The heliospheric current sheet as solar cycle proxy

Many readers are familiar with a number of solar proxies used to gauge the activity of the sun, the most familiar being sunspot counts and type. However they aren’t the only metric you can use to determine when one cycle ends and another begins. The Heliospheric Current Sheet sounds a bit like a “newsletter” and in a sense it is, because it can announce the true end of solar cycle 23.

Here’s what it looks like:

Heliospheric current sheet – click for larger image

From Wikipedia:

The heliospheric current sheet (HCS) is the surface within the Solar System where the polarity of the Sun’s magnetic field changes from north to south. This field extends throughout the Sun’s equatorial plane in the heliosphere.The shape of the current sheet results from the influence of the Sun’s rotating magnetic field on the plasma in the interplanetary medium (Solar Wind). A small electrical current flows within the sheet, about 10−10 A/m². The thickness of the current sheet is about 10,000 km.

The underlying magnetic field is called the interplanetary magnetic field, and the resulting electric current forms part of the heliospheric current circuit.[4] The heliospheric current sheet is also sometimes called the interplanetary current sheet.

What the Heliospheric Current Sheet is telling us.

David Archibald writes:

One of the things that the now disbanded NASA Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel told us was that is that solar minimum is marked by a flat heliospheric current sheet.  The heliospheric current sheet can be found here:  http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Tilts.gif

The site provides two data series – the classic and the radial, and notes that the radial may be possibly more accurate.  Plotting up the radial data, the following chart is generated:

heliospheric-current-sheet-graph

The heliospheric current sheet, for the last three minima, has got down to 3°.  The last reading was 8.7°.  It has been declining at an average of 8.6° per annum.  If it holds that rate, solar minimum will be in August 2009.  If it holds to the orange bounding line, solar minimum could be as late as April 2010.  The last reading on the classic series is 22.8° and this series got down to 10° on average in previous solar minima.  At its decline rate, solar minimum will be in another 1.9 years, which is late 2010.

To paraphrase a popular aphorism, Solar Cycle 23 isn’t over until the heliospheric current sheet has flattened, and it has a way to go yet.

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193 Responses to The heliospheric current sheet as solar cycle proxy

  1. Rich says:

    Could you mark the ends of cycles 21 and 22 on the graph for comparison?

    REPLY: when they hit and stay near the green line – Anthony

  2. Peter Jones says:

    So based on this, how many spotless days??

  3. Rich says:

    Sorry, I meant as already determined from the standard sources.

  4. tallbloke says:

    Laying a bounding line seems to work quite well for solar cycle 21, not so well for sc 22. Hence David Archibalds fairly wide prediction of Aug 2009-Apr 2010.
    Is data for earlier cycles non-existant, patchy, or good?

  5. Ric Werme says:

    Boy, given the SC21 and SC22 traces, I wouldn’t project a straight line to set a target minimum date

  6. vukcevic says:

    All references but one (links in the text) lead to Wikipedia. I am told that some of the Wiki’s entries are suspect; e.g.

    Electric current
    The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward, the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions. The total current in the circuit is on the order of 3×10^9 amperes.[4] As a comparison with other astrophysical electric currents, the Birkeland currents that supply the Earth’s aurora are about a thousand times weaker at a million amperes. The maximum current density in the sheet is on the order of 10-10 A/m² (10-4 A/km²).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliospheric_current_sheet
    Any comments?

    REPLY: I tend to worry about Wiki entries that are contentious. This one did not seem to be. I’m certainly no expert on the HCS, so I’ll defer comments about the validity of that explanation to Leif and David. – Anthony

  7. Jeff says:

    You can see some data at:

    ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY

    and

    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/latest/DSD.txt

    This appears to be the lowest since at least 1913. You get back to the Dalton Minimum for numbers that are lower. Could you comment on this?

    Also, could you also comment on how global temperatures are tracking? An update would be informative.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  8. Richard deSousa says:

    Wow! What a wild looking purple graph!!

  9. Mike M says:

    this is really cool information. the most interesting tidbit nestled in the article was this line

    ….the now disbanded NASA Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel…

    and i wonder if NASA will disband a whole group for giving faulty predictions, why is Hansen still there?

  10. vukcevic says:

    REPLY: I tend to worry about Wiki entries that are contentious. This one did not seem to be. I’m certainly no expert on the HCS, so I’ll defer comments about the validity of that explanation to Leif and David. – Anthony

    Thanks Anthony for the prompt reply. I am counting on it to be correct (word for word), if not, then need to be edited by the experts.

  11. P Folkens says:

    Would the minimum be the first time the measurement reached the green line, or the second? It appears the data creates a “W” at the bottom.

    Connecting the tops to project a bottom is not likely to be accurate. The measurements might hit the green line, then bounce up only to fall and hit the green line a second time before rising for an extended period. If one draws a line intersecting the two highest points in Cycle 21, this happens—the green line is hit twice before the rising line intersects with the red and “breaks out.”

    The August 09 minimum may be a better bet.

  12. What the Heliospheric Current Sheet is telling us.
    One of the things that the now disbanded NASA Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel told us was that is that solar minimum is marked by a flat heliospheric current sheet.
    This is a misunderstanding of what has been known for the last 30+ years.

    The last reading on the classic series is 22.8° and this series got down to 10° on average in previous solar minima.
    You shouldn’t switch back and forth being the radial and classic just to inflate the numbers when convenient. Stick to one or the other.

    The current understanding of the HCS and its ‘flatness’ derives from http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    The relevant figure is Figure 5 that shows how the undulations of the current sheet depend on the strength of the polar fields: a weaker polar field results in a more warped [extending to higher latitudes] current sheet. The polar fields right now are weak and the current sheet is more warped [go to higher latitude] than at some previous minima with stronger polar fields. Since the polar fields are not getting any stronger, the current sheet will not get much flatter [near the Sun]. The flatness is dictated by a balance between the polar fields and the low-latitude magnetic field. The latter is about as low as it will go and the polar fields are not getting stronger [rather any SC24 activity will weaken the polar fields and strengthen the mid-latitude fields and any SC23 activity still to come will strengthen the low-latitude fields]. There is no ‘law’ that says that the HCS should reach the same flatness at every minimum. It all depends on the polar fields. In 1954 the polar fields were very strong [resulting in the mighty cycle 19] and the HCS was completely flat ['tilt angle' = 0] for almost a year [we know this because there were no 'sector boundaries' at the time]. This time around, the polar fields are much weaker and the HCS is not so flat.
    Just extrapolating the curve is not science, especially since we do know how these things work and therefore do not need to extrapolate [which is what you have to do, if you don't know anything].
    Finally, the WSO tilt angle is based on a potential field [PF] calculation [see http://www.leif.org/research/Calculation%20of%20Spherical%20Harmonics.pdf for the derivation of my program used to calculate these things at WSO] that we know is not correct physics [it assumes that there are no currents in the inner corona]. The PF calculation assumes that the extent of the HCS is fixed at the ‘source surface’ and just carried out by the solar wind from there. A more correct MHD calculation shows that there is further flattening as we progress further out. Even though the PF calculation may say that the extent is 22 degrees near the Sun, the real current sheet is flatter than that further out.
    A measure of the flatness of the HCS is the so-called Rosenberg-Coleman effect, which states that the flatter the current sheet, the bigger is the imbalance between the polarities of the interplanetary magnetic field observed at Earth [because the Earth goes 'above' the current sheet] in March [north of the HCS] and in September [south of the HCS]. A neat way of showing this is simply to calculate the average signed radial field over a solar rotation. If we are centered on the HCS this average sould be zero [equal amount of inwards (say above the HCS) and outwards field (say below)]. Any imbalance [very flat HCS] should show up as a sinusoidal yearly wave. Such wave was observed throughout 2008 http://www.leif.org/research/Rosenberg-Coleman-Effect-2008.png . Compare this with Figure 3 of http://www.leif.org/research/Asymmetric%20Rosenberg-Coleman%20Effect.pdf to see the wave at earlier solar minima, and also to see that the Rosenberg-Coleman effect is an indicator of we being on the ascending branch of the cycle [see Figure 2].
    I say again, just extrapolating curves when you do not know what is going on may be good clean fun, but is not science.

  13. MattN says:

    The cycle 24 panel has been disbanded? Why? Complete lack of competence?

  14. vukcevic (09:43:58) :
    The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward, the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions.
    Since the polarity of the heliospheric magnetic field reverses polarity every 11 years the current should change direction too, so the above statement is clearly suspect. Furthermore the current and the current are at right angles to each other, so for a magnetic field extending radially outward from the Sun, the current would be around the Sun, not radial, and so on.

    Richard deSousa (09:47:23) :
    Wow! What a wild looking purple graph!!
    Yes. I’m very proud of it. When we made our first drawing of the HCS [see e.g. Figure 6 in http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf ] it lacked some ‘pizzazz’ and John Wilcox took it over to a artist {Werner Heil] at Ames Research Center and asked him to ‘jazz it uo’. And what a job he did! I use it my screen background image [tiled] so look at many times a day.

  15. The orange line used for extrapolation goes from the maximum value of 75 degrees and down, but that value [75] is a complete artifact due to the observing characteristics of the Stanford magnetograph [basically its large 3 arc minute aperture]. The correct maximum value is 90 degrees [as the fields reverse]. Try to redraw your graph using the correct value and show us again.

  16. gary gulrud says:

    DA, yer on a roll!

  17. Thre was a big low about 2000-2001. Any explanation?

  18. Leif Svalgaard (10:26:51) :
    vukcevic (09:43:58) :
    Furthermore the current and the magnetic field are at right angles to each
    of course…

  19. Ray says:

    Based on the previous cycles I would not extend a straigt line but more of en exponential decay… that could reach a minimum around 2015. Does that year sounds familiar to readers of WUWT?

    What are the consequences on climate when we go through the lobes and when we are not in a lobe? Would it be possible that the small current inside a lobe would increase earth’s magnetic field and reduce cloud formation?

  20. stephen richards says:

    Jeff

    Try this for the latest satelite data.

    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/

    Click on plot graph

  21. George Patch says:

    How does this relate to the sun’s magnetic field and the now infamous step function of October 2005? My untrained eye is seeing a similar drop in the heliospheric current sheet around the same time frame.

  22. dearieme says:

    The opera ain’t over until the red cabbage is flat.

  23. Alex says:

    Interesting graphics… I’d call the maroon one a kawasaki diagram! (After Japanese mathematician who invented fourfold-symmetry origami, creating a similar shape, except this one has 2),
    still quite strange, the minimum keeps being pushed further and further. No news from NASA though,,, it seems as though hathaway et al are tired of shifting goalposts…
    Perhaps the Mayan astronomers were right, 2012 might really be the ‘death of the 5th sun’ literally!… ok, ok, not exactly science but still intriguing none the less! :)

  24. I think the prognosis from a curve fit of such wiggly data have little value.

    If there is more such data on earlier it would be much appreciated.

    best,

  25. gary gulrud says:

    “panel disbanded…Complete lack of competence?”

    “extrapolating curves when you do not know what is going on may be good clean fun, but is not science.”

    Another year will go a long way towards deciding the issue: How much do we know and when did we learn it? No bet.

  26. Adolfo Giurfa (11:07:41) :
    There was a big low about 2000-2001. Any explanation?
    Yes, the data from WSO then was bad [useless] because of equipment problems.

