Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category

Where to find Proxima Centauri [credit: Wikipedia]

Where to find Proxima Centauri [credit: Wikipedia]

Co-author Jeremy Drake said: “The existence of a cycle in Proxima Centauri shows that we don’t understand how stars’ magnetic fields are generated as well as we thought we did.” Let the head-scratching begin.

Observations confirm that the closest star to our solar system has a regular magnetic cycle similar to our Sun, reports Sky & Telescope.

With the recent discovery of a potentially habitable planet around Proxima Centauri, astronomers have been studying this star with renewed fervor. Part of their attention focuses on the star’s behavior. M dwarfs are notorious for their flares, and such stellar tantrums could be deadly for budding life on nearby planets.


An Interview Given by Dr. Ned Nikolov (a.k.a. Den Volokin) to Ben Guarino,
a Staff Writer at The Washington Post
Sep. 17, 2016

Research Paper Withdrawal by the Journal Advances in Space Research  

peer-reviewQ1: As succinctly as possible, could you tell me why you chose to publish this work under a pseudonym?

A1: We adopted pseudonyms as a measure of last resort as we could not get an unbiased and fair review from scientific journals under our real names. This is explained in more details in the attached letter we sent to the chief editor of the Journal Advances in Space Research (JASR) on Sep. 17, 2015. In brief, our real names became known to the climate-science blogosphere in 2012 when a poster, which we presented at an International Climate Conference in Denver in 2011, became available online and caused broad and intense discussions. When we later tried to publish elements of this poster as separate articles in scientific journals, we discovered that journal editors and reviewers would reject our manuscripts outright after Googling our names and reading the online discussion. The rejections were oftentimes justified by the journals using criticisms outside the scope of the manuscript at hand.  On two occasions, journal editors have even refused to send our manuscripts for review after reading the blogs and realizing the broader theoretical implications of our results, although the manuscript itself did not explicitly discuss any new theory. For example, our first paper was rejected 4 times by different journals while submitted under our real names before it was finally accepted by SpringerPlus after submitting it under pseudonyms.




Nicola Scafetta writes:

Dear all,

it was a pleasure to meet you at London. Some of you asked me about my paper in press about a link between astronomical, solar and climate oscillations. Here it is:

Scafetta, N., Milani, F., Antonio Bianchini, A., Ortolani, S.: On the astronomical origin of the Hallstatt oscillation found in radiocarbon and climate records throughout the Holocene. Earth-Science Reviews 162, 24–43, 2016. There is a free access to the article, and is valid for anybody until November 10, 2016 by using this link

(Permanent copy here)

The importance of the article is that it demonstrates quite clearly that the long Hallstatt oscillation (about 2318 year period), which is observed in climate and solar records is a major stable resonance of the solar system. The paper also evaluates the other major planetary stable resonances and we found all other typical oscillations found in climate and solar records such as a quasi 20-year oscillation, a quasi 60-year oscillation, the 82-97 year Gleissberg oscillation and the 159-185 year Jose oscillation (and others).


Spiral galaxy NGC 5457 aka the Pinwheel Galaxy [image credit: European Space Agency & NASA]

Spiral galaxy NGC 5457 aka the Pinwheel Galaxy [image credit: European Space Agency & NASA]

One in the eye for dark matter theorists it seems, as reports.

In the late 1970s, astronomers Vera Rubin and Albert Bosma independently found that spiral galaxies rotate at a nearly constant speed: the velocity of stars and gas inside a galaxy does not decrease with radius, as one would expect from Newton’s laws and the distribution of visible matter, but remains approximately constant.

Such ‘flat rotation curves’ are generally attributed to invisible, dark matter surrounding galaxies and providing additional gravitational attraction.


A long way from the Sun: theoretical Planet Nine

A long way from the Sun: theoretical Planet Nine

This story surfaced two months ago but – better late than never – we’d like to draw it to the attention of Talkshop readers, at least those who haven’t seen it already.

Two recent studies have shown that the existence of a mysterious, hypothetical Planet Nine could explain why the planets in our Solar System don’t fully line up with the Sun, reports ScienceAlert.

Researchers have been speculating about a ninth planet since January this year, and these latest studies add more weight to the hypothesis that, at some point in time at least, there was an extra planet orbiting our Sun.

In fact, if Planet Nine does exist (or did), it would help to explain something that scientists have puzzled over for decades – why the Solar System is tilted.



Our recent conference held at Conway Hall in central London was a huge success, with over a hundred attendees being treated to two days of rapid-fire 20 minute presentations and discussion sessions. The footage has now been published online by Mark Windows, and are available for you to view at your leisure.

Another video Mark has produced, introduces the circumstances around the last-minute move from UCL to Conway hall,  and also presents interviews with many of the participants.

I had a short interview with Energy Live News


This conference was made possible by the tireless efforts of Nils-Axel Morner in the face of great difficulties, and huge credit is due to him for his determination and organisational ability.


On researchgate, I found this interesting paper by I.A. Arbab which proposes an explanation of planetary spin rates by leveraging an analogy with the electron spin-orbit coupling in the Hydrogen atom.

