# Thread: Theory of sunspot prediction and planetary alignment

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## Theory of sunspot prediction and planetary alignment

I read with interest a number of other threads proposing statistical correlation between planetary conjugation cycles and sunspot cycles. The theory behind those correlations is that gravitational tidal forces acting on the surface of the sun causes formation of sun spots and ejection of solar matter. In fact, the relative tidal influence M/(D^3) of the planets on the Sun (by comparison with the Earth's effect on the Sun) is as follows:

Mercury 0.953
Venus 2.155
Earth 1.000
Mars 0.030
Jupiter 2.259
Saturn 0.109
Uranus 0.002
Neptune 0.001

Let's consider the biggest four tidal effects, i.e.

Mercury 0.953
Venus 2.155
Earth 1.000
Jupiter 2.259

The tidal effect can go from 0 (ie no sunspots) if Mercury and Venus are in exact antiphase with Earth and Jupiter relative to the sun, through to 6 if all four of these planets are aligned through the axis of the sun. They do not all have to be on the same side of the sun!

Experiment:

Based on the known orbital periods of each of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter, I produced an Excel worksheet showing exactly at which time two or more of these four planets would be aligned axially with the sun. The spreadsheet runs for four thousand years from 1000 BC to 3000 AD. If the alignment order was Sun-Venus-Earth or Venus-Sun-Earth it doesn't matter because the tidal force on the Sun would be the same. I then ran a macro to identify when the alignments had occured to within 5% angular error. The theory below is based on the alignment patterns that the spreadsheet revealed:

Theory:

Sun, Venus, and Earth are aligned approximately every 11.2 years (in any order axially through the Sun) with Jupiter in antiphase. At this time there occurs a "minor" sunspot maximum. Relative level = 2+1-2 = 1

Additionally, Jupiter is aligned with Sun, Venus and Earth every 22.4 years. At that time there occurs a "major" sunspot maximum. Relative level = 2+1+2 = 5

Additionally, Mercury is aligned with Sun, Venus and Earth every 201.5 years (relative level = 2), and also with Jupiter as well every 403 years (relative level = 6).

Mercury's gravitational drag on the Sun is in antiphase with the Sun, Venus and Earth between those times, so every 100.75 years we should see a sunspot cycle minimum, where sunspots disappear for about 20 years (relative level = 0) followed 100.75 years later by a minor sunspot cycle peak (relative level = 2), followed 100.75 years later by another minimum (relative level = 0), followed 100.75 years later by a grandaddy of sunspot maxima (relative level = 6).

Predictions:

I would be very interested if those who have access to historical data could please test this theory with observed planetary and sunspot data. Here are my predictions:

a) Every 403 years the sunspot cycle pattern repeats.

b) The periodicity of alignments of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter through the axis of the Sun is every 403 years.

c) 201.5 years following observation of maximum sunspot activity, there is a period of at least 20 years in which no sunspots at all will occur (relative tidal level =0)

d) 201.5 years following a 20 year period in which no sunspots occurred, there will occur a solar maxima that will not recur for another 403 years.

e) 2012 will be a year in which the absolute solar maxima will be observed (relative level=6) and it will be the same phenomena that presumably also happened in about 1609 ... can anyone remember back to then?

f) The last time when sunspots "disappeared" for 20 years should have been in approximately 1810 to 1830.

g) In case anyone is getting too worried about 2012, if we go back 22.4 years to 1989-90 then according to my theory there should have been at that time a relative level of sunspot activity of 5, with Jupiter, Sun Mercury, Venus and Earth aligned. So 2012 will only be 20% more intense due to the addition of Mercury in the alignment compared with then.

Best regards,
Rob

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In case anyone wants to check the workings, here is where I calculated the relative tidal drag of each planet on the sun's surface. The result is in the column I called "M/(D^3) Normalised". Everything is normalised relative to the Earth, which obviously scores 1

Regards,
Rob

3. You may want to check out this link.
http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/Sun/cycle.html

There are others like it, I'm sure.

I just did a quick search on sunspot cycles.

Hope this helps you.

4. The sunspot data we have does not fit your model. (See AstroRockHunter's link.) How does your model account for the Maunder Minimum?

