravity Probe B Gravitational Wave Detection, Flinders University, August 21, 2004, pp. 16-17).

M. Consoli and E. Costanzo, “The Motion of the Solar System and the Michelson-Morley Experiment,” Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Catania Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia dell’ Università di Catania, November 26, 2003, p. 9, citing R. S. Shankland, et al., Review of Modern Physics, 27, 167 (1955), p. 171, p. 175

So, why is this of importance to those of us interested in cosmology and the effect of the planets on the sun and each other? Well, it’s a big deal. The existence of a transmissive medium in space leads to the obvious questions:

What is it composed of?
Is it electrically conductive?
Is it magnetically active?
How much does it slow light down?
Can it transmit the gravitational force faster than light?
What are the implications for Big Bang models?

Get my ether drift? 🙂

Answers on a postcard, or just post your thoughts below.

Tides raised by the Planets on the Sun

Posted: January 11, 2010 by tallbloke in Uncategorized

Leif  Svalgaard came up with this link in a discussion on which I found very interesting.

Some of my colleagues at Berkeley [Martin Fivian and Hugh Hudson] has analyzed the shape of the Sun using the RHESSI satellite date:

Leif  comments that:
When corrected for the effect of magnetic solar activity, the solar oblateness is just what is expected from current solar models and solar rotation.

Here’s my reply:
Thanks for the link Leif. One of the things I find interesting from that press release is the rapidity with which the 6km high lumps around sunspots smooth out again to the average oblateness. The Sun’s outer layers are obviously very fluid and mobile, so it would be expected that any internal lumpiness raised by tidal or gravitational forces from orbiting bodies would be compensated for quite quickly at the surface in flows from the low mid latitudes to the equator, which might explain the shifting of sunspots towards the equator throughout the solar cycle.

The vertical tide on the Surface raised by the biggest of the orbiting bodies is only in the order of mm as you have pointed out before. However the horizontal tides are much bigger, in the order of hundreds of km. Much the same as the Moon’s tidal action on the Earth, it is the horizontal tides which will cause most of the rising and falling of the surface. Further analysis is showing that at perihelion, Mercury causes a much bigger horizontal tide on the sun than Jupiter does. So does the synodic variation of Earth and Venus. Work on quantifying these and looking at their periodicities and phasing is ongoing.

Leif further claimed that:
Any shifting around of the interior would introduce a quadrupolar moment which is not observed.

My reply was:
The constraint on the quadrupole moment (2+-0.4)10^-7 isn’t so tight as to be able to be definite about that. Quite small movements in the dense solar interior would set up much larger flows on the much less dense solar surface.

Tidal forces diagramThis diagram is for the Earth Moon system and the situation on the sun may be different

Tidal effects have been dismissed as too small to have any effect on the Sun in  the past, but new research by Semi and others may change that view. I’m posting this thread to provide a place for discussion, however speculative at this stage, concerning the possible effects of tides raised by planets on the surface of the Sun.

1) Introduction

The ancient Greeks speculated about their Kosmos in terms recognisable as scientific today. Pre-Socratic thinker Thales believed water was the fundamental substance from which all else proceeded. Demokritus first proposed all matter was constucted of irreducably small particles called atoms. Today we know that the simplest expression of matter, the Hydrogen atom, is readily oxidised to form water, releasing a large dose of energy in the process. Hydrogen permeates the universe, in it’s preferred state as a hydrogen molecule, it is invisible to our telescopes and our other means of  spectral detection.

Other Greek thinkers considered the motion of the heavenly bodies, planets, stars, comets and our Sun. The first to propose that the Earth moved round the Sun rather than believing in an Earth centred Kosmos was Aristarchus of Samos. Using geometrical  mathematics, he calculated the relative sizes of the Sun and Moon, and reasoned that because the Sun was the biggest body in the Kosmos, and the only self luminous body, it must be at the centre of the part of the  Greek Kosmos we now call the solar system.

But science makes many twists and turns on the path to knowledge, and the needs of navigators and astronomers for a quantifiable and predictive calculation system led to the adoption of the Earth centred system of Ptolemy, with it’s unphysical epicycles grafted into the theory to explain the apparent retrograde motion of planets at various times. This view was to dominate late classical and medieval thought for 1300 years due to the suppression of other ideas by the gatekeepers of knowledge. A theme we will be forced to return to later.

Eventually, Nikolaus Copernicus restored the Sun to it’s rightful place and his work was championed by Galileo Galilei, despite being placed under house arrest and having his telescope confiscated for a time by the guardians of orthodoxy. Galileo also methodically counted sunspots and we still use his observations as part of the sunspot record. Building on the work of  Copernicus, Galileo, and Tycho Brahe, German born Johannes Kepler discovered that the proportions of the orbital distances and the rates of motion of the planets conformed to simple geometrical laws which revealed a harmony and resonance in the solar system as a whole.