    George Patch (11:18:29) :
    How does this relate to the sun’s magnetic field and the now infamous step function of October 2005?
    It does not, and that step is a fluke [caused by a single large sporadic solar storm in September 2005, see http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005,09,15

    Geomagnetic activity is determined basically by three things:
    1) solar wind speed V
    2) interplanetary magnetic field B
    3) the tilt angle of the the Earth’s magnetic axis against the direction to the Sun
    The observations of V and B for the last 6 years [page 1 of]
    http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF,%20SW,%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf
    do not show any special changes apart from the general decline of B [which may have abated since the summer of 2008]. There are spikes in B and V at various times caused by large solar storms [Oct. 2003, Jan. 2005, Dec. 2006] and less conspicuous ones at other times. Last, but not least, the storm in Sept. 2005 was enhanced because of the favorable attack angle. Thus no significance can [and should] be attached to the ‘step’

  27. psi says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:14:32) :

    The last reading on the classic series is 22.8° and this series got down to 10° on average in previous solar minima.

    You shouldn’t switch back and forth being the radial and classic just to inflate the numbers when convenient. Stick to one or the other.

    Dr. Svalgaard,

    Let me first add my voice of appreciation for your diligent participation in this forum. Having said that, however, I must admit that in this instance I had a different interpretation of David Archibald’s intention. Unless I am missing something here (which I might be, since this is not my field), it seems pretty clear to me that he is not, as you suggest, “switching back and forth” between the two data sets in order to “inflate the numbers” for the sake of convenience.

    In fact he seems to be responsibly presenting both sets of data — illustrating the radial data in the graph and summarizing the classic data. His purpose seems to be the opposite of the one which you impute to him, which is to allow readers access to both data sets and the freedom to decide which of them might be more relevant. If I have misunderstood, I welcome a correction. If not, I think it would be better to stick to the real issues and not impugn Mr. (Dr.? sorry, I’m not sure) Archibald’s method without substantive reason.

    Thanks again for the fruitful dialogue.

    -psi

  28. Mike M (10:05:24) :
    ….the now disbanded NASA Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel…
    Who says it is disbanded? Not that I know of. It has been decided not to have anymore meetings, but there is still email and phone activity.

  29. Jim Steele says:

    Can you overlay sunspot numbers on the HSC graph?

  30. tallbloke says:

    Leif

    because the Earth goes ‘above’ the current sheet in March [north of the HCS] and in September [south of the HCS]

    When does the earth reach it’s maximum height above and below the flattened HCS please Leif

  31. Mike C says:

    They should have disbanded the NASA GISS office first.

  32. MC says:

    Mr. Archibald,

    I hope you know what you’re talking about cause this guy Lief sure does.

    How come Lief does’nt find the correlation and thereby the final analysis for predicting or knowing at what point we are in sc23. I know that’s all you’re doing. I commend Anthony for recognizing this as well.

    Please continue informing us David. There are those of us who do understand.

  33. Jane says:

    Back to reality folks:

    Solar variations do affect climate, but they are not the only factor. As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends. The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

    Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

    The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to warm.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12234

  34. Tom says:

    The wikipedia entry on Heliospheric current sheet was started by Ian Tresman, a proponent of the plasma universe theory and a supporter of Eric Lerner, author of “The Big Bang Never Happened.” That’s not to say it cou

    However, in 2007 the article was visited by user:ScienceApologist who is an academic astronomer in his day job, and he and Ian were quibbling over a rather minor detail, so I gather that ScienceApologist had no problems with the article overall. The article has been remarkably stable since.

    The electric/plasma universe people invaded Wikipedia a couple of years ago and it took some time to deal with them. This article looks like it was not badly affected, but I’d be happier knowing that Leif was generally in agreement with it.

  35. kim says:

    A link to the drawing of Leif’s original conception, please, unless it’s already here.
    ====================================================

  36. John-X says:

    Leif Svalgaard (10:14:32) :

    “…The current understanding of the HCS and its ‘flatness’ derives from
    http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    …undulations of the current sheet depend on the strength of the polar fields: a weaker polar field results in a more warped [extending to higher latitudes] current sheet. The polar fields right now are weak and the current sheet is more warped [go to higher latitude] than at some previous minima with stronger polar fields…”

    I have noticed in the Stanford Wilcox series that the HCS tilt has been decreasing

    http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Tilts.gif

    while the strength of the solar polar fields remains weak

    http://wso.stanford.edu/gifs/Polar.gif

    What’s going on?

  37. Mike Jonas says:

    28 days without a #24 sunspot. Longest gap since Jul/Aug/Sep08.

  38. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:12:39) :
    to
    vukcevic (09:43:58) :
    Furthermore the current and the magnetic field are at right angles to each
    of course…

    Thanks for the explanation. On the NASA’s sketch
    http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/istp/halebopp/disconnect/bopp_intersect.html
    two sets of helispheric currents (one above one below magnetic equator?) presumably should be ‘flowing’ into and out of the screen’s plane.
    Crucial question : is the magnetic field (green lines) a cause or consequence of the current flow, i.e. what is their mutual relationship?

  39. jae says:

    “Back to reality folks:”

    Oh, boy, back to the warmers’ favorite logical error: if we don’t know what is causing something, it has to be CO2 (mankind)! That ain’t reality, as I understand it, Jane.

  40. Wondering Aloud says:

    Jane

    First off, why would anyone assume the affect of solar activity would be instant and not delayed? I would expect a considerable delay if solar activity as a whole was a driver, though some effects might be quick.

    Second why is temperature not changing in lockstep with solar activity a problem for people who can than turn around and blame carbon dioxide? Which is not only also not in lockstep; i.e long periods of cooling while carbon dioxide is rising 1940s to 1970s and 1998 to present. But, in addition the paleo record clearly suggests that in the past temperature changes have happened first with CO2 change lagging behind by centuries.

    The most reasonable explanation is of course temperature increase causes CO2 to increase as would be predicted from gas soluability and for that matter Le Chatlier’s principle.

    To me the fun thing is that the recent cooling really doesn’t fit models that use either solar or GHG as primary drivers of the change. If GHG it shouldn’t be cooling if solar variability it shouldn’t already be cooling. It has to be much more complicated than either.

    Too bad this is so political, this kind of question is what makes science fun.

  41. Tom says:

    The first paragraph of my post at 13:11 should read,

    The wikipedia entry on Heliospheric current sheet was started by Ian Tresman, a proponent of the plasma universe theory and a supporter of Eric Lerner, author of “The Big Bang Never Happened.” That’s not to say it couldn’t be a very good article, only that it should be looked at carefully.

    (And, or course, the same is true for every wikipedia article. Articles about mundane topics can be surprisingly contentious, if one or two people have fixed ideas about it.)

  42. gary gulrud says:

    “28 days without a #24 sunspot. Longest gap since Jul/Aug/Sep08.”

    Ramping up? Schadenfreude is delicious.

  43. TitiXXXX1892 says:

    Not completely OT, and I didn’t notice anything about it (but I may have missed it, I don’t read all comments from all thread!):
    more or less prediction of Dalton minimum (if I got it right) from prof de Jager
    http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2009-forecasting-jastp-71-239.pdf

  44. Lee Kington says:

    Jane (13:09:28) :

    Back to reality folks:

    Solar variations do affect climate, but they are not the only factor. As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends.

    I tend to agree in part with John Christy’s view when he is asked about the solar influence on climate. He acknowledges that there is an appearent relationship between the two. And that increased or decreased jules of energy is not enough….something else must be working, The problem is that the mechanism of that ‘something else’ has not been identified.

    In a recent presentation Christy paraphrased a former instructor say ‘We should always begin our scientific experiments with this statement…”At our present level of ignorance we think we know…..”

    While John Christy says this; “Our ignorance about the climate system is enormous, and policy makers need to know that.” I am known for saying that when it comes to actually understanding the climate man / science is still in kindergarten. We know a couple of letters of the alphabet and the only word we can spell is “A”… and that is by accident. THAT… is the only reality.

    I will agree that solar activity / changes are not the ‘only’ factor. However, solar irradiance / state to me are a big part of the key. Anyone who can prove that incorrect would also be able to tell me exactly why glacial periods occur and exactly what triggers them.

  45. psi (11:57:32) :
    allow readers access to both data sets and the freedom to decide which of them might be more relevant.
    I don’t know what his motivation was, but it is best to stick with he thinks is best. The website itself [and me too] suggests that “The classic model results tabulated here probably give a better estimate”.

    tallbloke (12:27:14) :
    When does the earth reach it’s maximum height above and below the flattened HCS
    On March 7th we are the most North of the HCS and on September 7th we are the most South of the HCS. Or actually of the Sun’s equatorial plane. The HCS sweeps past us every 27 days, and we go through it about 4 times every sweep.

    MC (13:06:21) :
    Mr. Archibald,
    I hope you know what you’re talking about cause this guy Leif sure does. How come Leif does’nt find the correlation

    Because it is just curve eye-balling and not grounded in physical reality [as so much of the stuff that goes for Science here at the 'best science blog' :-) ]

    Tom (13:11:30) :
    I’d be happier knowing that Leif was generally in agreement with it.
    The nonsense about the current is the worst, but there are many other minor in accuracies, among such the history of the HCS. I have seen worse Wiki articles. And I don’t feel like rewriting it.

    kim (13:12:03) :
    A link to the drawing of Leif’s original conception, please, unless it’s already here.
    it is already here, but here it is again: Figure 6 in http://www.leif.org/research/A%20View%20of%20Solar%20Magnetic%20Fields,%20the%20Solar%20Corona,%20and%20the%20Solar%20Wind%20in%20Three%20Dimensions.pdf
    The Figure was first published in Nature in 1976 [reference in the link]. It is interesting to note that the HCS drawn is for a Four-Sector IMF [like we have right now].

    John-X (13:13:32) :
    What’s going on?
    The low-latitude fields are [were] decreasing as the sunspots petered out [SC23 flatlined]. The tilt is a balance of the polar fields and the low-latitude fields. With the polar fields steady and solar activity flat-lined, the HCS should stay steady too, but don’t forget that the computed HCS tilt is somewhat of a mathematical abstraction that only approximately approaches reality.

    vukcevic (13:20:40) :
    should be ‘flowing’ into and out of the screen’s plane.
    Yes, i would have preferred the standard electrical engineer symbol of an arrow seen from the front [circle with dot] and seen from the end [circle with cross fins].

    Crucial question : is the magnetic field (green lines) a cause or consequence of the current flow, i.e. what is their mutual relationship?
    They exist together, but in an MHD situation with infinite conductivity the magnetic field is the dominant and fundamental quantity. Since the conductivity is not quite infinitely high, currents can and do flow. There is a similar current across the Earth’s magnetospheric tail [from dawn to dusk] and in all other magnetospheres.
    There is an additional complication: the Sun is rotating, so both the magnetic field and therefore also the current are changing direction as you move away from the Sun, so that very far from the Sun the field is around the Sun and the current is radial. The Earth is kinda at a halfway point [the field makes a 45 degree angle with the radial].
    You can consider the current from a local point of view: imagine you have a sheet of magnetic field lines pointing away from you on top of another sheet pointing towards you. I have a drawing here: http://www.leif.org/research/Current-Sheet-Cartoon.png
    A charged particle will gyrate around the magnetic field in opposite directions for the away and toward field lines. The net result will be a drift in the direction of the big arrow. Particles with the opposite charge will gyrate in the opposite direction and their ‘big arrow’ will point the other way, so at the place of the big arrows you have opposite charges going opposite ways, voila: a current. This current will serve to keep the two magnetic fields apart. with no particles to carry the current, the two magnetic fields would reconnect and cancel each other out.

