Archive for the ‘solar system dynamics’ Category

Vertical line shows planetary conjunction with the Sun [credit: Wikipedia]

Numerous studies have found evidence of an apparently regular and significant climate event every 1,470 years (on average), which seems to show up most clearly in glacial periods. They speak of a ‘robust 1,470-year response time’, ‘a precise clock’, ‘abrupt climate change’ and so forth.

However they also say things like: ‘The origin of this regular pacing…remains a mystery.’

A couple of example studies here:
Possible solar origin of the 1,470-year glacial climate cycle demonstrated in a coupled model (2005)

Timing of abrupt climate change: A precise clock (2003)
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Now we can relate this to the half period of the Jupiter-Saturn (J-S) conjunction cycle, i.e. one inferior or superior conjunction, as explained at Wikipedia.

The average J-S half-period is 9.932518 years.
The nearest harmonic to that period in Earth years is 10.
1470 = 148 * J-S/2
1470 = 147 * 10y
148 – 147 = 1 Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle

We find also that Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune conjunctions are such that:
148 * J-S/2 = 74 J-S = 41 S-N = 115 J-N = 1,470 years. [74 + 41 = 115]

Therefore 3 of the 4 major planets have a 1,470 year conjunction cycle.
(Planetary data from JPL @ NASA here)

So that’s the concept.
– – –
The graphics below are from Carsten Arnholm’s Solar Simulator software tool.
The interval between left and right sides is 1,470 years (May 501 – May 1971).

Each one shows a Jupiter, Neptune and Earth syzygy with Saturn opposite.
Note the similarity of the positions (red lines cross at the solar system barycentre).

Credit: [click to enlarge]

This is on similar lines to the ongoing studies of Nikolov & Zeller, featured here at the Talkshop on several occasions. The ‘standard’ tropopause pressure of ~0.1 bar is an interesting factor.

By looking at the temperature of every planet with sufficient atmospheres, we see temps rise along with atmospheric pressure, and not from a trace gas, says Alan Siddons at ClimateChangeDispatch.

Early in the 19th century, scientists began to speculate that the Earth, surrounded by the frigid vacuum of space, was habitable because its atmosphere contained special molecules like CO₂ and water vapor, molecules that can absorb heat rays emanating from the Earth and thereby trap its heat.

That the Earth was warmer than one might expect was apparently confirmed when Kirchhoff’s blackbody concept was adopted.


Arizona, USA

Amazing what can be gleaned from a 1,700 feet long rock core.
H/T Ian Wilson

Every 405,000 years, gravitational tugs from Jupiter and Venus slightly elongate Earth’s orbit, an amazingly consistent pattern that has influenced our planet’s climate for at least 215 million years and allows scientists to more precisely date geological events like the spread of dinosaurs, according to a Rutgers-led study.

The findings are published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reports ScienceDaily.


New insights on the internal workings of the Sun. The lead researcher notes: “Solar Rossby waves are gigantic in size, with wavelengths comparable to the solar radius”. They have maximum amplitudes in the Sun’s equatorial regions.

A team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the University of Göttingen has discovered new waves of vorticity on the Sun, reports

As described in today’s issue of Nature Astronomy, these Rossby waves propagate in the direction opposite to rotation, have lifetimes of several months, and maximum amplitudes at the Sun’s equator. For forty years scientists had speculated about the existence of such waves on the Sun, which should be present in every rotating fluid system.

Now, they have been unambiguously detected and characterized for the first time. The solar Rossby waves are close relatives of the Rossby waves known to occur in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.


Room for one more? [image credit: NASA]

There’s a suspicion of confirmation bias, or seeing what you wanted to see, in stories like this. But we’ll look for any merits in the ideas anyway. Claims that Planet 9 can’t hide much longer haven’t proved correct so far.

Observations made a thousand years ago could help modern scientists find the theoretical “Planet Nine” in the outer reaches of the solar system, says Live Science.

The far reaches of the outer solar system may be home to an icy giant — a hypothetical planet scientists have dubbed “Planet Nine.”

Meanwhile, archives back on Earth are home to dozens of medieval records documenting the passage of comets through the heavens. Now, two researchers from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland are hoping to use these old scrolls and tapestries to solve the modern astronomical mystery of Planet Nine.


Screenshot from NASA video

There’s the usual speculative talk of exotic materials, mysterious dynamos and so forth, but the probe is delivering plenty of data for scientists to analyse and ponder over.

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft recently flew over the poles of Jupiter, researchers were astonished, as if they had never seen a giant planet before, says

And in a sense they hadn’t.


