Open Thread

Posted: August 27, 2010 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

There have been some great comments and links from contributors to their original research here in the last few days. Thank you all. I’m taking my fiancee away for the long bank holiday weekend to celebrate our engagement. Please continue to post your additional comments to existing threads, and get something interesting going on this open thread. I look forward to catching up on our return.

solar system planets

solar system planets and orbits - NOT TO SCALE 😉

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  1. DirkH says:

    Ah! An Open Thread! What a marvelous opportunity to post something new about my beloved pet theme of the charge of atmospheric water droplets.

    Mad scientist plans to collect charge from atmospheric moisture:

    That could easily become 100,000 times as clunky as solar cells; so tiny are the charges; or, to put it differently: Such tiny charges suffice to modulate the behaviour of droplets – that’s my interpretation.

  2. DirkH says:

    And while i’m talking about mad scientists, a sensation: An uncut reel of Metropolis has appeared in an Argentine archive! Video!:

  3. DirkH says:

    Fascinating ultra-SloMo of lightning:

    (i followed the link that Weird Naked Indian at WUWT gives in his name)

  4. Zeke the Sneak says:

    Congratulations on your engagement!

    I trust she has already gotten the speeches from loved ones about how “science is a demanding mistress” and all that 😀

    Well that is just great news. (-: A toast!

  5. Tim Channon says:

    Now here is a thing.

    Not sure if any of you are aware I have done a lot of work on sea level data and particularly very detailed work on the satellite data.

    Some time ago the sample every circa 10 days ceased.

    The reason is unclear, part perhaps to do with the flight of Jason 2, except… there have been many publishing software versions where on compare of different versions the data is in a dire mess. Or is it?

    Seems 2010-rel3 satisfies them, however on checking just now this is what I find

    2010.2257 21.471
    2010.2528 24.410
    2010.2800 24.975
    2010.3071 25.830

    It is the end of August 2010.

    The dataset is irregularly sampled (to do with satellite orbits), something which took some time to sort out here.

    I can model the dataset very closely. If I do a rolling model with forecast, from about 2001 the dataset is predictive, is a wave of a common period in climatic and particular sea and lake level. This is also hinted in tide gauge data. Church and White for example shows a wobble as they try and join the satellite data.

    This also fits with the ignored Geosat data, wherein there is a tale.

    About now sea level rise should be flattening.

    All I can do is wait.

  6. Oink says:

    Dirk, have you ever heard of Venezuela’s “continuous” lightning storm.

    … near-constant lightning strikes that occur over Venezuela’s Catatumbo River almost half of the year. Apparently, sailors have dubbed the lightning “Maracaibo Beacon” because it can be used as a navigational aid. According to the excellent Atlas Obscura, there might be as many as 280 strikes per hour during 10 hour stretches.

    It’s still unknown exactly why this area–and this area alone–should produce such regular lighting. One theory holds that ionized methane gas rising from the Catatumbo bogs is meeting with storm clouds coming down from the Andes, helping to create the perfect conditions for a lighting storm.


  7. vukcevic says:


  8. Our best wishes to the new couple!

  9. DirkH says:
    August 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    Want to make a cloud in a glass (or rather a beaker)?, just make a metal hydroxide, like Zinc Hydroxide. This will make you remember that Hydrogen Hydroxide HOH=H2O is your rain drop (actually 1,820 molecules forming an icosaedric crystal).
    More crazy science?:

  10. Gnomish says:

    Best wishes!

  11. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Adolfo Giurfa says:
    August 29, 2010 at 12:23 am

    “Want to make a cloud in a glass (or rather a beaker)?, just make a metal hydroxide, like Zinc Hydroxide. This will make you remember that Hydrogen Hydroxide HOH=H2O is your rain drop (actually 1,820 molecules forming an icosaedric crystal).
    More crazy science?”:

    Please tell me more about icosaedric crystal: the number 1,820 peaked my interest about atomic unit sizings. pg

  12. P.G. Sharrow says:
    August 29, 2010 at 5:53 am
    As you may suppose, any element could be defined as having a size where it retains its know properties. That tiny drop of water is, as Democritus said about it (I knew this from Diogenes Laertiius´book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers
    The old philosophers were not behind us in “progress”when defining the four elements, they were referring to basic “qualities”.
    When water is the hydroxide of hydrogen state, thousand of tons of it can float over our heads.

  13. Tim Channon says:

    My best wishes.

    Seems I was caught not realising what was going on.

  14. Roy Martin says:

    My wife’s reaction to the news was: “Why bother?”

    She seemed to think it was totally unnecessary to clarify her point of view.

    It had never occurred to me before, but it was then I realized how well qualified she might be to become a Climate Scientist.