  46. John-X says:

    TitiXXXX1892 (14:03:34) :

    “…more or less prediction of Dalton minimum (if I got it right) from prof de Jager
    http://www.cdejager.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2009-forecasting-jastp-71-239.pdf

    de Jager and Duhau argue we’re in a “transition” from a “Grand Maximum;” the transition they say began in 2000 and will end around Cycle 24 maximum, which they see as January 2014.

    They do not predict a Grand Minimum will follow, but a “period of lower solar activity,” with “regular oscillations.” The period of “regular oscillations” they say, will last 60 to 100 years.

    The first oscillation (presumably including Cycle 24 minimum and Cycle 25), “might,” they say, be strongly negative, and “might” be similar to the Dalton minimum.

    Let’s see how well they do on their prediction of Cycle 24 max in January 2014, “with a maximum sunspot number Rmax=68±17.”

  47. jae (13:35:21) :
    Oh, boy, back to the warmers’ favorite logical error: if we don’t know what is causing something, it has to be CO2 (mankind)! That ain’t reality, as I understand it, Jane.
    Another fallacy of the same ilk:
    “if it is not CO2 it’s gotta be the Sun”

  48. Lee Kington (14:27:37) :
    However, solar irradiance / state to me are a big part of the key. Anyone who can prove that incorrect would also be able to tell me exactly why glacial periods occur and exactly what triggers them.
    You are confusing solar irradiance and solar insolation. The latter is part of the cause of glacial periods, but has nothing to do with the Sun [caused by changes of the Earth's orbit and tilt due to the planets tugging].

  49. Hugo M says:

    Anthony,

    could you please somehow prevent your audience from posting things that are way off topic? This thread is about the heliospheric current sheet as a solar proxy, and not a warm place for CO2 food fights. That’s really boring, distracting and a calculated misuse of the freedom of speech.

  50. Frank Miles says:

    there are lots of suggestions that solar activity has risen over the last hundred years and especially over longer periods. ( mostly unrefuted). ie the oceans have warmed gradually etc and maintained their warmth.
    solar variations are also important in the formation of ozone in the higher atmosphere. These can directly affect temperatures beneath and the extent of artic and antartic winters.
    other delays are obviously ocean currents, volcanic eruptions etc.
    temperature.
    Other effects that stop these cycles closely correlating are the massive ice fortresses of greenland antartica etc which effectively along with mountains and other land masses ensure that solar variation is masked to some extent by the earths geography. anyway i think there was a really good article a week ago or so by leifgard (above) about how the trends can be seen.. here is the link

    http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Svensmark/Reply_to%20Lockwood_et_al_2007.pdf.
    (higher altitudes show less variation than lower ones too)

  51. Leif Svalgaard (14:33:32) :
    tallbloke (12:27:14) :
    “When does the earth reach it’s maximum height above and below the flattened HCS”
    On March 7th we are the most North of the HCS and on September 7th we are the most South of the HCS.

    In my haste I had this backwards. In September we have better look at the north pole and are thus above [north of] the HCS, and vice versa for south.

  52. gary gulrud (14:00:29) :
    Ramping up? Schadenfreude is delicious.
    It takes a certain kind of nasty person to enjoy such fruits.

  53. Dr Svalgaard (12:21:37) :

    On 14th February at (16:11:20), you wrote:

    On the subject of NASA, we haven’t heard from the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel for a while.
    And you won’t because, there will be no more meetings as we didn’t produce the desired [high] consensus so NASA/NOAA has lost interest.

    I stand corrected. It is not disbanded, just no more meetings.

    Still on the subject of NASA, Dr Hathaway has a fresh presentation given at Astrofest here:http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/presentations/20090207Astrofest_SunspotCycle.ppt

    I have borrowed the blue background he used for my own presentations.

    Re TitiXXXX1892 (14:03:34)

    I overcame my pain barrier and read the Jager and Duhau paper. The first third of the paper is taken up with making a prediction of Solar Cycle 24 amplitude using a geomagnetic index at minimum. Any fool can do that, and I have done it myself. The rest of the paper is based on dreamt up solar activity states with transition periods between them that give the authors a fudge factor. Their predictions are based on a fantasy world they created.

    Back to the graph above. I drew the orange line because four points line up. The statistically minded amongst us can tell us what the chances of that happening at random are. From my experience, it is non-existent. So the orange line marks an upper activity boundary. We see similar things in the IMF data. When that line is breached, Solar Cycle 23 will definitely be over, but it may touch the green one first.

  54. Sam the Skeptic says:

    Jane
    “The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.”
    I keep reading assertions like that and I keep asking (as a non-scientist), “please provide some evidence”. Your statement seems to tie in rather well with the old saw that 68.7% of statistics are made up on the spur of the moment.
    Where, please, is your PROOF?

  55. captdallas2 says:

    To me the focus on the sun alone is just a distraction. The variation in TSI only causes a tenth of a degree or so of climate change. The interesting part is how all the climatic influences work in unison or opposition. The cool PDO shift will have more impact on global climate than the sun. A shift to a cool AMO will have about the same impact as the sun. La Nina versus El Nino may have 0,2 tenths of a degree influence. When influences get synchronized is when things really happen.

    Own its own the Sun can’t make a dramatic impact on climate based on past performance. But a solar minimum synchronized with a cool phase of one or more oscillations can.

    It is like the museum with the huge mass of iron hung from a rope. With a small magnet on a string you can get the tons of metal swinging with small harmonic tugs. To me this is the beauty of our planet. The mystery of our chaotic climate.

  56. Ron de Haan says:

    Jane (13:09:28) :

    Back to reality folks:

    Solar variations do affect climate, but they are not the only factor. As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends. The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

    Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

    The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to warm.

    This is an interesting period because we have now all kinds of sensors in place to study what happens with our sun.

    That is the current reality.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12234

    Jane.
    The reality is that most of the past warming and the current cooling we have experienced is caused by a natural cycle of the PDO and that went from positive (warm) into negative (cold) phase combined with an El Nino(extra cold) (La Ninja=extra warm).
    Since the Atlantic now also is cooling, both natural cycles are getting in sync.
    It could get more colder this time than we experienced during the past cold period (negative PDO phase (this time it could be more like the winters we had during the 18th century, even a Dalton or Maunder Minimum is mentioned.
    This colder situation is here to stay for at least the next twenty years.

    The last time the PDO and AMO were in negative phase (from 1948 – 1976) and scientists warned for a new ice age.

    Now scientists are trying to find out what mechanism triggers the PDO and AMO to go from positive to negative. It is very well possible that the sun plays a role in this, as is the effects from interaction(s) between the Eart’s and Sun’s magnetic field, solar wind and intergalactic particles that enter the earths atmosphere when the solar magnetic field is low as well as other possible effects that influence our weather, oceans and climate.

    Anyhow this is what is discussed here and this is our reality.

    P.s The articles from the BBC (especially BBC) and Nature are toxic = BS (Bad Science)

  57. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Leif: Thanks
    now clear
    About Lulin: ‘disconnection event’
    The ‘disconnection event’ [comet losing its tail] is not by solar wind ‘blasts’ or pressure, but by the solar wind magnetic field abruptly changing direction as the heliospheric current sheet sweeps over the comet.

  58. George E. Smith says:

    Is it just me or perhaps an Urban Myth, but does anybody see a similarity between 21 and 23; at least on the down stroke. Do we have 19 and 20 to look at too to see if there is an odd-even effect; or a full magnetic cycle effect.

    Well one day it will all make sense to somebody, I suppose.

    George

  59. mr.artday says:

    Right now, over on http://icecap.us, there is a graph of solar irradiance from 1611 to 2001. It shows a ramp up starting in 1911 and reaching a max. in 1941 and oscillating around an elevated level till 2001. WUWT? the graph is near the top of the right hand column.

  60. captdallas2 says:

    Ref. mr.artday
    Right now, over on http://icecap.us, there is a graph of solar irradiance from 1611 to 2001. It shows a ramp up starting in 1911 and reaching a max. in 1941 and oscillating around an elevated level till 2001. WUWT? the graph is near the top of the right hand column.

    That chart is a bit small for my eyes, but it appears similar to the Lean 2000 TSI reconstruction. Very well cited study that has been superseded by many including the original author. It is used by both warmers and skeptics to prove points. It is unfortunately obsolete. It is a brilliant example of how unintentional bias can creep into reconstructions, looking for what you want to find versus reality.

  61. gary gulrud says:

    “It takes a certain kind of nasty person to enjoy such fruits.”

    Touche, but then “why kick against the goads?”

  62. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Jane (13:09:28) :

    Back to reality folks:

    Solar variations do affect climate, but they are not the only factor. As there has been no positive trend in any solar index since the 1960s (and possibly a small negative trend), solar forcing cannot be responsible for the recent temperature trends. The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/7074601.stm

    Direct satellite measurements of solar activity show it has been declining since the mid-1980s and cannot account for recent rises in global temperatures, according to new research.

    The findings debunk an explanation for climate change that is often cited by people who are not convinced that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to warm.

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12234 “””

    Well Jane,

    Thanks for jerking us back to reality. Reading between the lines in your note; which is somewhat difficult given the presence of non-SI units such as “forcings” which aren’t listed in ANY Physics book I ever Studied (but then my studies only go back a bit more than 50 years) so if “Forcings were discovered long before that I might not have read about them.

    But I infer from the tone of your message, that it is well known that the only way in which the sun effects the planet earth; besides it’s gravitational attraction of course; is by way of the so-called “Solar Constant” which only variaes about 0.1% peak to peak over the duration of a sunspot cycle, and since that number is the ONLY solar “Forcing”, then it can’t be responsible for any significant earth warming; not that there has been any significant earth warming, although there has been some.

    Can you elaborate on how the solar constant affects earth’s temperature; apart form the presumably near black body radiation connection, which could account for about 0.072 deg C temperature change over a solar cycle.

    George

  63. Just Want Tuth... says:

    It’s obvious that environmental activity on the sun effects envirionmental activity on the earth. It’s not possible that it doesn’t. What the exact effects are–from reading these comments I can see even those who love to study it don’t know for sure.

    It would be nice to see Piers Corbyn’s ideas on the sun’s effect on the earth posted here. But I suppose if he revealed to much his business would be in jeopardy. It would be like Colonel Sanders telling what his 11 herbs and spices are. So I don’t expect to see Piers here. :(
    ————————-

    On Wikipedia :

    It’s a nice little tool if you want an introduction to something. But still, if you really want to understand something you’re going to have to go a lot more sources. It seems most people like to use Wiki as a short cut to understanding something. Those kind of short cuts are never good.
    What Anthony may be refering to when he cautions people about Wiki is summed up vividly by Lawrence Solomon in his article, “Wikipedia Zealots”

    at this link :

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2008/04/12/wikipedia-s-zealots-solomon.aspx

  64. captdallas2 says:

    Wow! It looks like pick on Jane night! Without any ad homs or derogatory remarks Jane, there are a few valid questions about the degree of warming due to GHGs. First, the amount of warming due to GHGs depends on the amount of water vapor feedback which is unknown. Second, the warming since the 1970’s would include both GHG and natural variation. The percentage of each is unknown. A rather smart guy A.A. Tsonis who likes to deal with chaotic mathematics, determined that synchronization of natural climate forces are very significant in climate change. Possible much more that GHGs.

    Does that mean that GHGs are not a problem? No, just that natural variation is more significant than many suggest at this time in history.

    Since you mentioned that solar has not had an impact since the 1960s, I recommend that you click on Lief Svalguard’s site to update from the obsolete solar reconstruction you are using. There are a lot of interesting things out there if you avoid the herd mentality.

  65. Mike Lorrey says:

    “On the subject of NASA, we haven’t heard from the Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel for a while.
    And you won’t because, there will be no more meetings as we didn’t produce the desired [high] consensus so NASA/NOAA has lost interest.”

