Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category

wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgA new paper is in the works from a group of mainstream solar physics theorists who work with dynamo models. It explores the possibility that the Sun’s dynamo is modulated by planetary motion – something we’ve been working on here at the talkshop for the last six years. It finds that the gravitational interaction of the motions of Venus, Earth and Jupiter (VEJ) could be involved with both the 11.07 and 22.14 Schwabe and Hale solar cycles.

I’m not going to post the paper yet, as it is still undergoing peer review at a major journal, but I thought it would be fun to provide a teaser. Here’s part of the bibliography. If you look at the top and bottom references, they are to papers by Nicola Scafetta and  Ian Wilson which were published in our special edition of Pattern Recognition in Physics at the end of 2013.


Intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star [credit: NASA]

Intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star
[credit: NASA]

The astronomers are reported to say such a ‘large-scale spin distribution has never been predicted by theories’. A professor states: “This is not obviously expected based on our current understanding of cosmology. It’s a bizarre finding.”

Deep radio imaging by researchers in the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape, in South Africa, has revealed that supermassive black holes in a region of the distant universe are all spinning out radio jets in the same direction – most likely a result of primordial mass fluctuations in the early universe.



Using satellite data on how water moves around Earth, NASA scientists have solved two mysteries about wobbles in the planet’s rotation — one new and one more than a century old. The research may help improve our knowledge of past and future climate.

Although a desktop globe always spins smoothly around the axis running through its north and south poles, a real planet wobbles. Earth’s spin axis drifts slowly around the poles; the farthest away it has wobbled since observations began is 37 feet (12 meters). These wobbles don’t affect our daily life, but they must be taken into account to get accurate results from GPS, Earth-observing satellites and observatories on the ground.

In a paper published today in Science Advances, Surendra Adhikari and Erik Ivins of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, researched how the movement of water around the world contributes to Earth’s rotational wobbles. Earlier studies have pinpointed many connections between processes on Earth’s surface or interior and our planet’s wandering ways. For example, Earth’s mantle is still readjusting to the loss of ice on North America after the last ice age, and the reduced mass beneath that continent pulls the spin axis toward Canada at the rate of a few inches each year. But some motions are still puzzling.


R.J. Salvador has sent in an update showing the performance of his LOD model, which is based on our solar system dynamics theory. He tells us that:

Below is an update of the comparison of actual LOD data to the LOD model prediction from December 1st 2015 to March 1st 2016. The actual data tracks well to the model prediction. There is a deviation from the model from around January 1st to January 12 that is within 2 sigma and then the actual data tracks the model prediction again. I wonder what caused that? I will update the comparison again in two months. So far it is looking good.

LOD model March 1 update_zpsinkh9hbf


Artist's view of 55 Cancri e [credit: Wikipedia]

Artist’s view of 55 Cancri e [credit: Wikipedia]

Unusual atmospheric data from this exoplanet: not much heat transfer from the side permanently facing its star to the dark side, giving it a ‘large day–night temperature gradient’.

The orbit period is only 18 hours, as it’s much nearer to its star than Mercury is to the Sun. It may also have ‘an unknown source of heat’, as reports.

An international team of astronomers, led by the University of Cambridge, has obtained the most detailed ‘fingerprint’ of a rocky planet outside our solar system to date, and found a planet of two halves: one that is almost completely molten, and the other which is almost completely solid.



Ceres giant ‘cone’ and adjacent ‘crater’


Out at the unfashionable end of the Asteroid Belt, lies a seldom seen squashed spud of rock known as Sylvia. NASA has this:


Composite image showing the two moons at several locations along their orbits (shown by red dots). Image Credit: NASA

Discovered in 1866, main belt asteroid 87 Sylvia lies 3.5 AU from the Sun, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Also shown in recent years to be one in a growing list of double asteroids, new observations during August and October 2004 made at the Paranal Observatory convincingly demonstrate that 87 Sylvia in fact has two moonlets – the first known triple asteroid system. At the center of this composite of the image data, potato-shaped 87 Sylvia itself is about 380 kilometers wide. The data show inner moon, Remus, orbiting Sylvia at a distance of about 710 kilometers once every 33 hours, while outer moon Romulus orbits at 1360 kilometers in 87.6 hours. Tiny Remus and Romulus are 7 and 18 kilometers across respectively. Because 87 Sylvia was named after Rhea Silvia, the mythical mother of the founders of Rome, the discoverers proposed Romulus and Remus as fitting names for the two moonlets. The triple system is thought to be the not uncommon result of collisions producing low density, rubble pile asteroids that are loose aggregations of debris.