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Thanks for the link. The key observed data is here:

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/Sun/maunder.gif

It seems to me that the relative peaks do vary in magnitude between levels of 0 and 6 and that they are quantised into a peak of either 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Obviously lots of my predictions are wrong, but then again I do not know the planetary alignment conditions with which to "reset" my model. Also I do not know which planets will align in 2012, I need to find out which side of the Sun they will be on etc.

The periodic alignment of Sun Venus and Earth every 11.2 years appears to correlate well with the sunspot count periodicity. There were 22 peaks from 1750 to 1984, giving 11.1 years between peaks.

The predictions of relative level of sunspot activity with tidal force levels from the model are wrong. Anyone have an explanation?

The effect I predicted of Jupiter's alignment with Venus, Earth and Sun every 22.2 years is not seen on the observed data. I expected to see alternating "high" "low" peaks. If anyone has an explanation, please ?

Many thanks,
Rob
Last edited by pzkpfw; 2010-Jan-30 at 12:13 PM. Reason: Image size (bytes)

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The correlation between the alignment period and observed sunspot activity of 11 years is interesting. It seems remarkable though that our tiny, distant planets could have any effect on the sun. What is the acceleration of the sun due to earth's gravity?
Last edited by violentquaker; 2010-Jan-29 at 04:19 AM. Reason: Typo

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Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Obviously lots of my predictions are wrong, but then again I do not know the planetary alignment conditions with which to "reset" my model. Also I do not know which planets will align in 2012, I need to find out which side of the Sun they will be on etc.
What is the date of this alignment?

8. Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Thanks for the link. The key observed data is here:

http://zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/Sun/maunder.gif

It seems to me that the relative peaks do vary in magnitude between levels of 0 and 6 and that they are quantised into a peak of either 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.
It would help if you could correlate your magnitude levels with the actual number of sunspots counted.

Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Obviously lots of my predictions are wrong, but then again I do not know the planetary alignment conditions with which to "reset" my model. Also I do not know which planets will align in 2012, I need to find out which side of the Sun they will be on etc.

The periodic alignment of Sun Venus and Earth every 11.2 years appears to correlate well with the sunspot count periodicity. There were 22 peaks from 1750 to 1984, giving 11.1 years between peaks.

The predictions of relative level of sunspot activity with tidal force levels from the model are wrong. Anyone have an explanation?

The effect I predicted of Jupiter's alignment with Venus, Earth and Sun every 22.2 years is not seen on the observed data. I expected to see alternating "high" "low" peaks. If anyone has an explanation, please ?

Many thanks,
Rob
Not that I think that your hypothesis is all that robust, but you have to remember that there are more than just four planets in our solar system.

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Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt

The effect I predicted of Jupiter's alignment with Venus, Earth and Sun every 22.2 years is not seen on the observed data. I expected to see alternating "high" "low" peaks. If anyone has an explanation, please ?
Do you mean besides the most likely one -- that the data falsify your theory?

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Originally Posted by AstroRockHunter
It would help if you could correlate your magnitude levels with the actual number of sunspots counted.
Please can you direct me to numeric data where the actual number of sunspots were counted?

Originally Posted by AstroRockHunter
Not that I think that your hypothesis is all that robust, but you have to remember that there are more than just four planets in our solar system.
I started by calculating the relative tidal drag on the SUN produced by all planets ... I supplied my data and calculations for scrutiny ...

Mercury 0.953
Venus 2.155
Earth 1.000
Mars 0.030
Jupiter 2.259
Saturn 0.109
Uranus 0.002
Neptune 0.001

Taking the maximum tidal drag that could be produced by Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter (6.35) then by disregarding the effect of Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (0.143) this constitutes a 2% error and saves a lot of calculation. To almost two orders of magnitude, the most significant planetary gravitational fields influencing the surface tidal movements of the Sun are from Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter.

Regards,
Rob

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Originally Posted by Geo Kaplan
Do you mean besides the most likely one -- that the data falsify your theory?
Is this true or false?

"To almost two orders of magnitude, the most significant planetary gravitational fields influencing the surface tidal movements of the Sun are from Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter."