    Why would they lose interest? Possibilities include:
    a) a nonsevere solar cycle will reduce orbital erosion of satellites and thus reduce the need for large budget requests for replacements….
    b) … as well as a lack of need for budget for other stuff like emergency ruggedizing of earth-based electronics/electrical infrastructure against the consequences….
    c) …. and/or…. while they would have loved to trumpet a severe solar cycle as additional reason for arguing for the US to support Kyoto and IPCC, the weak cycle means they’d rather continue to deny the solar influence on climate.

  66. David Archibald (15:11:03) :
    I overcame my pain barrier and read the Jager and Duhau paper.
    I agree it is junk. But then I call so much of what I see junk, so this will not deter the enthusiasts.

    the orange line because four points line up.
    one of which is artificial. Perhaps it is time to substitute eye-balling with some understanding. Did you study and understand the detailed explanation I gave for what governs the flatness? and why not?

    Sam the Skeptic (15:13:53) :
    Where, please, is your PROOF?
    direct measurement of solar irradiance: http://www.pmodwrc.ch/pmod.php?topic=tsi/composite/SolarConstant

  67. Mike Lorrey (17:43:50) :
    Solar Cycle 24 Prediction Panel…
    Why would they lose interest?

    My take is that they wanted a high prediction [insurance companies lobbying the Goverment; NASA and NSF support for 'breakthrough' science - they like the breakthrough to actually come through] and since we would not give them that, what’s the point?

    But, we’ll see what the last gasp turns out to be. Watch http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/sww/index.html

  68. Jim Arndt says:

    Well most here should know that these “drive bys” like that of Jane is only intended to get you off the subject and if you ignore then they go away. That being said I have looking at the connect between the ionosphere and troposphere and what happens in the tropical thunder storm regions and if you can change cloud cover by 2% from the effect of VLF on cloud forming nuclei then that can have a measure effect on atmospheric circulation and cloud cover in general. VLF is from the electrical connection between the two regions and it is VLF we use to measure water vapor and its interaction with water vapor is understood. The solar connection is about magnetism and the interaction between Earth and Sun magnetic fields. When the Sun’s magnetic field is reduced this changes the “charge” in the ionosphere and troposphere connection which then allows more/less clouds to form and changing the atmospheric circulation. There are a few factors like CME’s and flares that also change this connection. When I look at this connection it reminds me of a FET( field effect transistor). I am still looking into this but have to bring in the bread first.

  69. Pamela Gray says:

    I now understand Leif’s desire to view the Sun outside the Earth’s atmosphere (people as well as air). To study the Sun as an entity all to itself sounds like heaven to me. I am still trying to find a realtime video of the boiling surface. I love that view of the Sun and wished I had a dress made out of a fluid fabric that was screen printed that way. I also, in my mind’s eye, see an Andy Warhol-like series of color filtered views of the roiling Sun. It would look great on my walls.

  70. Frederick Michael says:

    This absolutely fascinates me. I should be able to understand it (my major in grad school was electrophysics) but I’m hung up on one thing. The sheet twists more than I’d expect. Shouldn’t the magnetism propagate outward at the speed of light?

  71. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    Yup. It’s the sun, all right, …and some other stuff that influences the sun?

    http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/138/paper/AS06018.htm
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2008/06/sun-jupiter-saturn-spin-orbit-coupling.html
    http://lep694.gsfc.nasa.gov/gunther/gunther/MikulaSS2006Article.pdf
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarcurrent.pdf
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarsubcycle.pdf
    (Interesting stuff, M.A.V.)

    I wonder if that NASA Spaceweather Workshop referred to by Leif Svalgaard (17:57:52) : is where Gepeto and Jiminy Cricket are planning on showing off what they hope will one day magically become a “real” theory, instead of a wooden one with that’s manipulated with a lot of AGW strings?

  72. Frederick Michael (18:26:04) :
    Shouldn’t the magnetism propagate outward at the speed of light?
    In a vacuum it would, but interplanetary space is not a vacuum. It is filled with a highly conduction dilute gas. If you change the magnetic field in the presence of a conductor, the change would induce a current in the conductor [that is how your bicycle dynamo light worked: a magnet turning inside a copper coil]. This current would itself have a magnetic field opposing that of the first magnetic field. The only way to move the magnetic field is to move the conductor; this is often expressed by saying that the filed is ‘frozen into the plasma’ and moves with it. Since the solar wind plasma moves at 400 km per second, that becomes the speed of magnetic [and electric for that matter] changes as well…

  73. Mike Bryant says:

    Pamela,
    Here are some spectacular images of the sun.

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/10/the_sun.html

    Keep scrolling down there are a bunch of ‘em…

    Mike

  74. Pamela Gray says:

    hasitbeen4yearsyet, correct me if I’m wrong, but the thread is about the Sun. No? Reading between the lines of your post, I assume you are wanting to connect the Sun to the temperature variations of our planet. I know about the links you provide. Only one has a very tenuous attempt to connect Earth’s temperature to the Sun, and that one has no reference section that I can see, and less in terms of mechanism.

    It seems to me that the topic in this thread, along with the calculations provided by those who know what they are talking about, seems clearly separate from the topic of Earth’s temperature, in thread name as well as in possible mechanisms.

    Maybe what we need is a thread about the oceanic oscillations and jet stream influences on climate zones. Once that is well understood, we can entertain the less major weather pattern variations (which some people like to call climate change) and forcings.

  75. AnonyMoose says:

    It is interesting to see there is a fast rise and slow dropoff. We’ve seen that in old temperature estimates.

  76. Robert Bateman says:

    Mid 2009 makes for a long cycle, but mid or late 2010 adds a whole new dimension to SC23 and what comes next.
    I have long suspected that from observing populations that they are programmed to respond according to thier climes. The sun, overly active or acutely inactive, is a driver of human behavior. This is my suspicion.
    The response seems to be sumliminal, and it would be mass learned behavior.
    Again, only a suspicion, but this is an outgrowth of something that I learned from my history teacher: to observe and pay attention to crowd behavior.

  77. Robert Bateman says:

    I have a question:
    If the heliosphere is taking a very long time to reach it’s bottom (resting point), what then does this do to the strength (if anything) to the magnetic fields on the Sun or anywhere else?
    I am thinking along the lines of ‘line drop’ or a battery that is used too long before charging.

  78. Robert Bateman (20:13:07) :
    The sun, overly active or acutely inactive, is a driver of human behavior.
    A Soviet scientist I once worked with was convinced that the agitation of inmates in insane asylums peaked on the day the HCS sweps over the Earth. [see, I'm even on topic]. Pigeon races are canceled if the Kp-index exceeds 4. [This latter factoid may have some foundation in physiology as it is claimed that pigeons partly use the Earth's magnetic field for navigation].

    pay attention to crowd behavior.
    Humans have a large component of herd behavior: follow the forceful leader… They do not want to be alone with something…the nail that sticks up is the one that gets hammered down…

  79. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @ Pamela Gray (19:20:26) :
    “hasitbeen4yearsyet, correct me if I’m wrong, but the thread is about the Sun. No?”

    A website dedicated to climate just happens to be talking about the sun, for no particular reason. Must be a slow day finding errors in NASA’s propaganda, uh, I mean “data” (wink wink nudge nudge). Silly me. Whatever was I thinking.

    I mean, just because, over the last 2300 years, the OORT, WOLF, SPOERER, MAUNDER and DALTON minima were all correlated with sun cycle activity (apparently coupled to the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter), and just because we are at (almost?) the exact point of the next expected minimum, is no reason for me to be making the solar/climate connection.
    http://www.schulphysik.de/klima/landscheidt/iceage.htm
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/view.php?old=200112065794
    Oh, how will I ever live with my shame?

  80. Robert Bateman (20:20:20) :
    I have a question: If the heliosphere is taking a very long time to reach it’s bottom (resting point), what then does this do to the strength (if anything) to the magnetic fields on the Sun or anywhere else?
    I’ll let David Achibald get a first stab at answering that one…

  81. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @Robert Bateman (20:13:07) :

    Some time ago there was a study where the inmates of insane asylums (as they were referred to when that study was done) would always act more loony when the moon was full, …but only if they KNEW it was full (i.e., they could see it out the window or from some other cue). But from that we learn nothing whatever about the physics of the moon.

  82. philincalifornia says:

    Jane (13:09:28) :
    Back to reality folks:

    The difference between the solar minimum and solar maximum over the 11-year solar cycle is 10 times smaller than the effect of greenhouse gases over the same interval.
    ———————-

    Starting off an AGW post with “Back to reality folks” and then linking to the New Scientist and the BBC is the highest form of satire Jane.

    At first, I thought that the excerpt that I quote from your post was a misspeak, but that was how it was at the BBC link. Surely they (and you) are not meaning to say this ?? The posters on here with the numbers at their fingertips can probably weigh in on this, but if the solar contribution is ten times smaller than the greenhouse gas contribution (i.e. all water vapor/vapour, CO2 and methane, et al combined), then its contribution, relative to anthropogenic greenhouse gases only, wipes out most of or essentially all of the entire AGW theory ??

    Are you/the BBC meaning to say “ten times smaller than anthropogenic greenhouse gases”?

    Can someone help me with this please? Is Jane more prescient than she knows, and isn’t that a bit of a (another) clanger dropped by the BBC ??

  83. Bobby Lane says:

    Anthony/Leif,

    Anthony has noted a step function on the AP Index (I think?) in October of 2005. Is there a similar function illustrated by this graph for the HCS? 2005 is not marked out, but I would guess the big fall after the peak at “40” might be it. Also, there is a big “crash” in what looks like 2001, maybe, and then a decent recovery but still a steady decline generally after that crash (down to “10”). Any explanations as to that? If this has been asked/answered, just direct me. But also, one last note: SC 23 looks similar to SC 21, but it’s a good deal more erratic it woud seem. Any ideas as to why?

  84. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @ Lee Kington (14:27:37) :
    “The problem is that the mechanism of that ’something else’ has not been identified. “

    Svensmark’s on it…
    http://www.kolumbus.fi/larsil/SDOC2681.pdf

  85. Bobby Lane (21:17:35) :
    Anthony has noted a step function on the AP Index (I think?) in October of 2005.
    This ‘step’ is due to a very strong single storm in September and does not represent an important change in the solar wind.

    Also, there is a big “crash” in what looks like 2001
    due to equipment problems and should be disregarded.

    But also, one last note: SC 23 looks similar to SC 21, but it’s a good deal more erratic it woud seem. Any ideas as to why?
    there is no ‘law’ that says they should be similar in any way. The Sun is a messy place. An earlier reply [scroll up a bit] explains why we should not even expect the HCS warp to be similar at different minima. There is a good reason [see above] why the calculated current sheet flatness is not expected to go as low as it did the last couple of cycles. There has been cases in the past where the tilt fell to zero for a whole year. So you cannot just extrapolate as was done.

  86. idlex says:

    I’ve been fascinated by this Heliospheric Current Sheet. I’d never heard of it before. I’ve been trying to understand what it is all evening.

    At first I thought it was like a garden sprinkler, and the sun was hosing a 400 km/hr solar wind out into space as it rotated, and that was why the picture showed a spiral. But then I couldn’t see where the nozzle of the hose was on the sun’s surface. So I began to think I’d gotten hold of the completely wrong idea.

    So I went back and read that the Heliospheric Current Sheet was where the polarity of the sun’s magnetic field changed from north to south. And so I thought about the magnetic field of a bar magnet, which sprouts out of the north pole and loops back round to re-enter the south pole, and I began to wonder where along one of those lines the field changed from ‘north’ to ‘south’. But I couldn’t figure that out either.