    Our congratulations; all the very best.

  15. Zeke the Sneak says:

    DirkH says:
    August 27, 2010 at 8:51 pm
    Ah! An Open Thread! What a marvelous opportunity to post something new about my beloved pet theme of the charge of atmospheric water droplets.

    DirkH, may I trouble you to give an overview of your charged water droplets/clouds/precipitation? I’d like to follow that.
    Thanks, Zeke

  16. tallbloke says:

    Hi everyone 🙂

    Thanks for your congrats and best wishes, I’ve never been engaged before and I’m on cloud nine at the moment.

    Some more interesting stuff, let’s have a thread about the global electrical circuit and throw some ideas about.

  17. Dear Tallbloke:

    As a newly engaged proton, you have just discovered the marvels of an EU 🙂

  18. Verity Jones says:

    If I may add my congratulations too – I saw mention of it via other comments on WUWT this evening. After 13 years of marriage I still recommend it.

    Actually I thought also to mention this (on which I’m sure you’d have a valauble opinion) : and specifically a link posted in comments by Tonyb to this:

    My knowledge of solar stuff is rather patchy other than knowing where to find sunspot numbers. I’m sure I’d find something useful in your post archive, but any pointers?

  19. Verity Jones says:

    Drat – please fix thay hyperlink!

  20. Ulric Lyons says:

    My comments are not all getting through, 3 or 4 posted yesterday have not appeared.
    [reply] Fixed, sorry about that. WordPress thinks you are a spammer at the moment. 🙂

  21. Ulric Lyons says:

    Ok, you could delete the last 3 of my posts on the NZ quake thread, but not the first one. And this one too when you are done, thanks Rog.

  22. Ulric Lyons says:

    How much co2 is trapped in glaciers, and how much does Andean glacial ablation (partly due to reduced precipitation) contribute to raising global co2 levels ?

  23. DirkH says:

    Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm
    “DirkH, may I trouble you to give an overview of your charged water droplets/clouds/precipitation?”

    Sorry for the late answer, i had bad connectivity for a few days.

    Zeke, i have no theory, just collecting snippets. The atmosphere has a vertical voltage gradient, cloud droplets have a charge, so their height must be influenced by the charge. Are clouds sorting their droplets according to their charge vertically? Probably so. If there is a layer with negatively charged droplets, does this keep the droplets from uniting? This would explain why you can have clouds for days on end without a single drop of rain falling. As long as enough charge is there, an enormous density of droplets can exist without colliding. The first collapse in the form of a lightning discharge lowers the repellent force and makes droplet collisions more likely. Falling drops make further lightning strikes more likely; a positive feedback that leads to multiple lightnings and downpours. With every discharge, further discharges get more likely, until only a small charge remains.

    Probably that’s all pretty boring and standard meteorology anyway…

  24. DirkH says:

    Oink says:
    August 28, 2010 at 11:42 am
    “Dirk, have you ever heard of Venezuela’s “continuous” lightning storm.”

    Thanks for the link! Marvelous! No, i never heard about it before.

  25. Ulric Lyons says:

    DirkH says:
    September 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    This would explain why you can have clouds for days on end without a single drop of rain falling.

    Hmmm, I have been regularly predicting cloudy days without rain on the basis of temperatures alone.

  26. Tim Channon says:

    I don’t know where to start there is so much going on here.

    I’m not sure if any of you are aware I have some very clear results to do with CO2, to do with sea level and so on. For that matter a crazy result appeared a few days ago showing aircraft heat in temperature data.

    Presenting any of this stuff is difficult, made worse by the general lack of knowledge of signal processing yet that is far more important than statistics, wrong math. Add in unique software, folks switch off.

    Earlier today I had yet another surprise. Was playing around with solar data as I do from time to time. In this case I was functionally preprocessing the data, sound reasons. The immediate result looked interesting so I did a quick analysis.
    What came out was a jaw dropper.

    I already have count the R2 nines to do with CO2. Pulled in a CO2 model principle component, translated to a common data format, visually spot on match. R2 >0.9999, from derived solar data? This is nutcase stuff and yet I am not entirely surprised because I have good reason to state that atmospheric CO2 variation is a natural process, nothing to do with man.
    Overturning human assumptions when they are set rigidly is nigh impossible.

    Chance? I have to assume that. These things happen and yet there is a solid evidence based basis.

    I’ve just completed something else I had been intending to do, with more surprises. Recently I worked out a reasonable way to compute gravitational forces to do with the earth, was not interested in the sun.

    Now I have done the same exercise on the sun. The result is not quite what I expected, nevertheless I had a look at what might be in the data.

