What modulates our Sun? The majority of science work on the principle that the Sun is self modulating and each solar cycle is a product of a random number generator. There are others that suspect the Sun is modulated by the planets with a special emphasis on Uranus & Neptune. Thanks to Carl Smith who has recently left us we have new knowledge that significantly adds to Jose, Landscheidt & Charvàtovà's work.

Geoff Sharp

A Major New Planetary Paper Published.

J. A Abreu et al.: Is there a planetary influence on solar activity?

It has been sometime coming but this important paper is finally published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Is there a planetary influence on solar activity?
J. A Abreu1;2, J. Beer2, A. Ferriz-Mas3;4, K. G. McCracken5, and F. Steinhilber2
1 ETH Zurich Institut fur Geophysik, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland. e-mail:
2 Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Postfach 611, CH-8600 D¨ubendorf, Switzerland.
3 Departamento the Fisica Aplicada, Universidade de Vigo, Spain.
4 Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA/CSIC), Granada, Spain.
5 University of Maryland, USA.
Received 17 Mai 2011 Accepted 17 Mai 2011

Link to full paper HERE.

The list of authors is extremely impressive which is sure to send shockwaves through the Solar Science fraternity. This paper will surely put solar planetary influence on the map and this paper will not be allowed to be ignored by some who refuse to discuss the planetary effects on solar output. The names of Steinhilber, McCracken and Beer linked with a planetary paper is a major breakthrough for this area of science.

The main thrust of this paper is the extremely close match of 3 records that span a good proportion of the Holocene. Solar proxies 10Be and 14C are matched against a specific Solar Torque which is a new calculation using planet tidal forces acting on the Tachocline (the thin sheer layer between the solar radiative and convective zones) that create torque generated from the Sun moving around the centre of the solar system, initial impressions suggest this calculation is a mixture of two forces but clarification is still needed. A diagram and brief description is at the top of this article.

J. A Abreu et al.: Is there a planetary influence on solar activity?

The above graph showing the power spectrum analysis in the matchup with the periods of 87, 104 , 150, 208 and 504 years. The chance of the torque analysis lining up so well with the Solar proxy records is extreme and outside the possibility of a "fluke" outcome.

The method of calculating torque I think needs to be expanded on to fully understand, and perhaps needs a layman's version to enable a thorough discussion in public forums. I have emailed Ian Wilson to see if he can help out which would be greatly appreciated.

The 208 year cycle has been reported on many times in the past and is generally labelled the De Vries cycle. When it come to cycles I am a firm believer that an exact cycle cannot be obtained from planetary or solar proxy data as the times of grand minima occur on a rough repeating cycle, but because of the varying lengths and strengths of EACH downturn a precise cycle is difficult to find. My research suggests that the main driver that causes grand minima comes in groups that centre around the Uranus/Neptune conjunction (171.4 years). The groups of disturbance usually come in 3 with each disturbance separated by around 40 years. 3 strong disturbances in one group is very rare and once occurring produces strong and lengthy grand minima like the Sporer and Maunder. The majority of repeating groups over the Holocene have a mixture of disturbance strength, so not all disturbances have a big impact on solar output. If we look at the last few hundred years we see the first disruption of the Dalton around 1800 followed by 2 weak disruptions. Going forward the next disruption in 1970 (SC20) is weak but is then followed by a moderate disruption at 2010, giving a 210 year gap between the major events. I think it is reasonable to suggest this is a very common occurrence across the Holocene that masks the underlying cycle of 172 years.

This paper is a major step in the process of legitimizing planetary/solar influences that should allow a more balanced discussion in open forums. Thanks to Ian Wilson for keeping me informed on this project.




Many thanks go to Carl's brother Dave for providing the Domain, Server and Software.