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Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Is this true or false?

"To almost two orders of magnitude, the most significant planetary gravitational fields influencing the surface tidal movements of the Sun are from Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter."
Beware of shifting goalposts -- you originally asked a question about your hypothesis, and you also presented data that refuted it, then asked us what could be the explanation. Without knowing anything else, the most likely explanation is that the hypothesis is wrong.

Now, are there gravitational influences on the sun by the planets orbiting around it? Of course. But that's not what your hypothesis is, correct?

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Yep, I accept there is more work to do on several incorrect points in my first message, and I am working on it (see "next step" below). Meanwhile, can we please move forward and discuss two items which perhaps can be agreed so far, please? Any specific comments or rebuttals on the following?

1. There is almost 99% correlation of data regarding sunspot cycle periodicity with the periodicity of Sun-Venus-Earth alignments. The periodicity of both cycles in the timeframe 1800 to date is 11.2 years +- 0.1 year.

2. The combined tidal effects on the Sun caused by Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are 2% compared with the combined tidal effects of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter being 98% of the theoretical maximum.

(next step: produce a combined graphic showing the vector sum of amplitudes of tidal forces on the Sun due to Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter, and overlay the sunspot cycle data for the period 1800 to date)

Do these seem to be reasonable conclusions and next steps?

Many thanks,
Rob

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Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Yep, I accept there is more work to do on several incorrect points in my first message, and I am working on it (see "next step" below). Meanwhile, can we please move forward and discuss two items which perhaps can be agreed so far, please? Any specific comments or rebuttals on the following?

1. There is almost 99% correlation of data regarding sunspot cycle periodicity with the periodicity of Sun-Venus-Earth alignments. The periodicity of both cycles in the timeframe 1800 to date is 11.2 years +- 0.1 year.

2. The combined tidal effects on the Sun caused by Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are 2% compared with the combined tidal effects of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter being 98% of the theoretical maximum.

(next step: produce a combined graphic showing the vector sum of amplitudes of tidal forces on the Sun due to Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter, and overlay the sunspot cycle data for the period 1800 to date)

Do these seem to be reasonable conclusions and next steps?

Many thanks,
Rob
It sounds as if you are asking for advice in developing your theory. If that's the case, then perhaps you ought to take the time to develop it, and then return when you feel it is ready to present to a critical audience. A lot of folks come here in the belief that this is an online chat room to exchange ideas and get help in developing theories, but that's not the purpose of the ATM forum.

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Originally Posted by Geo Kaplan
It sounds as if you are asking for advice in developing your theory. If that's the case, then perhaps you ought to take the time to develop it, and then return when you feel it is ready to present to a critical audience. A lot of folks come here in the belief that this is an online chat room to exchange ideas and get help in developing theories, but that's not the purpose of the ATM forum.
OK thanks for the clarification. Yes that is what I had hoped for. So I'll try to find somewhere else. This thread can be locked. Bye for now.

16. Originally Posted by Geo Kaplan
It sounds as if you are asking for advice in developing your theory. If that's the case, then perhaps you ought to take the time to develop it, and then return when you feel it is ready to present to a critical audience. A lot of folks come here in the belief that this is an online chat room to exchange ideas and get help in developing theories, but that's not the purpose of the ATM forum.
but that's no longer the purpose of the ATM forum
for many years it was the purpose of the atm forum to `discuss' atm theories- now its only purpose is to ridicule any who try and throw out an idea

baut is going downhill :-(

17. Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
Taking the maximum tidal drag that could be produced by Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Jupiter (6.35)
That's an interesting comment, because it wasn't clear to me from your OP that you were talking about tidal drag. Tidal drag will not be so important here because of the fluidity of the sun and its slow rotation--the bulge won't advance that much. But even more important, I think, is that tidal drag is not proportional to the inverse radius cubed (which is how you compare, and sum, the effects of the planets), it is more like the sixth power.
Originally Posted by Rob Sherratt
OK thanks for the clarification. Yes that is what I had hoped for. So I'll try to find somewhere else. This thread can be locked. Bye for now.
OK then, let us know when you're ready.

Originally Posted by boppa
baut is going downhill :-(
Let's not go there here.