    The most surprising items are periodic components, okay is just a quick low res casual decomposition.

    19.83 3.6 53.09
    11.85 3.85 21.89
    0.65 5.19 6.79
    1.09 3.8 5.82
    0.25 5.52 5.38
    13.81 2.1 4.11
    12.7 5.16 3.28

    The 19-somthing is the usual dominant planetary period. (all in years)

    Eleven we know about and 0.25

    Much more interesting is 1.09 although no surprise.

    The 12 and 13 were unexpected. These periods do turn up and if they have a gravitational origin that is interesting. They also seem to turn up in sunspot data yet this has as much to do with magnetics.

    I then decided to have a quick crude look at the Z axis alone since this is related more to magnetics, although further processing ought to be done to try and isolate that.

    This result is more direct and boring except for a twist. Yes it just hooks out the planets but not in the order of dominance expected.

    Won’t be quite accurate, for Julian date reasons there is awkwardness and I didn’t type in all the necessary irrational number to the analyser.

    163.66 1.91 11.42
    83.71 5.45 7.68
    29.41 3.71 3.65
    11.86 5.77 2.07
    1.88 3.3 0.64
    1 1.74 0.4
    0.62 3.04 0.3

    This is strange because orbital distance and mass has been factored out, same data used as part of the previous result.

    If that is correct and my maths might be wrong, it suggests the outer planets are dominant in the Z axis and that is the one most likely to trip solar magnetic change.

    I point out that a rapidly rotating part or whole of the sun (we do not actually know) within a magnetic field will be a generator, goodness knows what happens. That said I doubt a direct energy effect because of so this would put a severe braking effect on the rotation, where without a means for countering slowing the sun ought to have stopped spinning by now.
    Does this suggest the rotation does not play a part in magnetics?

    Data used was generated by Solex.

  27. Gray says:

    Spaceweather prediction from Bradford University:

  28. tallbloke says:

    Tim C says:
    “If that is correct and my maths might be wrong, it suggests the outer planets are dominant in the Z axis and that is the one most likely to trip solar magnetic change.”

    Yes. That’s what I’ve been working on. It seems natural that an up-down motion which stops and reverses would likely have something to do with polarity changes. Given Jupiter’s mass dominance among planets, it’s not surprising you found a signal near it’s orbital periodicity (11.86 years). And near the Jupiter-Saturn synodic period (19.85887 years)

  29. Gray says:


    Uranus has synodic cycle of 13.81 years with Jupiter

    Neptune has synodic cycle 12.782 years with Jupiter

    Don’t know if that helps.

  30. Tim Channon says:

    Gray, not checked but that is no surprise.

  31. Tim Channon says:

    Some fun, folks.

    Earlier today I produced a working octave chirp, another step on the road to where I am going. Darned tricky walking backwards, the road leads where it leads, bottom up follow the path. Humour on. backwards is bottom first.

    I’ve put together this demo but with some results which might bring a few comments.

  32. Tim Channon says:

    Is the 6 year a clone?

    No. I’d be astounded if it was.
    There does though look like something is going on, modulation pattern which looks as though there is commonality. That said the noise and interference, plus the highly dodgy nature of hadcrut would be fall on floor stuff if anything turned up. (I have good reasons to be cynical of these datasets which differ from the usual objections but too complex to talk about)

    A lot of our problem is maths which does linear perfectly but there are all manner of other things going on. Even where there is a characteristic period for something it might be an excited parasitic, vague. This can be why chaotic tends to a value.

    In theory one of the techniques I use could be made to lock to a chaotic oscillation. Not with my capability nor lack of computing bang. Maybe one day somebody will do this.

  33. Tim Channon says:

    Wrote too soon. I left the software running in the background, stopped it before closing everything down and noticed it has changed to much closer. Slow convergence can do that.

    Given that one dataset is daily the other monthly and differing datalengths, plus one dataset models with zero correlation (not actually that much of a problem), with rebasing of models, any match comes as a surprise.

    Looks as though switching to a cleaner temperature dataset and doing both analysis properly is now worth it, sometime.

    Very rough small size

  34. Tim Channon says:

    A quick bandpass filter of the solar data produces some clues.


    Filtering like that is fun, a 50,000 tap fir on a dataset about the same length. Trial and error hand design on something that extreme. (6 year bandpass on a short in time dataset is beyond the pale)

    The result looks like beating between entities. As it stands I cannot mimic complex modulation which might handle that. This is in todo land and a very hard problem needing a major software rewrite of a high speed core. I am running away from that one.

    Allied to that as a todo is allow input of external modulation data, poses some fun problems and restrictions on what could be done.

    The right answer is allow chaining.