Archive for the ‘Solar physics’ Category

Tim writes,

Gerry Pease has just sent us this link to his arXiv astro-ph.SR paper, co-authored with Greg Glenn, entitled Long Term Sunspot Cycle Phase Coherence with Periodic Phase Disruptions. It details previously unrecognized sunspot cycle phase coherence data, sunspot cycle magnitude correlations, and planetary resonances that could have been very useful in the past to  astrophysicists attempting to predict sunspot cycles, if only they had not ignored the possibility of planetary causation:

-Gerry Pease


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.


Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit:]

Solar flare erupting from a sunspot [image credit:]

Researchers have unearthed a cause-and-effect conundrum for solar physicists, involving solar flares. reports.

Solar physicists have long viewed the rotation of sunspots as a primary generator of solar flares – the sudden, powerful blasts of electromagnetic radiation and charged particles that burst into space during explosions on the sun’s surface. Their turning motion causes energy to build up that is released in the form of flares.

But a team of NJIT scientists now claims that flares in turn have a powerful impact on sunspots, the visible concentrations of magnetic fields on the sun’s surface, or photosphere. In a paper published in Nature Communications this week, the researchers argue that flares cause sunspots to rotate at much faster speeds than are usually observed before they erupt.


Variation in solar activity during a recent sunspot cycle [credit: Wikipedia]

Variation in solar activity during a recent sunspot cycle [credit: Wikipedia]

Here we are told that ‘Researchers…are putting forward a new theory’ which may be amusing to Talkshop regulars and others who have been discussing and investigating such matters for years, but – better late than never for the rest of the science world!

The Sun’s activity is determined by the Sun’s magnetic field. Two combined effects are responsible for the latter: The omega and the alpha effect. Exactly where and how the alpha effect originates is currently unknown.

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) are putting forward a new theory for this in the journal Solar Physics. Their calculations suggest that tidal forces from Venus, the Earth and Jupiter can directly influence the Sun’s activity.

Many questions regarding the Sun’s magnetic field are still unanswered. “As with the Earth, we are dealing with a dynamo. Through self-excitation, a magnetic field is created from virtually nothing, whereby the complex movement of the conductive plasma serves as an energy source,” says the physicist Dr. Frank Stefani from HZDR.

The Sun’s so-called alpha-omega dynamo is subject to a regular cycle. Approximately every eleven years the polarity of the Sun’s magnetic field is reversed, with solar activity peaking with the same frequency.

This manifests itself in an increase in sunspots — dark patches on the Sun’s surface which originate from strongly concentrated magnetic fields. “Interestingly, every 11.07 years, the Sun and the planets Venus, the Earth and Jupiter are aligned. We asked ourselves: Is it a coincidence that the solar cycle corresponds with the cycle of the conjunction or the opposition of the three planets?” ponders Stefani.

Although this question is by no means new, up to now scientists could not identify a plausible physical mechanism for how the very weak tidal effects of Venus, the Earth and Jupiter could influence the Sun’s dynamo.
Talkshop comment: Unless they came across some of Ian Wilson’s research perhaps?

Strengthening through resonance
“If you only just give a swing small pushes, it will swing higher with time,” as Frank Stefani explains the principle of resonance. He and his team discovered in recent calculations that the alpha effect is prone to oscillations under certain conditions. “The impulse for this alpha-oscillation requires almost no energy. The planetary tides could act as sufficient pace setters for this.”

The so-called Tayler instability plays a crucial role for the resonance of the Sun’s dynamo. It always arises when a strong enough current flows through a conductive liquid or a plasma. Above a certain strength, the interaction of the current with its own magnetic field generates a flow — in the case of the colossal Sun, a turbulent one.

It is generally understood that the solar dynamo relies on the interaction of two induction mechanisms. Largely undisputed is the omega effect, which originates in the tachocline. This is the name of a narrow band between the Sun’s inner radiative zone and the outer areas in which convection takes place, where heat is transported using the movement of the hot plasma. In the tachocline, various, differentially rotating areas converge. This differential rotation generates the so-called toroidal magnetic field in the form of two “life belts” situated north and south of the solar equator.

[Talkshop note: see link below for further details]

Full report: Are planets setting the sun’s pace? — ScienceDaily

A solar cycle 24 prediction chart [credit:NASA]

A solar cycle 24 prediction chart [credit:NASA]

What follows are extracts, omitting a few of the more technical aspects which can be viewed in the GWPF’s full article here. Possible ‘colder climates’ get a mention.

