Posts Tagged ‘planetary’

Credit: JS Pailly

What a time to be alive says ScienceAlert.
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For the first time in centuries, compasses in Greenwich are about to point directly at true north: an epic coincidence of time and magnetism that hasn’t taken place for some 360 years.

This serendipitous occurrence – which is set to occur within the next fortnight – serves as a startling reminder of how Earth’s magnetic north pole is constantly wandering, unlike the fixed ‘true north’ of Earth’s geographic north pole.

The angular difference between those two different points is called magnetic declination, and while the gap might not be something ordinary people spend a great deal of time thinking about, it’s a disparity that can last for centuries at a time.

For hundreds of years now in the UK, due to Earth’s shifting magnetic north pole, declination has been negative, meaning compass needles have been pointing west of true north.

But nothing lasts forever.


Image credit:

In 2015 this post discussed long-term lunar precession from an apsidal, or anomalistic, standpoint.

We saw that all the numbers related to an exact number (339) of Metonic cycles (19 tropical years each, as discussed below).

Here we show the equivalent from a nodal, or draconic, standpoint.

Again, all the numbers relate to an exact number (337 this time) of Metonic cycles.


Natural gas flare {credit: Wikipedia]

As we already knew from elsewhere in the solar system, fossils are not essential for the production of methane aka natural gas. Only two ingredients are needed, one being water, as explained below.

New research from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) published Aug. 19, 2019, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane—methane formed by chemical reactions that don’t involve organic matter—on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

Researchers had long noticed methane released from deep-sea vents, says But while the gas is plentiful in the atmosphere where it’s produced by living things, the source of methane at the seafloor was a mystery.


More electromagnetic goings-on near Earth’s outer fringes.

August 9, 2019: Astronauts are surrounded by danger: hard vacuum, solar flares, cosmic rays. Researchers from UCLA have just added a new item to the list. Earth itself.

“A natural particle accelerator only 40,000 miles above Earth’s surface is producing ‘killer electrons’ moving close to the speed of light,” says Terry Liu, a newly-minted PhD who studied the phenomenon as part of his thesis with UCLA Prof. Vassilis Angelopoulos.

This means that astronauts leaving Earth for Mars could be peppered by radiation coming at them from behind–from the direction of their own home planet.


NASA’s THEMIS spacecraft ran across the particles in 2008 not far from the place where the solar wind slams into Earth’s magnetic field. Researchers have long known that shock waves at that location could accelerate particles to high energies–but not this high. The particles coming out of the Earth-solar wind interface have energies up to 100,000…

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Credit: NASA [click on image to enlarge]

In a 2015 Talkshop post we found a resonant period of 486.5 days for the inner three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa and Ganymede. Here the researchers find a period of 480-484 days, which clearly looks very much the same as our period, linked to recurring volcanic activity. They find this ‘surprising’, but the repeating alignments of these moons with Jupiter – at the same time interval – look to be more than a coincidence.

Hundreds of volcanoes pockmark the surface of Io, the third largest of Jupiter’s 78 known moons, and the only body in our solar system other than Earth where widespread volcanism can be observed, says

The source of the moon’s inner heat is radically different than Earth’s, making the moon a unique system to investigate volcanism.

A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds Io’s most powerful, persistent volcano, Loki Patera, brightens on a similar timescale to slight perturbations in Io’s orbit caused by Jupiter’s other moons, which repeat on an approximately 500-Earth-day cycle.


Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

First the report, then a brief Talkshop analysis.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered a world between the sizes of Mars and Earth orbiting a bright, cool, nearby star, reports

The planet, called L 98-59b, marks the tiniest discovered by TESS to date.

Two other worlds orbit the same star.


Still plenty of work for scientists to do to gain a better understanding of our rotating Earth’s electromagnetic processes.

Scientists assumed Earth’s mantle, the layer stretching from the crust to a depth of 255 miles, was magnetically dead. New research suggests they were mistaken, reports

Most scientists thought Earth’s magnetism was powered by materials in the crust and core, but according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature, hematite, a common iron oxide, retains its magnetic qualities at high temperatures.

“This new knowledge about the Earth’s mantle and the strongly magnetic region in the western Pacific could throw new light on any observations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Ilya Kupenko, mineral physicist and researcher from the University of Munster in Germany, said in a news release.


Mars-Earth comparison
[image credit: Wikipedia]

A manned trip to Mars is not looking like a good idea from a health point of view, according to this report.

An astronaut on a mission to Mars could receive radiation doses up to 700 times higher than on our planet—a major showstopper for the safe exploration of our solar system, says

A team of European experts is working with ESA to protect the health of future crews on their way to the Moon and beyond.

Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere protect us from the constant bombardment of galactic cosmic rays—energetic particles that travel at close to the speed of light and penetrate the human body.

Cosmic radiation could increase cancer risks during long duration missions.


Get ready: “In June 2019 the Earth will approach within [0.06 AU or 9 million km] of the center of the Taurid swarm, its closest post-perihelion encounter with Earth since 1975”. Is there a Tunguska link?

May 24, 2019: In November 2032, Earth will pass through the Taurid Swarm, a cloud of debris from Comet 2P/Encke that makes brilliant fireballs when its gravelly particles occasionally hit Earth’s atmosphere. Previous encounters with the Swarm in 2005 and 2015 produced showers of bright meteors observed around the world; in 1975 the Swarm contacted the Moon, making Apollo seismic sensors ring with evidence of objects hitting the lunar surface. If forecasters are correct, we’re in for similar activity 13 years from now.

Some researchers are beginning to wonder if there might be more to the Taurid Swarm than the pebble-sized particles that make fireballs–something, say, that could level a forest. On June 30, 1908, a forest in Siberia did fall down when a 100-meter object fell out of the sky and exploded just above the Tunguska River. Back-tracking the trajectory of the impactor suggests it may have come from…

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There’s a strong link between the trigon period and the solar inertial motion cycle (or Jose cycle) which is 3 trigons or 179 years.

See also: The Sixty-Year Climate Cycle


Could Kepler’s chart contain the key to climate cycles?

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A simple pattern emerges when looking at the Earth-Mars synodic conjunctions.

Focussing on the numbers of Mars orbits that are equal, or almost equal, to an exact number of Earth orbits (years), the pattern can be found by subtracting the number of conjunctions from the number of Mars orbits.

The difference between the two sets of numbers follows the Fibonacci series, which is strongly related to the golden ratio.


Earth’s magnetic field keeps weakening at a faster rate. Should we be concerned?

The Next Grand Minimum

Earth’s magnetic field is getting significantly weaker, the magnetic north pole is shifting at an accelerating pace, and scientists readily admit that a sudden pole shift could potentially cause “trillions of dollars” in damage. Today, most of us take the protection provided by Earth’s magnetic field completely for granted. It is essentially a colossal force field which surrounds our planet and makes life possible. And even with such protection, a giant solar storm could still potentially hit our planet and completely fry our power grid. But as our magnetic field continues to get weaker and weaker, even much smaller solar storms will have the potential to be cataclysmic. And once the magnetic field gets weak enough, we will be facing much bigger problems. As you will see below, if enough solar radiation starts reaching our planet none of us will survive.
But now we are being told that data collected…

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Image credit: Wikipedia

In Part 1 the period of time in question was 13 lunar tropical years (LTY). Here we show how this relates to the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction and other significant periods.

13 LTY = 169 * 27.321582 days (lunar orbit period) = 4617.3473 days
1 Jupiter-Saturn conjunction = 19.865036 years * 365.25636 days = 7255.8307 days
[planetary data source]

Jupiter-Saturn-Earth orbits chart

This gives a ratio of exactly 11:7 as follows:
11 * 4617.3473 = 50790.82 days
7 * 7255.8307 = 50790.814 days
7 and 11 are Lucas numbers.

Multiplying by 3 (which is both a Fibonacci and a Lucas number), the results from Part 1 can now be ‘plugged in’ to the chart on the right from a previous blog post, which is based on multiples of 21 (3 * 7) Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, as the chart on the right shows.

Quoting from that post:
The synodic periods all occur in multiples of six, and one sixth of 2503 years is 417.1666 years which is 21 J-S, 382 J-E, 403 S-E and two de Vries cycles.

Updating that, the matching periods now are:
2 de Vries cycles
21 Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions (3 * 7)
382 Jupiter-Earth conjunctions
403 Saturn-Earth conjunctions (13 * 31)
352 Chandler wobbles (11 * 32)
429 Lunar tropical years (11 * 39 or 13 * 33)
627 Venus rotations (11 * 57 or 19 * 33)

Therefore: 31 Saturn-Earth = 33 Lunar tropical years.

Quoting from Part 1 of the post:
353 Earth tropical years (ETY) = 363 Lunar tropical years = 10 beats

363 LTY = 33 * 11
Therefore: 363 LTY = 31 * 11 (341) Saturn-Earth conjunctions (= synodic periods).

Quoting from another earlier post – Sidorenkov and the lunar or tidal year:
4719 LM = 128930.54 days  [note: 4719 = 363 * 13 i.e. 363 LTY]
4366 SM = 128930.55 days
4727 CR = 128930.34 days
5080 SSR = 128930.40 days
353 TY = 128930.49 days

(see post re. abbreviations).