Our magnetic Sun [image credit:]

Our magnetic Sun [image credit:]

If you’re wondering why this is news, read on – it has taken at least some scientists by surprise, reports
No magnetism without electricity

Strong magnetic fields discovered in majority of stars—Finding to impact understanding of stellar evolution

An international group of astronomers led by the University of Sydney has discovered strong magnetic fields are common in stars, not rare as previously thought, which will dramatically impact our understanding of how stars evolve.


wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgIt’s gratifying to see that our work is being recognised and used internationally for practical purposes. This paper modifies an existing earthquake prediction technique using our fibonacci-planetary-solar theory to obtain more accurate results. This is a poke in the eye for Martin Rasmussen, the chief of Copernicus (the innovative science unpublishers) with the pro-warmist bias, who shut down the PRP journal because we contradicted the IPCC claim of an accelerating warming of the Earth’s climate in the conclusions paper of our special issue. Real scientists use good ideas regardless of whether they regard other aspects of the papers they come from as being ‘politically incorrect’.

Modified-Fibonacci-Dual-Lucas method for earthquake prediction
A. C. Boucouvalas ; M. Gkasios ; N. T. Tselikas ; G. Drakatos

Proc. SPIE 9535, Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2015), 95351A (June 19, 2015); doi:10.1117/12.2192683

The FDL (Fibonacci-Dual-Lucas) method makes use of Fibonacci, Dual and Lucas numbers and has shown considerable success in predicting earthquake events locally as well as globally. Predicting the location of the epicenter of an earthquake is one difficult challenge the other being the timing and magnitude. One technique for predicting the onset of earthquakes is the use of cycles, and the discovery of periodicity. Part of this category is the reported FDL method. The basis of the reported FDL method is the creation of FDL future dates based on the onset date of significant earthquakes. The assumption being that each occurred earthquake discontinuity can be thought of as a generating source of FDL time series The connection between past earthquakes and future earthquakes based on FDL numbers has also been reported with sample earthquakes since 1900. Using clustering methods it has been shown that significant earthquakes (<6.5R) can be predicted with very good accuracy window (+-1 day). In this contribution we present an improvement modification to the FDL method, the MFDL method, which performs better than the FDL. We use the FDL numbers to develop possible earthquakes dates but with the important difference that the starting seed date is a trigger planetary aspect prior to the earthquake.


Just about now…


The Venus Climate Orbiter AKATSUKI will try to enter the orbit of Venus on Dec. 7 (Mon.) after five years of operation. We are welcoming support messages.


Forget Mars, anomaly, NASA.

Posted: November 6, 2015 by tchannon in Astrophysics

The media interpretation will be all over the media today

As I think most Talkshop readers suspected Mars has no atmosphere as a consequence of the planet’s lack of a magnetic field, solar wind etc. strips the gas. NASA have stated they have found gas stripping.

The following is riddled with assumptions. As if there is more than dreaming of little green men.

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has identified the process that appears to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm and wet environment that might have supported surface life to the cold, arid planet Mars is today.

MAVEN data have enabled researchers to determine the rate at which the Martian atmosphere currently is losing gas to space via stripping by the solar wind. The findings reveal that the erosion of Mars’ atmosphere increases significantly during solar storms. The scientific results from the mission appear in the Nov. 5 issues of the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters.

“Mars appears to have had a thick atmosphere warm enough to support liquid water which is a key ingredient and medium for life as we currently know it,” said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator for the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Understanding what happened to the Mars atmosphere will inform our knowledge of the dynamics and evolution of any planetary atmosphere. Learning what can cause changes to a planet’s environment from one that could host microbes at the surface to one that doesn’t is important to know, and is a key question that is being addressed in NASA’s journey to Mars.”