The planet Mercury, as imaged by the MESSENGER spacecraft [Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington]

More theoretical speculations about Mercury’s origins, arising from what is now believed to be evidence of historical volcanic activity.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but far from being a dull cinder of a world, it has instead turned out to be a real eye opener for geologists, says

Among the revelations by NASA’s MESSENGER probe, which first flew past Mercury in 2008 and orbited it between 2011 and 2015, is the discovery of a hundred or so bright red spots scattered across the globe. Now they are at last being named.

Although they appear more yellow-orange than red on the accompanying colour-enhanced images, they are the reddest features on Mercury, a planet that looks dull and grey on unenhanced images.


ANTARCTICA : It’s Time We Had That Talk

Posted: April 17, 2018 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Surprise: Antarctic climate change is of opposite sign to model expectations.


Ross Ice Shelf - ANTARCTICA (popular mechanics)The Ross Ice Shelf is Freezing, Not Melting. Which Is Weird | Popular Mechanics

IT’S time for “the talk.” You know, the one we’ve been putting off because it’s “inconvenient”. That end-of-life conversation…

YEP! Antarctica, the ‘inconvenient’ pole, the naughty child, has been gaining ice mass and cooling for decades, despite a 20 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, and model predictions to the contrary.

2015 NASA Study

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 6.43.58 am.pngNASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses | NASA

Guardian Report 2015

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 7.12.50 am.pngWhy is Antarctic sea ice at record levels despite global warming? | Environment | The Guardian

2017 Study

Antartica 2017 Ice mass gain study.png

From the abstract:

Mass changes of the Antarctic ice sheet impact sea-level rise as climate changes, but recent rates have been uncertain. Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) data (2003–08) show mass gains from snow accumulation exceeded discharge losses by 82 ± 25 Gt a−1, reducing global sea-level…

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We’ve been having a good knockabout on twitter with Patrick Moore concerning Ned and Karl’s Pressure-Insolation theory; their discovery that a simple formula using surface pressure and solar distance will accurately give you the surface temperature on vastly different planets and moons throughout the solar system.


Figure 4: The relative atmospheric thermal enhancement, observed surface T/No -atmosphere T (Ts/Tna ratio) as a function of the average surface air pressure according to Eq. (10a) derived from data representing a broad range of planetary environments in the solar system.

Patrick is a great guy, and a good sport, and has been mostly putting up with Ned’s jibes and arguing his corner. I thought it might help others to understand Ned and Karl’s ideas if we look at a few of the objections Patrick raises and our answers to them.


There’s a new paper coming out in Astronomy and Astrophysics from Wu, Usoskin et al that is of interest to us. It reconstructs solar activity over 9 millennia. When I get a copy of the data, I’ll compare it to Steinhilber et al’s 2012 effort.




A montage of Uranus’ large moons and one smaller moon: from left to right Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon. Size proportions are correct. [image credit: Vzb83 @ Wikipedia (from originals taken by NASA’s Voyager 2)]

The five major moons of Uranus in ascending distance from the planet are:
Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon

Of these, the first three exhibit a synodic resonance similar to that of Jupiter’s Galilean moons, as we showed here:
Why Phi? – the resonance of Jupiter’s Galilean moons

Quoting from that post:
The only exact ratio is between the synodic periods which is 3:2:1.
It isn’t necessary to have an exact 4:2:1 orbit ratio in order to get a 3:2:1 synodic ratio.


Sprites, elves and jets [image credit: NOAA / BBC]

While speculation about theoretical dark matter and big bangs may be more popular, there’s plenty still to learn about these observed near-Earth electrical phenomena.

A new mission aboard the International Space Station is taking storm chasing to new heights, reports BBC News.

Thunderstorms are some of the most spectacular events in nature, yet what we can see from the surface of our planet is only the beginning.

There are bizarre goings on in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and a new mission aims to learn more about them.

Launched to the International Space Station on Monday, the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) will observe the strange electrical phenomena that occur above thunderstorms.



I was trained as an engineer and then did a degree in the History and philosophy of science.

I know how to calculate forces, I understand thermodynamics and radiative theory and I don’t ignore data inimical to any hypothesis.

After thirty years of monitoring and appraising the data, the global warming hypothesis and working out what really causes climatic change I’ve concluded that it ain’t CO2. The real causes of climatic change at the planetary scale are the enormous forces transferring energy between solar system bodies.

Jupiter and Saturn between them hold over 85% of the angular momentum of the system. Venus has, within an order of magnitude, the same gravitational force on the Earth-Moon system as Jupiter. The two of them have shaped the orbit of our Moon, whose tidal forces have a profound effect on the overturning circulation of Earth’s oceans, which contain 1000 times more heat than the atmosphere of which CO2 comprises 0.04%.