    Now I’ve been looking at Leif Svalgaard’s paper, which has very strange-looking magnetic field shown in Figure 1. It looks a bit like the magnetic field of a bar magnet, but one which someone’s taken a giant pair of pliers and squeezed together the field lines at the sun’s equator. Am I reading it right, and the current sheet is where outgoing field lines and incoming field lines pass very close to each other in the sun’s equatorial plane? And is what is meant by “closed” field lines ones that come out of the sun and go back in, and “open” field lines ones that come out of the sun but don’t go back in?

    If I’m on the right track, then I don’t understand why the sun’s magnetic field is shaped like this, and not like that of a simple bar magnet. Is it shaped this way because there’s some external magnetic influence? Or because the sun isn’t a simple bar magnet?

    I think that maybe if I manage to get this right, I just might be able to move on to try to understand how this sheet behaves like a “ballerina’s skirt”. It might even be quite fun, chasing this particular skirt…

  87. Just want truth... says:

    I hope this isn’t OT, it is about the sun’s effect on climate on earth, but not specifically the Heliospheric current sheet.

    It’s about this study :

    The Milky Way Galaxy’s Spiral Arms and Ice-Age Epochs and the Cosmic Ray Connection

    at this link :

    http://www.sciencebits.com/ice-ages

    I’d like to read comments about it from he scientific minds here, if you would.

  88. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @Pamela Gray

    The sun IS important, …but not JUST for it’s own sake…
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/01/you-cant-tax-the-sun/?cp=2

  89. Robert Bateman, good question. The IMF is also flatlining at about 4 nT. No ramp up yet detectable in that data series either.

  90. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard (15:07:16) :

    Leif Svalgaard (14:33:32) :
    tallbloke (12:27:14) :
    “When does the earth reach it’s maximum height above and below the flattened HCS”
    On March 7th we are the most North of the HCS and on September 7th we are the most South of the HCS.

    In my haste I had this backwards. In September we have better look at the north pole and are thus above [north of] the HCS, and vice versa for south.

    Leif, thanks for the correction, you are a most meticulous and thorough scientist. And a perceptive one, it was the direction of the suns tilt I was primarily after. Your original comment had me confused because the earth would cross the suns nodes on the plane of invariance in december and june, and be fully north or south of the flattened HCS shortly after, but wouldn’t reach it’s maxima until the dates you provide. Just a note of interest, the sun’s 7 degree tilt precesses at virtually the same rate as earth’s, though for reasons which are opaque to me. Could it have anything to do with synchrony between the earth and sun’s magnetism?

  91. tallbloke says:

    Incidentally Leif, a bit of culture for you. The colour your graphic artist chose for your image of the HCS, and the shape of the emanating spirals, reminded me of this painting by Frieda Harris called ‘The Star’
    http://www.keepsilence.org/liber22/assets/img/medium/trump_17_thestar.jpg
    Now that should join your tiled screen background for a bit of contrast. ;-)

  92. len says:

    Lief, personally I find David’s illustrative ‘orange line’ useful. What it represents is not less contentious than a statistical correlation of some kind.

    Having been involved in the successful use of computer models and statistical methods … drawing lines to make a point is not outrageous. Most of what I see in the study of the sun, climate and atmosphere is however. Like ‘corn for fuel’, you can follow the money and see the subsidy (vs science) in action.

    Anyway, what is your thought on the Jose Cycle or a medium term cycle between the Milankovitch cycle and Sunspot Cycle and why would the energy transport mechanisms be any different in the 3 cases. I would think the moderating effects on Earth would mask the shorter cycles more (ie: solar irradiance, solar insolation).

    I read all this stuff and I keep going back to the Jose Cycle. … and recently I discovered reference to the snake (cloud) in the Milky Way which will soon hold the sun in its mouth. I might have to make a trip to see that, but then I might end up travelling 3000 miles just to talk to a lot of 2012 types :D All this is interesting but I just can’t see why what we are observing now isn’t just part of a repeating 172 year Barycentric Tidal phenomena created in the Sun by the Planets (especially the gas giants). Everything else is just detail and nuance which is only important after the gross phenomena is recognized.

  93. vukcevic says:

    From the plethora of predictions and precursors for the future solar activity, one by Dr. Svalgaard (and colleagues), based on polar magnetic field intensity, from my amateur’s point of view, makes most sense.
    As some of you might be aware, I have produced a simple formula closely tracking the polar magnetic fields (correlation factor over 0.93), as measured over the last 40 years.
    Formula extrapolation beyond 2010 shows some interesting results, which are in line with one or two recent statistical or hypothetical estimates.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

    One of the most reputable solar scientists qualified it as:

    Such a formula has no predictive power, unless you assume that one or both of these statements are true:

    1) there is an underlying reality we don’t know about but that the formula somehow expresses it.
    or
    2) there is a plausible and viable physical theory that specifies that the sun should work as expressed by the formula.

    Unfortunately (if indeed there is such a link), I am unable to satisfy the rigour of accepted science with either of the above quoted conditions, perhaps due to a lack of a detailed knowledge, rather than enthusiasm or inventiveness.
    If Anthony, and some of you believe, that a wider exposure on this blog, may move it step forward, I would more then welcome any sensible assistance or cooperation.
    Note: I am well aware of barycentre, torque and other mechanical hypotheses, what is needed here is a credible electromagnetic link.

  94. MartinGAtkins says:

    Jeff (09:45:24) :

    Also, could you also comment on how global temperatures are tracking? An update would be informative.

    Not the world but central England just had the coldest January since 1997.

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/cetml1659on.dat

  95. tallbloke says:

    Vukcevic:

    does your formula driven curve increase in amplitude further in the future?
    Is it derived solely from the two cycles of data shown?

  96. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (04:42:20) :
    to
    Vukcevic:
    does your formula driven curve increase in amplitude further in the future?
    Is it derived solely from the two cycles of data shown?

    Yes, it recovers slowly, and by 2060 has values comparable to 1995.
    Polar magnetic field strength was first measured (existing data) by the Mount Wilson observatory in 1965; Wilcox observatory (started their measurements by Dr. Svalgaard and co.) in 1975. Their data appears to be less prone to noise then the MWO’s, hence switch over in1975.5 from MWO to WSO data. My initial data were obtained by a private communication from Dr. S; WSO data is also available on their website.
    The formula is not derived from the data (it is my old formula, tracking sunspot cycles, moved forward by about 4 years, the average cycle rise time. It has much closer correlation to the polar field strength; so if there is a link, then appears to be to the polar fields.

  97. tallbloke says:

    Thanks, so in effect, and noting your point about correlation strength, we get a 4 year ‘prediction’ of sunspot activity by looking at the polar field strength?

  98. Robert Bateman (20:20:20) :
    I have a question:
    If the heliosphere is taking a very long time to reach it’s bottom (resting point), what then does this do to the strength (if anything) to the magnetic fields on the Sun or anywhere else?

    David Archibald (23:12:23) :
    Robert Bateman, good question. The IMF is also flatlining at about 4 nT.

    Cause and effect are the other way around: it is the Sun’s magnetic field that determine what the heliosphere is doing. The HCS is not seeking its resting place. Its shape is simply determined by the balance between the polar fields and the low-latitude magnetic fields [solar activity]. If everything has flatlined [the IMF sitting at its floor; average 4.1 nT over the last year] the HCS should not flatten any further. Once again: the warp of the HCS is not required to go down to any specific level at solar minimum and most likely will not flatten any further; the polar fields are simply too weak for that.

    tallbloke (23:59:51) :
    the sun’s 7 degree tilt precesses at virtually the same rate as earth’s, though for reasons which are opaque to me.
    I didn’t know that it did [does it?]

    Could it have anything to do with synchrony between the earth and sun’s magnetism?
    No such thing, so, no.

    idlex (22:18:21) :
    At first I thought it was like a garden sprinkler, and the sun was hosing a 400 km/hr solar wind out into space as it rotated, and that was why the picture showed a spiral.
    Yes, that is basically how it works [except it is 400 km per second!]

    But then I couldn’t see where the nozzle of the hose was on the sun’s surface.
    There is just not one nozzle, but many all over the Sun.

    And is what is meant by “closed” field lines ones that come out of the sun and go back in, and “open” field lines ones that come out of the sun but don’t go back in?
    All field lines go ‘back in’ eventually. The open/closed terminology is simply one of convenience: the ‘closed’ ones go back in close to the Sun where we can see them; the ‘open’ ones make a detour way out into interplanetary [maybe even interstellar] space and we don’t know where they come back.

    Or because the sun isn’t a simple bar magnet?
    is the correct picture.

  99. tallbloke (06:36:25) :
    we get a 4 year ‘prediction’ of sunspot activity by looking at the polar field strength?
    Yes, and no need for quotes. http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf

  100. idlex (22:18:21) :
    But then I couldn’t see where the nozzle of the hose was on the sun’s surface.
    There is just not one nozzle, but many all over the Sun. I forgot to mention that some of the bigger nozzles are indeed visible, they are called coronal holes. They are the dark areas visible here: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_171/512/ especially near the poles for the moment, but they can appear at any location.

  101. gary gulrud says:

    “The IMF is also flatlining at about 4 nT.”

    But an authority had the floor at an invariable 4.6 nT just a few years back. It would appear new depths are being plumbed.

  102. PJ says:

    Question s: What is the earth’s position within the normal range of its orbit variability during this period? What is the angle of the planetary axis relative to the solar axis?
    Is it likely that changes in Earth’s magnetic field coincident with the solar field fluctuation has a significant impact on climate? Please keep answers reasonably simple, I’m not a scientist, just curious.

  103. tallbloke says:

    Leif
    tallbloke (23:59:51) :
    the sun’s 7 degree tilt precesses at virtually the same rate as earth’s, though for reasons which are opaque to me.
    I didn’t know that it did [does it?]

    Hmmm. can’t find the reference. Maybe I misunderstood a reference to the sun prcessing as seen from earth. It’d be unusual if a spinning body with an axial tilt didn’t precess though wouldn’t it? Has anyone estimated it to your knowledge?
    Did you like the painting BTW.?

  104. gary gulrud (08:09:33) :
    “The IMF is also flatlining at about 4 nT.”
    But an authority had the floor at an invariable 4.6 nT just a few years back. It would appear new depths are being plumbed.

    New depths of scientific illiteracy is been plumbed, it seems. Any figure has an associated uncertainty. As we said in a paper discussing the floor: “Our debate with Lockwood and colleagues on the long-term evolution of the coronal magnetic field and the solar wind may be resolved within the next few years if our prediction [Svalgaard et al., 2005] of a solar maximum with peak sunspot number comparable to that of cycle 14 bears out. If so, direct measurements of solar wind properties during conditions similar to those during the previous minimum of the Gleissberg cycle would take the estimates of IMF B out of the realm of extrapolation.

    The value for the ‘floor’ that we had earlier was based on the higher values that were directly observed several years back. With conditions now approaching the low values of ~1900, direct measurements will allow us to refine the early estimates. This is what is happening.

  105. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (04:42:20) :
    to
    vukcevic:
    ……. solely from the two cycles of data shown?

    Yes, there are two Hale (4 sunspot) cycles there, since magnetic polarity is taken account of.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

  106. tallbloke says:

    Leif Svalgaard (06:58:41) :

    tallbloke (06:36:25) :
    we get a 4 year ‘prediction’ of sunspot activity by looking at the polar field strength?
    Yes, and no need for quotes. http://www.leif.org/research/Cycle%2024%20Smallest%20100%20years.pdf

    Thanks Leif, very interesting. I noticed on your fig 1 a faint grey line extending from the end of the R(int) line of sunspot numbers, at the end of the polar field data in 2004. Does this represent a ‘prediciton’ derived from the polar field data?