MAVEN measurements indicate that the solar wind strips away gas at a rate of about 100 grams (equivalent to roughly 1/4 pound) every second. “Like the theft of a few coins from a cash register every day, the loss becomes significant over time,” said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “We’ve seen that the atmospheric erosion increases significantly during solar storms, so we think the loss rate was much higher billions of years ago when the sun was young and more active.”

In addition, a series of dramatic solar storms hit Mars’ atmosphere in March 2015, and MAVEN found that the loss was accelerated. The combination of greater loss rates and increased solar storms in the past suggests that loss of atmosphere to space was likely a major process in changing the Martian climate.

Good luck with the junk NASA web site, very little information. GRL is as bad, in your face.


I’ve been invited to speak at the 2015 ICG starting in Prague tomorrow. This promises to be really interesting judging by the abstracts. Apparently, some organisations which usually attend have boycotted the event because our group has been invited to speak about the unethical behaviour of the IPCC and Copernicus-the innovative science unpublishers. Here’s the announcement.


October 9 (Friday) to 19 (Monday) 2015 in 3 segments:
a) October 9 – 11 in Prague (Krystal, Prague 6–Veleslavín, José Martího 2)
b) October 12 – 16 at Příbram (DIAMO, street 28. října 184)
c) October 16 – 19 in Prague (Krystal, Prague 6–Veleslavín, José Martího 2)
the centre and hotel Krystal is in the walking distance of a new subway station Nádraží
Veleslavín (green line A)

The Conference will be arranged on behalf of the Working Group for Geoethics of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development (AGID) as the only International Conference to the subject of Geoethics in the world in this year. The participation at the Conference is open to any person really interested in the topic.

The financial policy of the Conference is based on principles of alternative solidary economics. The exceptionally low IRREVERSIBLE paid fees have made it possible to assure relatively good access to anybody included retired people or students. In cases of special interest an individual arrangement was realized.


[update: Tyler Robinson has replied in comments  — Tim /update]

Talkshop contributor ‘Cementafriend’ has emailed me with an interesting critique of parts the 2013 Robinson & Catling paper Common 0.1 bar tropopause in thick atmospheres set by pressure-dependent infrared transparency 

. He is an engineer and tells me that:

I have had actual experience with combustion and heat transfer. I have designed burners for coal, gas, oil and waste fuel materials. I have measured CO2 in exhaust gases, down coal mines and even in the atmosphere.

The presence of OH in the atmosphere is due to the reaction CH4 +O3 > CH3OH +O2 (of course other organics can also be oxidised by O3 but the quantity of these is tiny).
The reaction claimed CH4 +OH> CH3 +H2O is not correct. CH3OH (methanol or methyl alcohol sometimes known as wood alcohol which is poisonous) can exist as a molecule. In water this can form the ions CH3+ and OH-.
CH3OH is highly soluble in water at ocean/lake surfaces and also in drops of water in clouds. However, there is little O3 in the atmosphere up to 11,000 km and that is why CH4 persists in the atmosphere now at around 1.7 ppm.

It seems that just as there are “Climate Scientists” making up false relations in physics, thermodynamics & heat transfer (luckily they have not touched mass transfer), there also seem to be “astrophysicists” and “astrochemists” making up new chemistry & reaction kinetics.


This paper needs discussion.

The Hockey Schtick has an article up on a just published 69 page paper.


The above comparisons indicate that Eq. (10b) rather accurately reproduces the observed variation of mean surface temperatures across a wide range of planetary environments characterized in terms of solar irradiance (from 1.5 W m-2 to 2,602 W m-2), total atmospheric pressure (from near vacuum to 9,300 kPa), and greenhouse-gas concentrations (from 0.0% to over 96% per volume).

Now rip the paper apart. What if anything about it is safe?