Sten Odenwald of NASA Heliophysics Education Consortium writes:
Forecasters are already starting to make predictions for what might be in store as our sun winds down its current sunspot cycle in a few years. Are we in for a very intense cycle of solar activity, or the beginning of a century-long absence of sunspots and a rise in colder climates?

Ever since Samuel Schwabe discovered the 11-year ebb and flow of sunspots on the sun in 1843, predicting when the next sunspot cycle will appear, and how strong it will be, has been a cottage industry among scientists and non-scientists alike.


Tim writes,

A new paper of considerable interest at the Talkshop…


Properties of sunspot cycles and hemispheric wings since the 19th century
Raisa Leussu, Ilya G. Usoskin, Rainer Arlt and Kalevi Mursula
Open access with registration.


Tim writes,


Figure 1, plot from

Earthquake at 01:36 UT

Once again the spectre of space weather correlation with earthquakes turns up.


Solar radio and extreme UV during current cycle

Posted: August 6, 2016 by tchannon in Solar physics

Tim wrote,

From A& A (Astronomy and Astrophysics) this month is a paper where some readers will take a shine.


Comparison of solar radio and extreme ultraviolet synoptic limb charts during the present solar maximum
A. J. Oliveira e Silva, C. L. Selhorst, P. J. A. Simões and C. G. Giménez de Castro
A&A, 592 (2016) A91
(free access with registration)


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


The first UK newspaper to commit to a position on the EU referendum, The Sun, backs Brexit. With the opinion polls moving in that direction, and the odds shortening by the day, the mood of the country is palpably changing. I’m working long days to help make this happen. I want my country back.



James Marusek’s paper says: I propose two mechanisms primarily responsible for Little Ice Age climatic conditions. These two components are Cloud Theory and Wind Theory.

Thanks to Paul Homewood for bringing this to our attention.

[Click on ‘view original post’ below to find a link to the full paper].


By Paul Homewood


James Marusek has sent me his latest paper, Little Ice Age Theory.

Excerpts below:


The sun is undergoing a state change. It is possible that we may be at the cusp of the next Little Ice Age. For several centuries the relationship between periods of quiet sun and a prolonged brutal cold climate on Earth (referred to as Little Ice Ages) have been recognized. But the exact mechanisms behind this relationship have remained a mystery. We exist in an age of scientific enlightenment, equipped with modern tools to measure subtle changes with great precision. Therefore it is important to try and come to grips with these natural climatic drivers and mold the evolution of theories that describe the mechanisms behind Little Ice Ages.

The sun changes over time. There are decadal periods when the sun is very active magnetically, producing many sunspots. These periods are referred…

View original post 784 more words


The Sun usually exhibits ~11 year cycles of activity, but the historical sunspot record shows quite a large variance on this average figure. Here at the Talkshop, we have been developing a theory which relates solar activity levels to the motion of the planets, and in particular the motion of Jupiter, Earth and Venus. Simple indexes of ‘most aligned days’ were devised by Jean-Pierre Desmoulins, and later by NASA physicist Ching Cheh Hung, which was replicated by Talkshop contributor Roy Martin.


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.


sun-planetFrom Science Nordic:

The Sun regularly, spews out solar flares–violent explosions that hurl enormous amounts of plasma into space, disrupting satellites and causing power failures here on Earth.

But these outbreaks are still small compared with the gigantic eruptions on other stars. These so-called ‘superflares’ can be up to 10,000 times bigger than the largest solar flares from our own sun.

Now new research suggests that our sun might be capable of forming similarly large superflares every 1000 years, and this could have devastating consequences, says lead-author Christoffer Karoff, from the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.

“We know that these electrical particles from the Sun destroy the ozone layer. It’s suggested that the major flares that we know of led to a reduction in the ozone layer of five per cent. But no one really knows what will happen at this [superflare] level,” says Karoff.


Ian Wilson has just blogged this post, which should be a bit of a showstopper in the climate debate, but I expect it’ll be studiously ignored by mainstream climate scientists and lukewarm climate-sceptic blogs. By doing that, they’ll make themselves and their pet CO2 paradigm increasingly irrelevant to scientific progress. Key thing to note is that our work here at the talkshop and in PRP means we can now predict these quasi-cyclic natural variations. Over to Ian.

Abreu et al. [2012] wrote:

“The parameter that best represents the role of the solar magnetic field in deflecting cosmic
rays [and hence, the overall level of solar activity] is the solar modulation potential , which can be derived from either the 10Be or the 14C production rates.”


