Gerry Pease: Comparing solar motion with solar activity

Posted: May 12, 2011 by tallbloke in Solar physics, solar system dynamics
The signed sunspot series, barycentric solar angular momentum series, and solar distances from the solar system barycenter plotted through the Dalton Minimum (1795-1830), can be seen in Figures A1 and A2, from

Whereas the solar angular momentum series at the start of the current solar minimum (2008) correlates very well with the solar angular momentum series at the start of the Maunder Minimum (1650), it is seen that the angular momentum and postion plots at the start of the Dalton Minimum around 1795 correlate equally well to the angular momentum and position plots around 1980, but not at all to 2008. In addition, the phase of the signed sunspot series in 1795 is maintained in 1980, and 2008 occurs 1.5 signed cycles later.

The plot below, courtesy Vukcevik, is a combination of my plot of the barycentric solar angular momentum from 1948 to 2058 (blue) superimposed on my solar angular momentum plot from 1590 to 1700 (red).  Also superimposed, in green, is the signed sunspot series and the orange curve, generated by Ed Fix and David Archibald:

It seems to be a polynomial corresponding in phase and amplitude to the signed sunspot series and extrapolating to the phase and amplitude of future signed solar cycles.  Further details are promised for the near future by Ed Fix.

I conclude from the above figure and from Semi’s figures A1 and A2 that the current solar minimum has an apparent dynamical resonance with the Maunder Minimum that is not seen with respect to the Dalton Minimum.  The actual phase and amplitudes of the next few sunspot cycles are still unknown and open to further extrapolation and speculation.  The extrapolated orange curve encompasses signed solar cycles 24, 25, 26, and 27 to 2045.

–Gerry Pease

  1. tallbloke says:

    Big thanks to Gerry for submitting this article.
    Ed Fix did send me a copy of his paper, which goes into detail on how his model is constructed and how and why the ‘tweaks’ are introduced. It all makes good sense to me, though for the time being we need to respect Ed’s wish to avoid compromising his position with Elsevier, his publishers. He assures me that once the paper has been published, he will be happy to come and discuss all aspects in detail.

    My own take is that when the solar activity has dropped below a threshold, it becomes unpredictable using the planetary motion curves, but will come back into phase once activity levels pick up again. Ed seems to be thinking along the same lines.

    It looks like a bumpy ride ahead for some time.

  2. Tim Channon says:

    You mentioning coming back into phase brings me to mention a brief paper I came across. This is about reconstructing solar HCS from earth geomagnetic data.

    It mentions a loss of phase and resume when a cycle starts.

    Precession of heliospheric current sheet axis during the solar activity cycle determined from geomagnetic data.
    N. Y. Vanyarkha

    Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation,
    Russian Academy of Sciences
    Pub: Geomagnetism and Aeronomy

    Postscript, if that is a problem for anyone I can upload a pdf.

  3. Ed Fix says:

    tallbloke says:
    May 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    “My own take is that when the solar activity has dropped below a threshold, it becomes unpredictable using the planetary motion curves, but will come back into phase once activity levels pick up again.”

    I hadn’t thought of it in quite that way, but I think that’s a fair emperical description.

  4. Gerry says:

    On the subject of the effect of solar activity/inactivity on the heliosphere, and consequent terrestrial effects, here is the recent (March 23, 2011) lecture by Jasper Kirby in Canada abput the results of the CERN CLOUD experiment, uploaded by SFUNews on Apr 20, 2011:

  5. Michele says:

    @ Tim

    Do You can upload pdf ?

  6. tallbloke says:

    Gerry, Great video of Jasper. I can’t get the questions section to play which is a shame.

  7. Gerry says:


    I just tried playing through the last part with questions using this link,

    and didn’t have any problem.

    You might want to try it again, because that was an interesting part of the video. A questioner in the front row challenged Jasper about a chemical reaction leading to sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, claiming it doesn’t happen!

  8. tallbloke says:

    Gerry, yeah, I caught the start of that, then the vid graunched. I’ll try your link. Thanks.

    Edit: Yep, saw the Q&A session. Impressed with Jasper’s frankness on uncertainty. A true scientist.

  9. Michele says:

    @ Tim

    thank you very much …

  10. Bart Leplae says:

    I intended to recreate the graph of the solar distances from the solar system barycenter in:

    What I did in addition to this:
    I included an offset to the X and Y positions of the Sun in such a way that the average X and Y are equal to 0. So, I calculated the distance of the Sun relative to its own center of motion (rather than relative to the Solar System Barycenter).

    This leads to an interesting correlation graph as included in the paper …