A paper of interest to some Talkshop readers

Spin-orbit coupling and chaotic rotation for circumbinary bodies
Application to the small satellites of the Pluto-Charon system



Alexandre C. M. Correia, Adrien Leleu, Nicolas Rambaux and Philippe Robutel
Open access, published 20 August 2015


We investigate the resonant rotation of circumbinary bodies in planar quasi-circular orbits. Denoting nb and n the orbital mean motion of the inner binary and of the circumbinary body, respectively, we show that spin-orbit resonances exist at the frequencies n ± k?/2, where ? = nb – n, and k is an integer. Moreover, when the libration at natural frequency has the same magnitude as ?, the resonances overlap and the rotation becomes chaotic. We apply these results to the small satellites in the Pluto-Charon system, and conclude that their rotations are likely chaotic. However, the rotation can also be stable and not synchronous for small axial asymmetries.


Oh my, The Sun, still is.


The Sunspots 2.0? Irrelevant. The Sun, still is.
By shaviv

After being asked by 5 independent people about the new sunspot number reconstruction and that it doesn’t show that the sun should have contributed any warming to the 20th century, I decided to write about it here. I have one word to describe it – irrelevant. It is also a good opportunity to write about new results (well, one that saw the light of day a few months ago) showing again that the sun has a large effect on climate. Yet, the world will still continue to ignore it. Am I surprised? No I’m not.


Hello Pluto

Posted: July 14, 2015 by Andrew in Astrophysics, solar system dynamics

imageAfter a nine year, three billion mile journey NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has reached Pluto (more…)

moon-cartoonWASHINGTON, May 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 3, to discuss the Hubble Space Telescope’s surprising observations of how Pluto’s moons behave, and how these new discoveries are being used in the planning for the New Horizons Pluto flyby in July.

Participants in the teleconference will be:

  • John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington
  • Mark Showalter, senior research scientist at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California
  • Douglas Hamilton, professor of astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • John Spencer, scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado
  • Heidi Hammel, executive vice president of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington


Paul Vaughan has produced a six page .pdf document crammed with the fruits of his research into the ways in which solar variation affects Earth’s climate. Several of the observations and concepts coincide with the work we have been doing here at the talkshop over the last six years to unravel the mysteries of solar system dynamics and their effect on Terrestrial variation. Paul has applied his stats and visualisation skills and thorough approach to referencing, including direct links to data. This has resulted in a landmark document which readers will find both useful and inspiring. It demonstrates the progress that has been made in solar-terrestrial theory, (with hints about the underlying planetary solar relations too).




Relevant to current discussions on the talkshop concerning changes in Earth’s length of day (LOD) and the effect of planetary orbital resonances on the Moon’s orbital parameters and Earth climatic variation; this is a repost from Ian Wilson’s excellent Astro-Climate-Connection website. Ian very generously opens with a hat tip to this blog, (at which he is one of the ‘collaborators’ he mentions). 

Connecting the Planetary Periodicities to Changes in the Earth’s LOD
Monday, October 14, 2013 : Ian Wilson PhD

[(*) Some of the findings in this blog post concerning the connection between the Earth’s rotation rate and the planetary configurations have also been independently discovered by Rog “Tallbloke” Tattersall and his collaborators]

A. The Connection Between Extreme Pergiean Spring Tides and Long-term Changes in the Earth’s Rotation Rate as Measured by the Rate-of-Change of its Length-of-Day (LOD). (*)

If you plot the rate of change of the Earth’s Length of Day (LOD) [with the short-term atmospheric component removed] against time [starting in 1962] you find that there is a ~ 6 year periodicity that is phase-locked with the 6 year period that it takes the lunar line-of-nodes  to re-align with the lunar line-of-apse [see the first note directly below and reference [1] for a description of the method used to determine the time rate of change of LOD].

NB: The pro-grade precession of the lunar line-of-apse once around the Earth with respect to the stars takes 8.8504 Julian years (J2000) while the retrograde precession of the lunar line-of-apse line-of-nodes once around the Earth with respect to the stars takes 18.6000 Julian years (J2000). Hence, the lunar line-of-apse and the ascending node of the lunar line-of-nodes will realign once every:

(18.6000 x 8.8504) / (18.6000 + 8.8504)  = 5.9969 Julian years

Figure 1