    I’m still using quotes because the ‘prediction’ has solar min at 2007.4 and an R(int) value of around 40 at the start of 2009. :-)

    Have you updated the polar field plot?

  107. Robert Bateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard (20:46:20) :

    Robert Bateman (20:13:07) :
    The sun, overly active or acutely inactive, is a driver of human behavior.

    A Soviet scientist I once worked with was convinced that the agitation of inmates in insane asylums peaked on the day the HCS sweps over the Earth.

    When I think of inmates (criminals) the connection there is the Full Moon.
    What I would throw out here is the monetary behavior of hoarding/greed presaging recession/panic which all comes before a big Solar Minimum.
    The animals know of an impending volcano or earthquake.
    What do humans know at an animal instinct level with regards to Grand Minimum or even Grand Maximum?
    You needed a break.

  108. tallbloke says:

    Slightly OT but what the heck did this to the earth’s magnetosphere on 21st Jan???

  109. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @vukcevic (03:26:03) :

    “One of the most reputable solar scientists qualified it as:

    Such a formula has no predictive power, unless you assume that one or both of these statements are true:

    That’s an odd way to say it. Wouldn’t it be more correct to say that “If it has predictive power [as judged empirically by accuracy of it's predictions], then one may assume that one or both of these statements are probably true:” He’s got the cart before the horse, it seems.

    Kepler had no clue how gravity worked, but his phenomenology had pretty darn good predictive power, and it laid the groundwork for Newton to build on.

    “I am unable to satisfy the rigour of accepted science with either of the above quoted conditions,…”

    Don’t sell yourself short, M.A.V.
    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/02/most-useless-phrase-in-the-polical-lexicon-peer-reviewed.html
    http://www.iscid.org/papers/Tipler_PeerReview_070103.pdf

    The AGW model of climate change appears to have a lot poorer correlation to the data than does your (and others’) model(s) of solar activity.
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/a-lot-of-hot-air/2007/06/15/1181414543054.html

  110. Robert Bateman says:

    Something has gotten ahold of something as HCS, IMF, 10.7 flux, AP index , Sunspot contrast, and who knows what else are all getting pancaked.
    I’ll be the 1st to admit I don’t know of all the indices/indicators that are affected, so could someone build up a list?

  111. gary gulrud says:

    Seems other than Badalyan, the physical modelers have over-reached and are quite displeased.

  112. vukcevic says:

    HasItBeen4YearsYet? (11:25:14) :
    to
    vukcevic (03:26:03) :
    The AGW model of climate change appears to have a lot poorer correlation to the data than does your (and others’) model(s) of solar activity.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence.

  113. PJ (08:45:56) :
    What is the earth’s position within the normal range of its orbit variability during this period?
    We are in for a lot less variability the next 200,000 years.

    What is the angle of the planetary axis relative to the solar axis?
    about 23 degrees [for the Earth, but you have to specify which planets]

    Is it likely that changes in Earth’s magnetic field coincident with the solar field fluctuation has a significant impact on climate?
    the short answer is no.

    tallbloke (09:30:20) :
    It’d be unusual if a spinning body with an axial tilt didn’t precess though wouldn’t it?
    No, not really, because what is the axis tilted against? For the Earth, you have the Moon and the Sun acting on a non-spherical Earth. Not the same for the Sun.

    Has anyone estimated it to your knowledge?
    No, but it is bound to be extremely small and has not [cannot] be measured.

    Did you like the painting BTW.?
    A lot nicer than my sketch :-)

    tallbloke (06:36:25) :
    I noticed on your fig 1 a faint grey line extending from the end of the R(int) line of sunspot numbers, at the end of the polar field data in 2004. Does this represent a ‘prediciton’ derived from the polar field data?
    No, just a continuation of the previous cycle to place the polar fields in perspective [not everyone has a solar cycle engraved on the inside of their retina].

    Have you updated the polar field plot?
    Yes, http://www.leif.org/research/AGU%20Fall%202008%20SH51A-1593.pdf

    HasItBeen4YearsYet? (11:25:14) :
    That’s an odd way to say it. Wouldn’t it be more correct to say that “If it has predictive power [as judged empirically by accuracy of it's predictions]…
    It has made no verified predictions, so cannot be judged on that basis.

    The AGW model of climate change appears to have a lot poorer correlation to the data than does your
    is a fallacy, like ‘other people are more mistaken than you are, therefore you are wrong’

  114. pkatt says:

    REALITY CHECK!!!!!! How about instead of looking at some graph or reading about it we take a look.

    http://www.esa.int/esaSC/SEMSMHSVQ9F_index_1.html

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/Movies/sunspots.html

    Or for CME Activity

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/Movies/flares.html

    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/Movies/C3may98/C3may98.mpg

    Now lets look at the sun today…

    http://sohodata.nascom.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/data_query
    (here you have to pick start date/end date, the longer you pick the longer it takes to load, and it will time out if the request is too big.) If anyone knows of a place for year to year animations please let me know.

    Now sit there and tell me that the sun’s changes year to year, or over the course of a cycle can have no noticeable effect on our planet. Even now, our quiet sun beans us now and again with a solar wind from coronal holes, associated (Leif will correct me if I misinterpreted) with the magnetic leftovers of sunspots. Just imagine the sheer power of a sun in full swing magnetically.

    Furthermore a sun that is “spitting” matter out (CME) like say the sun in 1998, 2000, 2001, ect. It should not only be beaming us with matter immediately but leaving behind slower moving matter that our planet would have to pass thru on its travel around the sun. After all, the definition of a planet is a body that clears its path around the sun, and since the other planets have shown climate change symptoms without man’s intervention, it seems to me someone is missing part of the big picture. Maybe we should pull our heads out of our centrist errrrr….ideas and look for the real cause of our NATURAL, climate change.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070824131445.htm
    http://umtof.umd.edu/pm/
    http://umtof.umd.edu/pm/FIGS.HTML

    hmmm imagine that :)

  115. pkatt (14:14:14) :
    REALITY CHECK!!!!!! Furthermore a sun that is “spitting” matter out (CME) like say the sun in 1998, 2000, 2001, ect. It should not only be beaming us with matter immediately but leaving behind slower moving matter that our planet would have to pass thru on its travel around the sun.

    The amount of solar wind matter impinging on the Earth every second has the same mass as one BigMac with Fries. Better be afraid and duck!

  116. Walter Dnes says:

    The January solar data update at http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ftpdir/weekly/RecentIndices.txt is finally available. The January 2009 Ap is 3, and the July 2007 smoothed Ap is 6.6. Can someone explain how the smoothed Ap is derived from the Ap numbers? I can’t seem to duplicate it.

    While we’re on the subject of updates, the early Hadley update for January is out at http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly with a value of +0.370

  117. Robert Bateman says:

    Wherever it is that SC23-24 is taking us……
    It’s still taking us there.
    Are we there yet? No, now pipe down and eat your nice Big Mac w/ Fries.
    Where are we? I dunno.
    Are we there yet? Don’t make me stop this car.
    Where are we going again? Oh, shut up
    – Warning: Forces beyond our control are at work. Remain seated, keep your visors on, and for God’s sake, don’t stick any body parts out the window.

  118. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    IF REALITY ISN’T LOGICAL, DOES THAT MEAN LOGIC IS UNREAL?

    @ Leif Svalgaard (14:54:55)

    “It has made no verified predictions, so cannot be judged on that basis.”
    logical fallacy, ‘you haven’t made any predictions, so any you do make don’t need to be tested’ — (and from before, ‘because you haven’t told us why they should verify to begin with, any subsequent verification must be dismissed as meaningless.’ — Sorry, Mr. Kepler, your geometry is very pretty, but you didn’t base it on gravity so we can’t use it.)

    Bottom line, EVERYTHING is phenomenology, so if you have a rule that works, that’s what counts. Now, let’s see what predictions he makes, and let the chips fall where they may.
    _______________________________________________________
    “The AGW model of climate change appears to have a lot poorer correlation to the data than does your
    ‘is a fallacy, like ‘other people are more mistaken than you are, therefore you are wrong’.’

    LOL. That’s some pretty fuzzy tail-chasing logic you’ve got there. Let’s see, if others are “more wrong” than I am, then I am “wrong,” albeit “less wrong than they.” That’s not a logical test, it’s a definition, and a sloppy one at that. And it has nothing to do with what I said.

    Let’s see if I can put this another way that won’t confuse you… the better the correlation of two phenomena, the more likely they are to be related, (all science is based on that premise). And solar activity appears better correlated to the short term global temperature than is [CO2].

    Logic is a great tool, but it doesn’t trump reality.

  119. idlex says:

    idlex (22:18:21) : But then I couldn’t see where the nozzle of the hose was on the sun’s surface.

    Leif Svalgaard (07:14:19) : There is just not one nozzle, but many all over the Sun. I forgot to mention that some of the bigger nozzles are indeed visible, they are called coronal holes. They are the dark areas visible here: http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/eit_171/512/ especially near the poles for the moment, but they can appear at any location.

    Thank you, Dr Svalgaard. Then the spiralling outbound solar wind must go in all directions. And above the Sun’s poles the solar wind must twist into ropes.

    Do these nozzles always point radially out of the sun, and do they all eject the solar wind at 400 km/s? I read somewhere that there’s a ‘slow’ solar wind of 400 km/s and a ‘fast’ solar wind of 750 km/s. Are there ‘fast’ nozzles and ”slow’ nozzles?

    And although I can understand this, I haven’t been able to relate it to the Heliospheric Current Sheet, which seems to be something that only exists in the Sun’s equatorial plane, while the solar wind goes in all directions.

    Or does it? If the solar wind is made up of charged particles of one polarity or other, they will prefer to move along the Sun’s magnetic field. If they are not charged, they will ignore the Sun’s magnetic field and go on whichever way they started out from the Sun’s surface, acting only under gravitational influence.

    If the solar wind is made up of charged particles, then because of the Sun’s rather peculiar magnet field, they will tend to follow the sun’s magnetic field, and either be drawn towards the solar equator if they are near it (and perhaps back into the Sun), or be sprayed out from the solar poles if they are near to those. And so instead of the solar wind going in all directions, it will tend to mostly twist in ropes out of the poles, or spiral out over the solar equatorial plane, just above or just below the Heliospheric Current Sheet.

    Am I getting anywhere? Or am I still hopelessly confused?

  120. Pamela Gray says:

    Dear Hasitbeen4years, I get up every morning before the Sun rises. Without fail. And I kinda look like an Irish midget sized woman with long unruly red hair. Give me a cauldron and you get the idea. Therefore, according to your correlation logic, I cause the Sun to rise. Offerings of money most appreciated. But beer works too. Just leave it at the entrance of my cave.

  121. Pamela Gray says:

    idlex, I spit my wine out all over my puter screen!!!! Reminds me of my very first nursing experience. I thought they were made just like a bottle nipple. You know. Just one hole at the tip. Not so much. Imagine my surprise when it sprayed up my nose as I was trying to connect my faucet with newborn baby.

  122. idlex (18:46:52) :
    Do these nozzles always point radially out of the sun, and do they all eject the solar wind at 400 km/s? I read somewhere that there’s a ’slow’ solar wind of 400 km/s and a ‘fast’ solar wind of 750 km/s. Are there ‘fast’ nozzles and ‘’slow’ nozzles?
    Very near the Sun [within a couple of solar radii] the flow is not quite radial, but from there on out, the flow is radial. That is, the flow does not follow spirals, anymore than water from a garden hose does [it just looks like a spiral, but each drop of water continues in a straight line]. The speed varies from 250 km/s to 750 km/s with occasional [rare] bursts up to perhaps 2500 km/s.