“….spectral analysis [of the solar modulation potential over the last ~ 9400 years] identifies a number of distinct periodicities (Stuiver & Braziunas 1993), such as 88 yr (Gleissberg), 104 yr, 150 yr, 208 yr (de Vries), 506 yr, 1000 yr (Eddy), and 2200 yr (Hallstatt) [cycles]…”

The top figure in the following diagram shows the Fourier transform of the variation in the solar modulation potential time series over the last 9400 years [Abreu et al. 2012]. This figure shows that potential has distinct spectral peaks at 88 years (Gleissberg Cycle), 104 years, 133 years, 150 years, 210 years (de Vries Cycle), 232 years, 356 years and 504 years.

Below this is a second figure showing amplitude spectrum of variations in the North American temperature time series over the last ~ 7000 years. The temperature time series is obtained from tree ring data obtained from Bristle Cones on the Southern Colorado Plateau [for the details of the source of this data see: Could This Be The Climate Smoking Gun?  and Salzer and Kipfmeuller (2005). The lower figure shows clear spectral peaks at approximately 88, 106, 130, 148, 209, 232, 353 and 500 years.


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.


H/T to Andrew for alerting me to this new paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews.

From the paper:


Fig. 5. Reconstructed sea-ice concentrations from core GA306-GC4 compared to the 14C production rate corrected for the fossil fuel (Suess) effect for the period from 1850 to 1950 AD (Muscheler et al., 2007). (a) The direct comparison of sea-ice concentration (blue) and 14C production rate (red), as well as with DTSI (orange; difference of total solar irradiance from 1365.57 W/m2 ) (Steinhilber et al., 2012)

To investigate the feedback processes linking solar activity and sea-ice cover, we used the coupled climate model COSMOS, which indicates that a decrease in solar radiation results in increased sea-ice cover (Fig. 7a) and decreased sea-surface temperature (Fig. 7b). A strong negative correlation between sea-ice variability and solar forcing is observed along the eastern and southwestern coast of Greenland and in the Arctic Ocean, indicating that in this model solar variability is critical for simulating changes in local sea-ice production. A small change in incoming shortwave radiation, and associated ice-albedo effects, resulted in a large response of local ice formation, according to ‘bottom-up’ (solar heating of the sea surface) mechanisms (Gray et al., 2010; Hunke et al., 2010).



The alternative climate conference to COP21 in Paris this year is the Paris Climate Challenge, organised by Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition and Philip Foster, author of several books on climate.

The Schedule has been finalised:

Challenging the groupthink of COP21

Stuart Agnew, Bob Carter, Piers Corbyn, Ed Flaherty, Philip Foster, Roger Helmer, Tom Harris, Donna Laframboise, Viscount Monckton, Patrick Moore, Nils-Axel Mörner, Ian Plimer, [Murry Salby], Roger Tattersall & more …  tba

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking. – Gen. George Patton

Schedule @ 11 rue La Rochefoucauld 75009 Paris


10am Coffee/refreshments

10.30am start


New paper in A&A of interest to some Talkshop readers. The authors use drawings by Schwabe, from there estimate details about solar marks. Recently solar cycle 24 has been likened to solar cycle 7, adding interest

Sunspot areas and tilt angles for solar cycles 7–10
V. Senthamizh Pavai, R. Arlt, M. Dasi-Espuig, N.A. Krivova, and S. K. Solanki
A&A 584, A73 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527080
Open access on registration



Fig.2. Example of the drawing style in the initial period of 1825-1830.
This full-disk drawing of 1827 June 13 shows large spots which com-
bine several umbrae and at least part of the penumbral area, as is re-
vealed by the detailed drawings.


Solar hard UV is weakening.

Posted: November 21, 2015 by tchannon in Measurement, Solar physics

The EUV spectrum of the Sun: Irradiances during 1998–2014
G. Del Zanna 1 and V. Andretta 2
A&A 584, A29 (2015)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526804
(c) ESO 2015
Open access on registration

Examples from paper Fig 6

From abstract

… show that the irradiances in the hot (2–3 MK) lines are significantly
lower for the cycle 24 maximum compared to the previous one.

From Introduction

1. Introduction
The present paper is part of an on-going effort to provide the
best possible solar spectral irradiance in the extreme ultraviolet
(EUV). The solar EUV variability causes dramatic changes in
the temperature and density of the thermosphere
, and it could
also have some indirect effects on the climate. Indeed, some of
the current global circulation models also require EUV irradi-
ances to properly take the solar forcing into account.