Food for thought. Here’s a taster:



Synchronized orbits of the Kepler-80 system [Credit: Florida Institute of Technology]

Synchronized orbits of the Kepler-80 system [Credit: Florida Institute of Technology]

Another example of planetary resonance has been discovered thanks to NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

Located about 1,100 light years away, Kepler-80, named for the NASA telescope that discovered it, features five small planets orbiting in extreme proximity to their star.

As early as 2012, Kepler scientists found that all five planets orbit in an area about 150 times smaller than the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, with “years” of about one, three, four, seven and nine days.


It’s finally happening. Thanks to Herculean efforts by Niklas Morner, we are presenting a two-day conference in central London on the 8-9th September. Speakers are coming from all over the world to present their work, and it is not to be missed!


Take the 8-9th September off work and join us for this historic event. The first UK climate conference in decades which will counter the scaremongering of the IPCC with a cool, rational approach to the study of climate change, presenting alternative explanations, new data, theory and commentary. Topics include solar-planetary theory, causes of ENSO, sea ice extent, sea level, ozone depletion, volcanos, regional forecasting, journal gatekeeping and many more.

The list of contributors is long, we are packing a huge number of presentations into this two day event. Speakers include Niklas Morner, myself, Ned Nikolov and Karl Zeller,  Nicola Scafetta, Per Strandberg, Jan-Erik Solheim, and thats before lunch on day one! Piers Corbyn will be there! So will  Christopher Monckton! See the full programme and the extended abstracts in this 35 Megabyte document for full details. There are also some travel and booking details on the website. An updated version is available on reseachgate


Sci News reports scientific findings that ‘winds, the water content, and the cloud composition – are somehow connected to the properties of Venus’ surface itself’.

Using data from ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft, European planetary researchers have shown how weather patterns seen in Venus’ cloud layers are directly linked to the topography of the surface below.

Venus is famously hot. The average temperature on the Venusian surface is 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius).


An artist's image of a hot-Jupiter exoplanet [credit: NASA]

An artist’s image of a hot-Jupiter exoplanet [credit: NASA]

What exactly goes on in terms of interactions between giant planets and their host star? The researchers admit the need ‘to disentangle some of the very poorly understood physics behind tidal dissipation’, as reports. More observations needed.

A giant “hot Jupiter” exoplanet has recently been detected by an international team of astronomers led by Kaloyan Penev of Princeton University. The newly found alien world, designated HATS-18b, is an interesting case of a planet tidally spinning up its parent star.


Two Months ago, solar system dynamics researcher  R.J. Salvador gave us an update on the performance of his length of day (LOD) model. Based on our planetary theory, the model has performed well so far, showing aberrations from the real world data within two standard deviations on a couple of occasions, but mainly tracking the model projection very closely indeed. Here’s the latest plot.

LOD model May 1 update

Rick says:

The model is within range. Even in the correlation period there are these wobbles where the actual deviates from the model by 2 std dev. We may have to wait until the seasons change again to know if the deviation widens or closes. I will update it again in two months.

I wish all the best for Tim.

Good luck with your BREXIT campaign. 

It’s going to be fascinating watching further updates as they arrive for signs of planetary periodicity in the aberrations and/or trying to correlate them with major weather patterns which could be responsible.

credit: NASA

credit: NASA

Roll up, roll up – more Big Bangs for your buck here.
H/T Daily Telegraph 

‘We have reason for thinking the Universe we observe goes on much further, almost certainly one thousand times further and maybe so much further that all cosmological options are repeated’ – Lord Rees

There may have been more than one Big Bang, the Astronomer Royal has said and claims the world could be on the brink of a revolution as profound as Copernicus discovering the Earth revolved around the Sun.


The Kepler-223 planetary system, which has long-term stability because its four planets interact gravitationally to keep the beat of a carefully choreographed dance as they orbit their host star. [credit: W.Rebel]

The Kepler-223 planetary system, which has long-term stability because its four planets interact gravitationally to keep the beat of a carefully choreographed dance as they orbit their host star.
[credit: W.Rebel]

As the report says: ‘Kepler-223’s two innermost planets are in a 4:3 resonance. The second and third are in a 3:2 resonance. And the third and fourth are in a 4:3 resonance.’ They are ‘far more massive than Earth’. Interesting to say the least.

The four planets of the Kepler-223 star system seem to have little in common with the planets of Earth’s own solar system. And yet a new study shows that the Kepler-223 system is trapped in an orbital configuration that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune may have broken from in the early history of the solar system.

“Exactly how and where planets form is an outstanding question in planetary science,” said the study’s lead author, Sean Mills, a graduate student in astronomy & astrophysics at the University of Chicago. “Our work essentially tests a model for planet formation for a type of planet we don’t have in our solar system.”


Artist's impression [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]

Artist’s impression [credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser]

Is there life beyond our solar system? If there is, our best bet for finding it may lie in three nearby, Earth-like exoplanets.

For the first time, an international team of astronomers from MIT, the University of Liège in Belgium, and elsewhere have detected three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, just 40 light years from Earth.

The sizes and temperatures of these worlds are comparable to those of Earth and Venus, and are the best targets found so far for the search for life outside the solar system. The results are published today in the journal Nature.


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.