Timo Niroma and Ray Tomes on solar cycle lengths and planetary alignments

Posted: July 20, 2010 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Veteran solar researcher Timo Niroma  has an elegant and simple analysis on his main sunspots page which neatly shows the bi-modal nature of the solar cycle lengths using ascii art! It’s common knowledge that the average solar cycle length is just over 11 years. What isn’t so well known is that the actual solar cycle length clusters around two different periods of around 10.38 and 12 years.

In the next table I have drawn lengths of the cycles so that the “official” value gets four points, the nearest value three points, the tenths of years whose distance is 0.2 years get two points and finally one point is given at the distance of 0.3 years. This should compensate for the inaccuracy of the values. For the years 5 and 6 I have used the calibrated values, for the cycle 22 the traditional value. The tentative cycle 0 (10.2 years) is added with a “o” notation.


TABLE 3. A probability distribution of the sunspot lengths.


solar cycle lengths

This Bimodal distribution has been noted by other researchers too. Ray Tomes says:

A good alignment is one where the Earth has a near zero misalignment with J-V. Starting from an assumed perfect alignment, the second J-V period gives a moderate alignment, but the fifth gives a good alignment after an interval of 3.244 years. Multiples of 5 J-V periods thereafter get progressively worse until it becomes necessary to add an extra 2 J-V periods and the alignments then get better every 5 periods. These correspond to periods of 20.76 and 24.00 years. For some unknown reason, the gravitational oscillations reach maxima at intervals of 10.38 and 12.00 years, whereas best alignments take twice as long.

I’ll keep this post short and sweet, as it gets complicated next. I’d just like the bi-modal nature of solar activity to sink in first.

Comments
  1. Timo Niroma says: The point is that a length that exceeds 12 years has always led to prolonged grand minimum (1798 Dalton minimum, 1856 Damon minimum). It is not known exactly how long the cycles before Maunder minimum were, but there seems to have been a minimum in 1620. This leads to 25 years for the two cycles 1620-1645 just before Maunder.

    This means a cooling for decades, at least for 30 years, but we cannot be sure we are on a course to a new LIA (Little Ice Age). A low Dalton is probable, but one can’t be sure, there are too many indications of the solar magnetic field having a deep dive.
    Cycles, resonance, the world seems to prefers a musical behaviour.

  2. Buffoon says:

    Tallbloke, directly to you:

    I’m reading a (basically conspiracy theory) book called: Dark Mission (History of NASA,) the second chapter is about hyperdimensional physics and the luminosity of our Sun and energy output being dependant on the angular momentum of the entire system. Worth a quick read.

  3. tallbloke says:

    I checked out the reviews on Amazon and I’m not sure I have the inclination to buy it. Please do weigh in with any relevant points from it though.

  4. Gray says:

    tallbloke

    Very interesting graph from Timo.

  5. Gray says:

    Adolfo – Musical, yes, but would that be a salsa or a samba, that is the question…or, maybe it’s flamenco. The solar cycle often looks like the digital recording of a small musical ensemble, if only we could separate or filter out the individual instruments. We could listen in to a few bars we’d get the rhythm and syncopation.

  6. tallbloke says:

    Yes, I’ve been considering how I might program my model to produce different colours for different alignments. This might help show up some of the beats.

  7. Geoff Sharp says:

    Buffoon says:
    July 20, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    Tallbloke, directly to you:

    I’m reading a (basically conspiracy theory) book called: Dark Mission (History of NASA,) the second chapter is about hyperdimensional physics and the luminosity of our Sun and energy output being dependant on the angular momentum of the entire system. Worth a quick read.

    This graph shows a relationship between AM and SSN, keeping in mind the top of the wave has two consequences. High solar cycles mixed with grand minima cycles.

  8. tallbloke says:

    Hi Geoff,
    Thank for posting the link. Here’s the graph inline, (Only Blog editors can do this on wordpress, (sorrry))
    Geoff Sharp Power Wave

    Going back to my post on forces in our corner of the cosmos, I noted that the two South African reearchers said that the orbital plane must be at 45 degrees to the motion of the Sun around the galaxy in order for total angular momentum to be conserved. Given the inertia in the system, and that the planets have 98% of the angular momentum while the Sun has 2%, would you agree it seems possible that the forces get out of balance as the Sun wimbles it’s way up and down through the spiral arms of the Milky Way?