Ian Robert George Wilson and Nikolay S Sidorenkov

Wilson and Sidorenkov, J Earth Sci Clim Change 2018, 9:1, p. 446


Lunar ephemeris data is used to find the times when the Perigee of the lunar orbit points directly toward or away from the Sun, at times when the Earth is located at one of its solstices or equinoxes, for the period from 1993 to 2528 A.D. The precision of these lunar alignments is expressed in the form of a lunar alignment index (ϕ). When a plot is made of ϕ, in a frame-of-reference that is fixed with respect to the Perihelion of the Earth’s orbit, distinct periodicities are seen at 28.75, 31.0, 88.5 (Gleissberg Cycle), 148.25, and 208.0 years (de Vries Cycle). The full significance of the 208.0-year repetition pattern in ϕ only becomes apparent when these periodicities are compared to those observed in the spectra for two proxy time series. The first is the amplitude spectrum of the maximum daytime temperatures (Tm ) on the Southern Colorado Plateau for the period from 266 BC to 1997 AD. The second is the Fourier spectrum of the solar modulation potential (ϕm) over the last 9400 years. A comparison between these three spectra shows that of the nine most prominent periods seen in ϕ, eight have matching peaks in the spectrum of ϕm, and seven have matching peaks in the spectrum of Tm. This strongly supports the contention that all three of these phenomena are related to one another. A heuristic Luni-Solar climate model is developed in order to explain the connections between ϕ, Tm and ϕm.



scientist_cartoonDocument Page 1 of 2
A major deception on ‘global warming’
Wall Street Journal; New York; lun 12, 1996; Seitz, Frederick;
Edition: Eastern edition
Start Pa~e: A16
ISSN: 00999660
Subject Terms: Research
Professional ethics
Companies: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Frederick Seitz asserts that the report on global warming released in Jun 1996 by the UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is not the same version that was approved by the  contributing body of scientists listed on the title page. Seitz explains how the events that led to the IPCC report are “a disturbing corruption of the peer-review process” and says the deleted passages removed “hints of the skepticism” with which many scientists regard claims about global warming.


There may be consequences for electrical activity on Earth, as well as space radiation changes.

The Next Grand Minimum

Meteorologist Paul Dorian, Vencore, Inc.

All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum which is expected to begin in 2019 may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century. One of the natural impacts of decreasing solar activity is the weakening of the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows more and more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system. The intensification of cosmic rays can have important consequences on such things as Earth’s cloud cover and climate, the safety of our astronauts exploring in space, and lightning.

SIDC+DailySunspotNumberSince1900Daily observations of the number of sunspots since 1 January 1900 according to Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC). The thin blue line indicates the daily sunspot number, while the dark blue line indicates the running annual average. The recent low sunspot activity is clearly reflected in the recent low values…

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Jupiter’s ‘Great Red Spot’ [image credit: NASA]

It seems to be turning into the not-so-great orange spot. Could this be a feature of climate change Jupiter-style?

Though once big enough to swallow three Earths with room to spare, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot has been shrinking for a century and a half, says Astronomy Now. Nobody is sure how long the storm will continue to contract or whether it will disappear altogether.

A new study suggests that it hasn’t all been downhill, though. The storm seems to have increased in area at least once along the way, and it’s growing taller as it gets smaller.


Cyclones in Jupiter’s atmosphere [image credit: NASA]

Octagon and pentagon (8:5) shapes at the poles, with groups of cyclones in a 9:6 (= 3:2) polar ratio. Fascinating.

Jupiter’s poles are blanketed by geometric clusters of cyclones and its atmosphere is deeper than scientists suspected, says

These are just some of the discoveries reported by four international research teams Wednesday, based on observations by NASA’s Juno spacecraft circling Jupiter.

One group uncovered a constellation of nine cyclones over Jupiter’s north pole and six over the south pole. The wind speeds exceed Category 5 hurricane strength in places, reaching 220 mph (350 kph).

The massive storms haven’t changed position much—or merged—since observations began.


NASA image of the day: Sun’s quiet corona [credit: NASA/SDO]

‘Magnetic’ seems to mean ‘electromagnetic’ in this report. There’s a definition of an Alfvén wave here.

Scientists at Queen’s University Belfast have led an international team to the ground-breaking discovery that magnetic waves crashing through the sun may be key to heating its atmosphere and propelling the solar wind, as reports.

The sun is the source of energy that sustains all life on Earth but much remains unknown about it. However, a group of researchers at Queen’s have now unlocked some mysteries in a research paper, which has been published in Nature Physics.

In 1942, Swedish physicist and engineer Hannes Alfvén predicted the existence of a new type of wave due to magnetism acting on a plasma, which led him to obtain the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1970.

Since his prediction, Alfvén waves have been associated with a variety of sources, including nuclear reactors, the gas cloud that envelops comets, laboratory experiments, medical MRI imaging and in the atmosphere of our nearest star – the sun.