Subsequently,  Isaac Newton quantified the concept of gravity, and derived laws of motion describing relationships between mass,  momentum and velocity which we still use today. Newton showed that the sun is engaged in continual motion around the centre of mass of the solar system (i.e. the barycentre or SSB) as a result of the gravitational force exerted by the planets, especially Jupiter and Saturn. He came to this conclusion analytically (not by observation) by working through the consequences of his law of gravitation. His cosmological theory of an isometric universe was superceded by Einstein‘s theory of General Relativity with its application to the concept of curved space-time.

“In 1801, the Astronomer Royal in Britain, Sir William Herschel, discussed the nature of sunspots, their variability, their effect on climate, and the position of the planets as possible causative forces. Although this work was published by the Royal Society, it was “ahead of its time”. Some century-and-a-half later, there was much more information, but not much more light.” -Rhodes Fairbridge-

The field of Solar Physics developed throughout the period, but the sun’s remoteness, and it’s enigmatic variation in activity made hypotheses of it’s nature difficult to validate until the recent development of sophisticated equipment and techniques to measure it’s magnetic field, surface activity and periodic parameters. The currently dominant Babcock-Leighton Dynamo theory of the way the sun generates it’s cyclic activity has seen little competition, despite its difficulties and lacunae.

2) Enter Paul José

In April 1965 Paul D. José, a scientist at the office of Aerospace Research  at Holloway Air Force base in New Mexico published a short paper in The Astronomical Journal (vol.70 No.3) entitled: Sun’s motion and sunspots.

The paper included an intriguing diagram reproduced in part here:

Jose 1965 Diagram of solar motion

The importance of the diagram and the rest of José’s paper will form the first part of the next installment.

To be continued…

A lot of people are puzzled by the current El Niño. Global average Sea Surface Temperature (SST) has been high, but we don’t seem to have the balmy winters of ten years ago. My simple model explains why.

Temperature reconstructed from solar and planetary motion

The graph compares sea surface temperature HADsst2GL (red curve), with curves generated from solar and planetary data.

The black curve uses a combination of Length of Day (LOD) data and sunspot number data. The monthly sunspot number values are added cumulatively as positive or negative values departing from my estimated ocean equilibrium value of ~40SSN. The LOD values are added via a simple best fit scaling technique using a hghly sensitive piece of equipment called tallbloke’s eyeball.

The yellow curve uses the sunspot numbers again, but instead of LOD data, I use the fact that LOD variation approximately correlates with variation in the distance of the solar system centre of mass in the ‘z’-axis from the solar equatorial plane (SSB-z) and substitute in those values instead as a scaled LOD proxy.

The green curve goes the whole hog. Since the SSB-z data can also be used as a proxy for sunspot numbers (on a different smoothing and lag value to the LOD proxy), it is used both for sunspot proxy and LOD proxy. This enables me to reconstruct past and predict future planetary surface temperatures, to a limited degree of accuracy.

There are a couple of obvious problems. The method does not capture individual El Niño events well. Nor does it predict individual big volcanos, although the volcanic explosivity index does correlate well with the motion of the planets, as I will show in a future post. One further problem is that the technique does not capture the collapse in solar activity which seems to occur when Uranus and Neptune are in conjunction, as at 1800-1840 during the Dalton Minimum, and during the Maunder minimum in the 1630’s . Whether we will see a similar deep solar minimum now following the conjunction of these two planets in 1993 remains to be seen.

The large departure of my reconstruction from the SST data around the WWII years is I believe due to well known issues with the switchover from bucket and thermometer measurements to ship engine cooling intake sensors on military vessels.

So, the basic premise of my model, is that a cumulative count of sunspots above and below the ocean equilibrium value I have determined will mimic the retention and release of energy from the ocean. At the same time, multi-decadal changes in Earth’s length of day which also correlate with the timings and sign of the major oceanic periodicities (PDO, AMO) add detail to the picture.

The high SSN of the late C20th means according to my model, that a lot of heat got absorbed into the ocean. Now the sunspot numbers are falling, that heat is being released again by El Niño’s and the temperature is dropping because that heat is escaping to space and not being replaced by solar energy into the oceans at the rate it was in the ’80’s and ’90’s. I have done calcs on this to support my theory and I will present them soon.

Comments please.

Oliver Manuel is a distinguished atomic physicist with a lifelong history of work on the chemistry of cosmogenic isotopes.

This thread has been set up for Oliver to discuss his ideas about the origin of the solar system, and the empirical observations which support his hypothesis.

Origin of the solar system

In a nutshell, Oliver’s research into the mass fractionation of elements and isotopes has led him to the conclusion that the solar system was formed from the remnants of a supernova. The sun is accreted around a dense neutron core, and the ejected material from the explosion formed the planets. The heavier elements forming the nearby rocky iron cored inner planets, and the lighter elements forming the Jovian gas giants.