  9. Geoff Sharp says:

    Hi Rog,

    I have read that paper several times but missed the reference to the 45 deg plane and AM conservation. There are a few mistakes in that paper, I would like to get some clarification on the claim, but sounds interesting.

  10. tallbloke says:

    Hi Geoff, if you look up at the Milky Way in the night sky and subtract the Earth’s 23 degree tilt, I think they turn out to be more or less correct concerning the angle. Whether they are correct about the conservation of AM is another matter.
    My first thought is that AM would be conserved at any angle, a gyroscope doesn’t tilt when you translate it sideways does it? I think what they mean is AM in a spinning system containing different masses is optimally balanced at 45 degrees to the direction of motion.

    Please report back when you have given it some thought.

  11. Tenuc says:

    “What isn’t so well known is that the actual solar cycle length clusters around two different periods of around 10.38 and 12 years.”

    It takes 11.86 Earth years for Jupiter to orbit the sun,but could have a larger window of effect on the sun as it approaches and recedes from perihelion. Any proposed effect on solar activity requires a coupling mechanism, and I think here the interplanetary electromagnetic field is a lead candidate.

    Other planetary alignments could also enhance or mitigate Jupiter’s effect and the whole connected system has become entrained like a giant clock over billions of years. However, because of the deterministic chaos inherent in the complex ‘driven’ planetary orbits, periods of instability will occur resulting in the quasi-cyclic behaviour we observe.

    Here is an example of entrainment at work.

  12. tallbloke says:

    Thanks Tenuc, I’d been looking for that clip! Anna V posted it on WUWT some time ago during one of my protracted arguments with Dr LS. I don’t think it proves what she thinks it proves. 🙂

    The more I study about the planetary orbits and alignments, the more I realise how strongly the coupling correlates with solar activity. The work of others coming out of the closet is confirming it too. More soon.

  13. Ulric Lyons says:

    I would have thought that it would extra E/V periods and not J/V periods to make up the slip in the J/E/V alignments, to get all 3 in sync again.

    The different astronomical periods between the tightest J/E/V alignments, would affect cycle length, but there is still the intensity issue, strong cycle maximums arrive earlier than the alignments center by up to nearly 3yrs.

  14. tallbloke says:

    Hi Ulric, I think the intensity issue may be taken care of by my idea that the alignments act as a brake on the strong ‘runaway, fast rampup cycles, and as an encouragement on the lower cycles. This would explain the lead/lag issue. The big question becomes, what is the factor behind the amplitudes, apart from whether it’s a ~10.38yr cycle or a ~12yr cycle.

    Taking a close look at the timings of perihelia, latitudes etc may help. That’s where I’m going next anyway, for a look see.

  15. Ulric Lyons says:

    tallbloke says:
    July 23, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    It is hard to reconcile the alignments causing the cycle, and being a brake on it ?
    How about looking for a 2nd peak after early maximums?, you need good dates for the astronomical, effective centers, of each maximum to do this.

  16. tallbloke says:

    It’s only a problem if you are thinking in terms of one way cause and effect, rather than of cybernetic feedback. This sort of lag/lead alternation is a common feature in coupled oscillators which exhibit inertia. The short solar cycles start to ‘get ahead’ of the planetary cycles, which then act as a brake, causing a drop in activity and a switchover to longer lower cycle mode. The solar cycles then come back into sync with the planetary cycles, which are at that point ‘running ahead, and helping the low cycles grow bigger.

    See what I mean?

  17. Ulric Lyons says:

    tallbloke says:
    July 23, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Still sounds like a contradiction to me.

    Check for best J/V/E alignments every 15 cycles.

  18. tallbloke says:

    Well it isn’t. Try thinking of it this way: the planets are a bit like the spoon stirring the porridge. The stirrer goes round at a fairly constant rate, but the sun when it goes into short high cycle mode, has its porridge going round faster than the spoon, so the spoon in effect acts as a brake. Conversely, when the solar activity has slowed down, the spoon helps speed it up again.

  19. DirkH says:

    The planets must cause tides in the sun.
    Lots of formulas here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_tides

    And look at this:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide-predicting_machine

    An early mechanical analog computer!
    (All of this probably doesn’t incorporate any nonlinearities which i could imagine happen in a supposedly turbulent body like the sun.)

