People following this blog closely will know that Roy Martin’s excellent analysis of the tidal relationship of Jupiter, Earth and Venus alignments with the solar cycle has led me to test the possible electro-magnetic relationship using a modified copy of his original database, which he very kindly sent me earlier this week. The initial result was interesting, but still had the divergences in timings between the alignment cycles and the solar cycles.
I still need to find a good reconstruction of solar windspeed variation over the period of record under test which I can integrate into the database, but in the meantime, I have done a quick and dirty engineers approximation to test my hypothesis that the relationship is partly electromagnetic as well as tidal. Both are operative.
I realised that if the relationship is partly electro-magnetic, this would mean the alignments of the planets along the curve of the interplanetary magnetic field needed to be checked, in addition to the gravitational/tidal alignments in straight radial lines from the sun already covered by Roy’s analysis. This is because according to NASA, the flux tubes and magnetic ‘ropes’ which reconnect with the planetary magnetospheres are embedded in the stream of radiation emanating from the Sun.
The curvature of the IMF is affected by variation in solar wind speed, so I further realised that I needed to test the timings of the alignment cycles in relation to the solar cycles at higher and lower solar wind speeds and approximate the past conditions. This insight has proved fruitful. I ran the data twice, once at a solar windspeed of 450km/sec, and then at 350km/sec, and did a cut’n’paste of the two graphs produced to get a rough idea of the effect of variation in solar wind-speed on the viability of the hypothesis. Here is the result:
I realised after I made this plot, that the rotation rate for the sun I used wasn’t correct. When corrected, that will improve the correlation further, when I integrate a time series of solar wind speed variation which has a higher average during the late C19th, early C20th, than the 350km/sec I tested.
I believe this represents a major step forward for the solar planetary theory and strengthens the case for the hypothesis that the motion of planets in the solar system has a strong modulating effect on the solar cycle.
Here is a reconstruction of solar wind speed from the aa index:
In my opinion, we now need to pursue, in parallel with refinement of this result, the possibility that the erratic and continually varying motion of the sun around the centre of mass of the solar system has a major periodic effect on the amplitude of the solar cycle, being the major cause, for example, of the grand minima events such as the Maunder and Dalton minima, and the extra high amplitudes seen in the second half of the C20th. This mechanism is currently being investigated by Geoff Sharp. Because of the strong harmonic connections between the inner planet alignment timings and the gas giant orbital cycles as noted for example, in the work of Gray Stevens, the two mechanisms are complimentary and linked through the biggest planet, Jupiter. I believe this will explain why the variation in amplitude of the inner planet alignment cycles shown above, more or less matches, but doesn’t fully capture the variation in solar cycle amplitudes.
Stay tuned, this is getting exciting! 8)