Oliver makes the following observations and offers some links:

1. The only star close enough for detailed study formed on the core of a precursor star that gave birth to the solar system [1,2].

Likely in this manner:

In 1983 Nature even acknowledged the demise (death, end) of established dogmas on the formation of the Solar System [3].

2. Astronomers assure us that the Sun is a very ordinary star.

3. When stars explode, a neutron star and lots of iron are commonly seen, not Hydrogen like the stellar surface.

My conclusions:

a.) There is a neutron star at the core of the Sun.

b.) There is probably a neutron star at the core of each star.

c.) With greater certainty a neutron star is expected at the core of any star that is orbited by rocky, iron-rich planets.

[1] “Strange xenon, extinct super-heavy elements, and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195 (1977) 208-209

[2] “Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in the Allende meteorite retain record of nucleosynthesis”, Nature 277 (1979) 615-620

[3] “The demise of established dogmas on the formation of the Solar System”, Nature 303 (1983) 286

Why do we spend our time working on obscure stuff about the way the planets and sun bob about in space? Because changes in solar output are the primary driver of climate change on Earth not changes in the atmosphere. This shown by Miscolczi’s theory which is that the ocean/atmosphere is a self regulating system which maintains an equilibriated and saturated ‘greenhouse effect’. His calculations are backed up by empirical radiosonde data. Some people don’t want you to know that. This letter from Dr Miklos  Zagoni in Budapest (one of my favourite cities) gives a clue as to what is now afoot:

Why Dr Ferenc Miskolczi and Dr Miklos Zagoni have been put under pressure to be silent about Miskolczi`s research concerning the atmosphere and the greenhouse effect.

In 2004 Dr Ferenc Miskolczi published a paper ’The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation’, in the Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (Vol. 108, No. 4, October–December 2004, pp. 209–251.).

The co-author of the article was his boss at NASA (Martin Mlynczak). Mlynczak put his name to the paper but did no work on it. He thought that it was an important paper, but only in a technical way.

When Miskolczi later informed the group at NASA there that he had more important results, they finally understood the whole story, and tried to withhold Miskolczi’s further material from publication. His boss for example, sat at Ferenc’s computer, logged in with Ferenc`s password, and canceled a recently submitted paper from a high-reputation journal as if Ferenc had withdrawn it himself. That was the reason that Ferenc finally resigned from his ($US 90.000 /year) job.

I want to make it clear: NASA never falsified or even tried to falsify Ferenc`s results, on the contrary, they fully understand it. They know that it is correct and see how important it is.

To make sense of their actions, they probably see a national security issue in it. Perhaps they think that AGW is the only way to stop, or to slow, the coal-based growth of China.

In my circumstance where I have been dismissed from my Government paid position in Hungary, I think the information vacuum (in Hungary), has the same type of origin.

I believe someone is in the background trying to convince the establishment (media, science, politics) that Miskolczi’s results are against our national security interests.

First, they tried to frighten me, and then when that did not work, they kicked me out from my job. So now I am turning to the wider internet to publicise Miskolczi`s work, as I know that his results are valid and true. There is no way and no need to hold them back for the world to understand them.

Tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I am jobless.

Budapest, 31 Dec, 2009

Dr Miklos Zagoni

I hope everyone joins me in wishing Ferenc and Miklos well for the future.

Zagoni summarizes Miscolczi’s theory here:

As you might imagine, the response in the literature to the theory has been deafening silence…

Here’s a prediction graph I produced a little while ago which seems to be more or less on course:



It uses the fact that changes in Earth’s length of day seem to precede changes in solar magnetism and sunspot production by several years. The yellow curve was generated by combining Sunspot data with LOD data to create a prediction for Ap out to 2015. The recent burst of sunspot activity has arrived on cue.

Here’s another graph which shows a possible correlation between sunspot activity averaged over the length of the solar cycle, and motion of the solar system’s centre of mass relative to the solar equatorial plane averaged over two Jupiter orbital periods:

Sunspots graphed against SSBz-solar equator

What caused the collapse in solar activity at the start of the 1800’s known as the Dalton minimum? Could it be the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune which seems to accompany each of the grand minima? Does that mean we are due another one now?  I’ll investigate that in another post soon.

Why does the average sunspot number fall when the average mass of the planets is heading south? Speculatively,  could it be that the ‘lensing’ of an electro-magnetic effect emanating from the galactic centre diminishes when the planets are ‘on the wrong side of the sun’?

Answers on a postcard, or post your thoughts below.

Our friend Vukevic called by and gave me a pointer to a links page at his site which provides a resource for those interested in studying planetary, solar and magnetic phenomena.

Here’s an example demonstrating the match between the sunspot number and Vuk’s planetary motion derived formulas:

Hopefully, Vuk will call back to give us some further info on his research.