  20. tallbloke says:

    Hi Dirk.
    Yes the tides must act, the question is, how effectively. Leif Svalgaard is fond of stating that the tide raised on the Sun by Jupiter is less than 1mm.

    However, this neglects the fact that just as here on Earth with the Moon, the vertical component of the tide is far smaller than the horizontal component.

    I opened a thread for discussion of tides here, if you’d like to continue the discussion please help me keep the blog useful for future researchers by using it for this topic:
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/tides-raised-by-the-planets-on-the-sun/

    Thanks for the link to the tide machines, I love mechanical computers. 🙂

  21. Ulric Lyons says:

    tallbloke says:
    July 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    So what is making the porridge go faster than the spoon(s) ?

    From your way of looking at it, maybe solar dipole reversal turns the accelerator into the brake?

  22. tallbloke says:

    Speculatively, my current favourite candidate is the Jupiter – Saturn conjunction/oppositions every ~9.5 years. Their effect on the sun’s motion about the barycentre tries to speed up the solar cycle through an angular momentum effect, while the Jupiter – Earth – Venus alignments counteract that through an electromagntic effect.

    There is also your 17 year cycle which Vuk identified as a sideband of the J/S cycle. 17/phi is 10.47, close to the shorter of the two main solar cycle length average periods. I haven’t yet had the time to work out why that phi relationship might be important. 🙂

    Neptune and Uranus would then modulate the J/S effect on a centennial basis.

  23. Gray says:

    Hi tallbloke

    Consider these average Mars/Jupiter synodic periods relative to Timo’s graph:

    4 x JM = 8.94 years
    5 x JM = 11.17 years
    6 x JM = 13.41 years

  24. tallbloke says:

    Mars always seems a bit of a loner, but your recent work casts a new light. Definitely worth pondering, because in the end, we have to solve this ‘many body problem’ for all the planets, thrice over. Once for angular momentum, once for tides, and once for electromagnetism.

    Should have that done by bedtime then. 🙂

  25. Gray says:

    tallbloke

    Mars does in many ways seem to be the least likely contributor however it seems also to frequently need to be in position before a peak will develop. The figures I gave show that it almost perfectly brackets Timo’s 10.38 and 12 year peaks peaks. It’s could also be suggestive of why peaks generally start fast and decay slow…

  26. lgl says:

    “the gravitational oscillations reach maxima at intervals of 10.38 and 12.00 years”

    Where is this coming from?

  27. tallbloke says:

    Hi lgl,
    I’ve emailed Ray for clarification rather than tell you what I think he means. Watch this space.

    Cheers

  28. Gray says:

    This can be explained by the synodic cycles of the inner planets with Jupiter as follows:

    Earth Jupiter synodic cycle = 1.0921 years
    1.0921 x 11 = 12.031 years (11 is a prime)

    Venus Jupiter synodic cycle = 0.6488 years
    0.6488 x 16 = 10.3808 years (16 is a square)

    Mercury Jupiter synodic cycle = 0.2458
    0.2458 x 49 = 12.0442 (49 is a square)
    0.2458 x 42 = 10.3236

    Mars Jupiter synodic cycle 2.23544
    2.23544 x 5 = 11.1772 (5 is a prime)

    http://www.jupitersdance.com/thefinalwaltz/

  29. Gray says:

    http://www.jupitersdance.com/thefinalwaltz/

    This can be explained by the synodic cycles of the inner planets with Jupiter as follows:

    Earth Jupiter synodic cycle = 1.0921 years
    1.0921 x 11 = 12.031 years (11 is a prime)

    Venus Jupiter synodic cycle = 0.6488 years
    0.6488 x 16 = 10.3808 years (16 is a square)

    Mercury Jupiter synodic cycle = 0.2458
    0.2458 x 49 = 12.0442 (49 is a square)
    0.2458 x 42 = 10.3236

    Mars Jupiter synodic cycle 2.23544
    2.23544 x 5 = 11.1772 (5 is a prime)

    [Reply:] The page at Gray’s link has been reposted as a main article here: https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/gray-stevens-planetary-effects-on-solar-activity/ Top work Gray!

  30. Are those cycles political too?

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