NASA’s Saturn Fact Sheet says re. Saturn-Earth:
Synodic period (days) 378.09

TY = tropical years
128930.49 days / 341 S-E = 378.09527 days
This ties Saturn to Sidorenkov’s 353 year period, which is therefore 11/13ths of 21 J-S.
Also: 11/13ths of 429 LTY = 363 LTY.

In the graphic the full period is 126 J-S, described as 6 * 21.
It could also be described as 7 * 18, which are Lucas numbers.


The ability to recognize patterns in Earth’s behaviour by sifting through masses of geological data could be programmed into machines.

Scientists seeking to understand Earth’s inner clockwork have deployed armies of sensors listening for signs of slips, rumbles, exhales and other disturbances emanating from the planet’s deepest faults to its tallest volcanoes.

“We measure the motion of the ground continuously, typically collecting 100 samples per second at hundreds to thousands of instruments,” said Stanford geophysicist Gregory Beroza. “It’s just a huge flux of data.”

Yet scientists’ ability to extract meaning from this information has not kept pace, reports


Image credit: Wikipedia

The next step is to find the source(s) of the dust, with as yet undetected asteroids thought to be the leading suspects.

Two dusty discoveries may shake up our understanding of the inner solar system, says Fox News.

Mercury shares its supertight orbit with a big ring of wandering dust, a recent study suggests. And a cloud of as-yet-undiscovered asteroids likely gave rise to a similar halo in Venus’ neighborhood, another new paper concludes.


Kepler’s trigon – the orientation of consecutive Jupiter-Saturn synodic periods, showing the repeating triangular shape (trigon).

This of course follows on from the very recent Part 1 of the model. Since Jupiter and Saturn are the dominant planets in our solar system, we can speculate that they may have a significant effect on the obliquity of smaller bodies. Or they may not – no-one knows, but we can look at possible evidence.
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Precession of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction (J-S) was worked out by Kepler centuries ago, as shown in his diagram to the right.

‘As successive great conjunctions occur nearly 120° apart, their appearances form a triangular pattern. In a series every fourth conjunction returns after some 60 years in the vicinity of the first. These returns are observed to be shifted by some 7–8°’ – Wikipedia.


Earth’s Axial Tilt, or Obliquity [Credit: Wikipedia]

First let’s get the approximate target numbers for the model.

‘The inclination of Earth’s orbit varies with respect to the solar system’s invariant plane with a period of roughly 71000 years.
. . .
Taken in conjunction with the 26000-year spin-axis precession, the 71000-year orbit precession causes a 41000-year oscillation in the tilt of the earth’s axis, about plus or minus 1.3 degrees from its average value of 23.3 degrees. This number is not absolutely stable – it depends on the combined positions of all the planets through time.’

Astronomy: precession of Earth (Washington State University)
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Origin of the 100 kyr Glacial Cycle: eccentricity or orbital inclination?

‘Spectral analysis of climate data shows a strong narrow peak with period ~ 100 kyr, attributed by the Milankovitch theory to changes in the eccentricity of the earth’s orbit. The narrowness of the peak does suggest an astronomical origin; however the shape of the peak is incompatible with both linear and nonlinear models that attribute the cycle to eccentricity or (equivalently) to the envelope of the precession. In contrast, the orbital inclination parameter gives a good match to both the spectrum and bispectrum of the climate data.’

Richard A. Muller — University of California, Berkeley and
Gordon J. MacDonald — University of California, San Diego


Saturn from the Cassini orbiter [image credit: NASA]

This has been a tricky problem for years as explained below, and now appears to have been resolved. But whether that’s the end of the story remains to be seen.

Saturn’s distinctive rings were observed in unprecedented detail by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, and scientists have now used those observations to probe the interior of the giant planet and obtain the first precise determination of its rotation rate, reports

The length of a day on Saturn, according to their calculations, is 10 hours 33 minutes and 38 seconds.



The researchers say the key to this is a phenomenon closely connected to Earth’s polar jet streams.

A Japanese research group has identified a giant streak structure among the clouds covering planet Venus based on observation from the spacecraft Akatsuki, reports

The team also revealed the origins of this structure using large-scale climate simulations.


Arctic region

At last – something that can’t be blamed on Brexit! Just joking of course, and wandering poles can be a serious matter for navigators.

Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation.
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Something strange is going on at the top of the world, a Nature article says.

Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core.

The magnetic pole is moving so quickly that it has forced the world’s geomagnetism experts into a rare move.