    The solar wind is charged, but the particles do not follow the magnetic field lines, rather the other way around: the magnetic field is dragged out by the flow, so when the Sun continues to turn, the field line is drawn into a spiral, because the foot pint of the field line moves with the Sun’s rotation.

    In the simplest case [like we have right now] the north pole has a magnetic field of one polarity and the south pole one of the opposite polarity. This means that out in the solar wind field lines point one way in the northern half of the space and the other way in the southern half, so somewhere midway you will meet field lines of both directions. Such a configuration forces charged particles [a current] to flow along the boundary between the two fields [the heliospheric current sheet] as in this little cartoon http://www.leif.org/research/Current-Sheet-Cartoon.png

    Near the Sun, the Sun’s magnetic field is strong enough to channel the particles, but a few radii away, the kinetic energy of the flow is larger than the magnetic energy of the field, so the flow is radial far from the Sun and curved near the Sun. Then, of course, the Sun is rotating and everything gets wrapped around the Sun many times [like 20] before hitting the ‘edge’ of the heliosphere twice as far out as Pluto.

  123. idlex (18:46:52) :
    Do these nozzles always point radially out of the sun, and do they all eject the solar wind at 400 km/s? I read somewhere that there’s a ’slow’ solar wind of 400 km/s and a ‘fast’ solar wind of 750 km/s. Are there ‘fast’ nozzles and ‘’slow’ nozzles?

    Very near the Sun [within a couple of solar radii] the flow is not quite radial, but from there on out, the flow is radial. That is, the flow does not follow spirals, anymore than water from a garden hose does [it just looks like a spiral, but each drop of water continues in a straight line]. The speed varies from 250 km/s to 750 km/s with occasional [rare] bursts up to perhaps 2500 km/s.

    The solar wind is charged, but the particles do not follow the magnetic field lines, rather the other way around: the magnetic field is dragged out by the flow, so when the Sun continues to turn, the field line is drawn into a spiral, because the foot pint of the field line moves with the Sun’s rotation.

    In the simplest case [like we have right now] the north pole has a magnetic field of one polarity and the south pole one of the opposite polarity. This means that out in the solar wind field lines point one way in the northern half of the space and the other way in the southern half, so somewhere midway you will meet field lines of both directions. Such a configuration forces charged particles [a current] to flow along the boundary between the two fields [the heliospheric current sheet] as in this little cartoon http://www.leif.org/research/Current-Sheet-Cartoon.png

    Near the Sun, the Sun’s magnetic field is strong enough to channel the particles, but a few radii away, the kinetic energy of the flow is larger than the magnetic energy of the field, so the flow is radial far from the Sun and curved near the Sun. Then, of course, the Sun is rotating and everything gets wrapped around the Sun many times [like 20] before hitting the ‘edge’ of the heliosphere twice as far out as Pluto.

  124. Walter Dnes (17:14:17) :
    Can someone explain how the smoothed Ap is derived from the Ap numbers? I can’t seem to duplicate it.
    The SWPC Ap-numbers are still too small [should have been 4.3 for January]. And in the table they TRUNCATE the numbers, so the ‘3’ is really ‘3.7’ [see the graph] and the ‘2’ was really ‘2.9’. I imagine they use the un-truncated numbers for the smoothing.

  125. idlex says:

    Leif Svalgaard (19:51:26) : The solar wind is charged, but the particles do not follow the magnetic field lines, rather the other way around: the magnetic field is dragged out by the flow, so when the Sun continues to turn, the field line is drawn into a spiral, because the foot pint of the field line moves with the Sun’s rotation.

    Thank you again, Dr Svalgaard. So my original idea that the solar wind flies out in all directions, despite being made up of charged particles, would seem to to be the right one. I suppose that if charged particles generally follow magnetic field lines, then conversely magnetic field lines might be said to follow charged particles?

    Is this what explains (in part) the shape of Sun’s magnetic field? That is, if the Sun wasn’t spewing out so many charged particles, its magnetic field would be much like that of a bar magnet?

    This means that out in the solar wind field lines point one way in the northern half of the space and the other way in the southern half, so somewhere midway you will meet field lines of both directions. Such a configuration forces charged particles [a current] to flow along the boundary between the two fields [the heliospheric current sheet] as in this little cartoon http://www.leif.org/research/Current-Sheet-Cartoon.png

    Your cartoon is a liitle cryptic, but I am supposing that it is the radial view along the Current Sheet, with outgoing particles at the top with field lines around them going in one direction, and incoming particles with field lines going round them in the opposite sense, producing a transverse flow of charged particles in between (and so flowing around the sun?). I’m supposing that the outgoing (and incoming) charged particles – which might be electrons – can be regarded much like direct current flowing in a wire, setting up a circular magnetic field around it. In which case the solar wind is must itself be a current flow?

    Near the Sun, the Sun’s magnetic field is strong enough to channel the particles, but a few radii away, the kinetic energy of the flow is larger than the magnetic energy of the field, so the flow is radial far from the Sun and curved near the Sun. Then, of course, the Sun is rotating and everything gets wrapped around the Sun many times [like 20] before hitting the ‘edge’ of the heliosphere twice as far out as Pluto.

    So once these charged particles escape from the Sun’s magnetic field, they will behave like orbiting bodies? And follow elliptical paths until they return. I’ve been constructing an orbital simulation model of the solar system, and it occurs to me that I might be able to see for myself what happens to them. From memory, I think that escape velocity from the Sun is somewhere around 600 km/s, in which case the fastest particles will never come back. To be at all accurate, I would have to include the magnetic forces acting on these particles as they came near to the Sun. And I don’t know how to do that. Yet.

  126. tallbloke says:

    Thanks again Leif, most informative.
    I’m still puzzling over this simulation of realtime data from a Japanese site:

    A massive bowshock on 21st just before midnight UT.
    Could this have contributed to the splitting in two of the polar vortex in the sudden stratospheric warming event?

  127. vukcevic says:

    HasItBeen4YearsYet? (18:46:05) :
    Leif Svalgaard (14:54:55)

    Gentlemen, the idea was not to have an argument about science of logic. The challenge should be, when something odd turns up, to find reason, to link cause and the consequence. The arguments that either it should be accepted at face value, or rejected as just a coincidence; it does not move issue forward. If the formula has its roots in reality (rather than being just speculation) then certainly is worth pursing. Since the numbers involved are precise astronomical values, then it is even more important to explore all avenues, be it purely mechanical, HMD, magnetic, electromagnetic or even combination of all. So use your scientific knowledge and intellectual ability in cooperation not a conflict.
    I greatly value Dr. Svalgaards advice and contribution, but wouldn’t be great if his knowledge and experience is used not only to disqualify, but to also to look for gaps in existing scientific understanding, which may allow for further breakthroughs.
    Thank you for your attention.
    vukcevic

  128. idlex (00:01:51) :
    I suppose that if charged particles generally follow magnetic field lines, then conversely magnetic field lines might be said to follow charged particles?
    The first step is to get that picture out of your mind. A parcel of the solar wind moves radially outward [does not follow any field lines]. The escape velocity decreases with distance from the Sun [at the Earth's distance it is only 52 km/s] so the solar wind does not orbit the Sun, but really leaves the Sun behind. The kinetic energy of the outward flow is larger than the magnetic energy, so the magnetic field does not guide the flow [except very near the Sun where the ratio between the two energies is reversed], in fact, the magnetic field is tied to the plasma instead and moves with it. Consider a nozzle that spits out a parcel every day. If the Sun were not rotating these parcels with line up along a radius like beads on a string. A magnetic field line rooted in the nozzle would thread all the parcels along the straight radial line. Now, because the Sun is rotating each succeeding parcel [still to move out radially] with be emitted in a slightly different direction [changed by 360/27 degrees because the Sun rotates once in 27 days], so now the parcels would no longer be lined up along the initial radial line, but along a curved spiral [like drops from a garden sprinkler]. The magnetic field line threaded through all the parcels would then follow that spiral, so the flow is radially out, but the field curves.

    The cartoon shows the magnetic field looking towards the Sun along the spiral. The circles are particles gyrating around the field lines [which they would still like to do locally], so you see that there will be a current circling the Sun. That is the HCS. As you move further and further away from the Sun, the magnetic field becomes more and more twisted around the Sun [eventually going around the Sun some 20 times] and the current becomes more and more radial.

  129. tallbloke (00:13:58) :
    A massive bowshock on 21st just before midnight UT.
    Could this have contributed to the splitting in two of the polar vortex in the sudden stratospheric warming event?

    I don’t know. Nothing special happened in the solar wind at that time, so I wouldn’t think there should be any effect on the Earth. Geomagnetic activity was low http://www-app3.gfz-potsdam.de/kp_index/definitive.html at that time.

  130. vukcevic (03:12:44) :
    If the formula has its roots in reality (rather than being just speculation) then certainly is worth pursing.
    That is precisely the problem with it, that the root of the formula is not reality but speculation [something with planets lining up]. At times, speculation might be worth following up if the correlation is very good, but the correlation is not good. So it is hard to get excited.

  131. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (05:09:16) :
    to
    vukcevic (03:12:44) :
    If the formula has its roots in reality (rather than being just speculation) then certainly is worth pursing.
    That is precisely the problem with it, that the root of the formula is not reality but speculation [something with planets lining up]. At times, speculation might be worth following up if the correlation is very good, but the correlation is not good. So it is hard to get excited.

    The formula parameters are precise planetary orbital times, they are real as real it can be, they were there long before us, and will be long after. With due respect, it is not the planets lining up (lining up means presumably conjunctions, that is not case with this formula) but periodic motions of their magnetospheres trough the solar magnetic field and possible mutual interaction.
    I am bit puzzled by your conclusion that correlation is not good, as far as data is available 1967 to present, correlation is excellent, but let others judge that.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif
    For the whole period = 93% and for the period 1980 to present even better 97%. Are there data (not estimates what it should have been, but measured data) available prior to 1967?
    Btw, nothing wrong with planets lining up, NASA uses it all the time for navigating and acceleration their space probes.
    Jovian planets, due to their inclinations, the inclination of the solar equator and the narrow angle of HCS, continuously move in and out of the most intense areas of the solar wind. Further more the assertion that planet’s magnetic field is confined to the enclosed space of a magnetosphere may not be entirely correct, there it is just strong enough to hold off charged particles, but that does not mean that a planet’s magnetic field does not extend further on, theoretically to infinity.
    You also said :
    All field lines go ‘back in’ eventually. The open/closed terminology is simply one of convenience: the ‘closed’ ones go back in close to the Sun where we can see them; the ‘open’ ones make a detour way out into interplanetary [maybe even interstellar] space and we don’t know where they come back.
    That is precisely point: we do not know.
    Why not investigate possibility that some of them might envelop planetary magnetospheres before reconnect back ‘somewhere’ at high latitudes of the solar surface.
    The idea, however popular, of a two dynamos running in parallel is highly extraordinary, while aspects of SSN asymmetry could be easily explained by planetary magnetic equatorial plane oscillations due to above mentioned inclinations.
    Even smallest of external magnetic field and gravity force would affect MH dynamic flow of plasma.
    I shell not go into aspects of distortions in the magnetic fields of the heliosphere (trough which magnetospheres orbit) which were only recently discovered by Pioneer and Voyager probes.
    To conclude as Donald Rumsfeld put it so eloquently:
    As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, The ones we don’t know.

  132. tallbloke says:

    Leif

    I don’t know. Nothing special happened in the solar wind at that time, so I wouldn’t think there should be any effect on the Earth. Geomagnetic activity was low http://www-app3.gfz-potsdam.de/kp_index/definitive.html at that time.

    Very strange. Does anything else apart from the sun lob stuff around (bigger than a quarter pounder) which could cause such a bowshock?

    Please could you comment on these farside images. There seems to be some blobbyness going on with the sun. Is this an artefact?
    http://soi.stanford.edu/data/full_farside/crots/2080.html

    Thanks as always for your time.

  133. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (00:13:58) :

    I’m still puzzling over this simulation of realtime data from a Japanese site:

    A massive bowshock on 21st just before midnight UT.

    see also
    http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/weekly/pdf/prf1743.pdf
    page 6 & 7.

  134. idlex says:

    Leif Svalgaard (04:53:11) : A parcel of the solar wind moves radially outward [does not follow any field lines]. The escape velocity decreases with distance from the Sun [at the Earth's distance it is only 52 km/s] so the solar wind does not orbit the Sun, but really leaves the Sun behind.

    Thanks again. Yes, I understand that the solar wind particles move out radially, but because the sun is rotating, this creates a ‘garden sprinkler’ spiral. And when I said that these particles would “behave like orbiting bodies”, I should really have said that I assumed that they are influenced by gravitational forces. i.e. a packet of solar wind is just another mass moving in the gravitational field of the solar system.

    Earlier today, I took my numerical simulation model of the solar system, and modified it to fire small masses radially outwards from the surface of the sun at a little under escape velocity (618 km/s). These particles travelled radially outwards, slowing as they went under the influence of the Sun’s gravitation, and eventually slowed, stopped, and then fell radially back into the Sun. If I increased their radial velocity to values greater than escape velocity, they would keep on going, and exit the solar system. And this is what I expected they would do.

    Then, of course, the Sun is rotating and everything gets wrapped around the Sun many times [like 20] before hitting the ‘edge’ of the heliosphere twice as far out as Pluto.

    I am now beginning to suppose that the heliosphere is made up of all the particles in the solar wind which do not exceed escape velocity, and which consequently fall back to the Sun, like the particles in my simulation. And that the heliosphere is a bit like the Earth’s atmosphere, which is made up of all the particles in it which aren’t fast enough to escape into outer space. But in the heliosphere, unlike the terrestrial atmosphere, the particles are always moving radially (or almost radially), out and back in.

    My simulation model is inaccurate, because it doesn’t include the magnetic force, but if I give the particles at the surface of the sun a radial velocity of 400 km/s (which is quite a lot less than escape velocity of 618 km/s), they don’t get very far. They fall back into the Sun before they’ve gone a half solar radius. So when someone speaks of a solar wind of 400 km/s, does this mean the velocity at the surface of the Sun, or at the orbit of the Earth? The solar wind, it seems to me, must be slowing as it moves outwards, as the Sun’s gravitation pulls it back, and something that is moving at 400 km/s at the orbit of the Earth must have left the Sun’s surface quite a lot faster than that.

    And I’m still rather puzzled at the shape of the Sun’s magnetic field in your paper. Given that you describe the magnetic field lines as being threaded through all the parcels, then if the sun is throwing out parcels in all directions, why doesn’t the solar magnetic field consist of a set of radial spokes? Why are they curved in this strange way towards the solar equator? Is it because, before they escape from the Sun’ s magnetic field, the packets in the solar wind are turned by it in that direction?

  135. vukcevic (06:24:14) :
    periodic motions of their magnetospheres trough the solar magnetic field and possible mutual interaction.
    If the Sun had only one planet (Jupiter) what would the formula look like?

    I am bit puzzled by your conclusion that correlation is not good, as far as data is available 1967 to present, correlation is excellent,
    And on 27 March, 1997, at 8:32 UT the correlation was perfect. There is something called ‘degrees of freedom’ and with only the data after 1967, that number is very small [approx. equal to the number of cycles]. Since the polar fields are a proxy for the sunspot number [with a lag], one should examine the whole record since ~1700, and there it is not excellent.

    The assertion that planet’s magnetic field is confined to the enclosed space of a magnetosphere may not be entirely correct, there it is just strong enough to hold off charged particles, but that does not mean that a planet’s magnetic field does not extend further on, theoretically to infinity.
    It may, but away from the Sun. The Earth’s magnetic tail is about 500 earth radii long, but away from the Sun, so do not act back on the Sun.

    You cannot base science on the unknown unknowns

    tallbloke (06:47:52) :
    Very strange. Does anything else apart from the sun lob stuff around (bigger than a quarter pounder) which could cause such a bowshock?
    yes, bad data. this is ‘real time’ data with all the glitches and errors that you find from time to time in real time data before the quality control.

    Please could you comment on these farside images.
    This technique is still in its infancy and sometimes produces garbage, like now.

  136. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (08:32:38) :
    to
    vukcevic (06:24:14) :

    periodic motions of their magnetospheres trough the solar magnetic field and possible mutual interaction.
    If the Sun had only one planet (Jupiter) what would the formula look like?

    If Jupiter is removed we can’t even speculate what solar system would look like, how Sun would behave, let alone what my formula would be. Now you are dealing with unreal, so the question is irrelevant.

    And on 27 March, 1997, at 8:32 UT the correlation was perfect.

    I would not particularly guaranty that (it is irrelevant, what kind of science is that?), I am dealing with correlation for nearly 1200 measured values.

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

    There is something called ‘degrees of freedom’ and with only the data after 1967, that number is very small [approx. equal to the number of cycles].
    Since the polar fields are a proxy for the sunspot number [with a lag], one should examine the whole record since ~1700, and there it is not excellent.

    As far as I understand it, you and your colleagues are happy to say polar fields are a proxy for the sunspot number over the same period ( 4 SCs) , so your objection is not valid for someone else to apply the same principle. My formula correlates well with nearly 1200 measured values, while your predictions use only short periods at max, to come to the conclusion of a good proxy. I do not see polar fields replicating themselves accurately either with SSN or SS groups, my latest plots appear to correlate far better if a single hemisphere is considered (work in progress), but as you bring it up, the old work is shown on:

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/combined.gif

    For not a moment, I would claim that a single formula would cover whole variety of SC wayforms, as you can see from the above, there are number of them, but all use precise astronomical values, no guess work or assumptions. As you will remember, you slightly corrected one of my numbers (by the NASA’s recalculations) which then gave even better approximation of Maunder minimum, that should speak for itself.

    The assertion that planet’s magnetic field is confined to the enclosed space of a magnetosphere may not be entirely correct, there it is just strong enough to hold off charged particles, but that does not mean that a planet’s magnetic field does not extend further on, theoretically to infinity.

    It may, but away from the Sun. The Earth’s magnetic tail is about 500 earth radii long, but away from the Sun, so do not act back on the Sun.

    There is no particular proof of that. Two magnetic fields (planetary and spinning particle’s fields) are of totally different kind, instruments may add or subtract total, but they mix very rarely (when their vectors align, case of a reconnection), otherwise we would not have Aurora, where a charged particle spins down the earths field (neither gets obliterated by the other), Btw, Faradey cage does not work for DC magnetic fields (labs use ‘mu’ metal for shielding).

    You cannot base science on the unknown unknowns

    (Higgs boson?, billions spent there on an ‘unknown’ at CERN)

    Agree, but we should not ignore fact that many ‘unknowns’ are there and they are part of reality, and therefore should be vigorously pursued by science. If the science was scared of ‘unknowns’ I might have been instead scribbling on a cave wall (may be not a bad idea !).

    To reader of blog following this exchange, (visited my webpage 16.30GMT ) from Alabama , Huntsville ISP National Aeronautics And Space Administration
    Your views are welcome, publicly or privately, anonymously or personally,
    I am looking for cooperation.

  137. idlex (08:10:13) :
    So when someone speaks of a solar wind of 400 km/s, does this mean the velocity at the surface of the Sun, or at the orbit of the Earth?
    At the Earth and actually throughout most of the solar system as well.

    The solar wind, it seems to me, must be slowing as it moves outwards
    No, it is speeding up. See: http://www.obspm.fr/actual/nouvelle/jun05/solarw.en.shtml

    Why are they curved in this strange way towards the solar equator? Is it because, before they escape from the Sun’ s magnetic field, the packets in the solar wind are turned by it in that direction?
    Yes. And the parcels don’t really escape from the field, they end up dragging the field with them.

  138. vukcevic (10:27:20) :
    “If the Sun had only one planet (Jupiter) what would the formula look like?”
    If Jupiter is removed we can’t even speculate what solar system would look like, how Sun would behave

    I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.

    My formula correlates well with nearly 1200 measured values
    Suppose we had measured the polar fields every 45 seconds instead of only every ten days, then you would have had 2,500,000 measured values but the correlation would not have been any better because than the 1200 or the 4 values, because these values would not have been independent [the field changes very very little between values]. BTW, the new SDO spacecraft we are working on right now will make a measurement every 45 seconds.

    About your mechanism:
    A varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma.

    (Higgs boson?, billions spent there on an ‘unknown’ at CERN) a known unknown!

  139. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:20:00) :
    to
    vukcevic (10:27:20) :
    I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.

    Makes no difference, solar system is as it is, no one knows how sun would react, if present balance is altered, still irrelevant.

    My formula correlates well with nearly 1200 measured values
    Suppose we had measured the polar fields every 45 seconds instead of only every ten days, then you would have had 2,500,000 measured values but the correlation would not have been any better

    You are misinterpreting my words. It was a response to a pointless statement:
    And on 27 March, 1997, at 8:32 UT the correlation was perfect.
    I was making point that there are 1200 measured values, should have added over 40 years.

    but the correlation would not have been any better because than the 1200 or the 4 values, because these values would not have been independent [the field changes very very little between values].

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

    But if you had 4 values over 40 years, you might not be able to say:
    [the field changes very very little between values].

    Bit of a strange logic:
    the new SDO spacecraft we are working on right now will make a measurement every 45 seconds.
    What is the point of measuring every 45 seconds if 4 measurements over 40 years are good enough ?!?!

    About your mechanism:
    A varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma.

    Not certain about that, this plasma is highly rarefied (remember big Mac with fries), I am talking about fixed DC planetary magnetic fields, not varyng electrical field.
    Van Allen belt is a good example of two magnetic fields coexisting in time and space, without destroying each other, so I am not prepared to accept that:
    A varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma.
    I have carried a simple experiment with a compass needle within a much longer coil with DC and AC current in the windings, and the compass needle still reacts if permanent magnet is brought in vicinity, conclusion: presence of an electric current generated magnetic field (nor Faraday cage of the coil) prevents fixed (DC) magnetic field penetrating both.

    It would be far more productive to offer some help (as with the corrected orbital period).

    BTW. The previous invitation for cooperation is not only addressed to the blog reader from NASA, but also to all from number of Universities and research establishments who visited my website during last few months.
    (Click on ‘Bratstvo Vukcevic’)

  140. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @Pamela Gray (19:06:52) :

    “Dear Hasitbeen4years, I get up every morning before the Sun rises. Without fail. And I kinda look like an Irish midget sized woman with long unruly red hair. Give me a cauldron and you get the idea. Therefore, according to your correlation logic, I cause the Sun to rise. Offerings of money most appreciated. But beer works too. Just leave it at the entrance of my cave.

    Soooooo, you ADMIT it’s all your fault??!!

    Confession duly noted.

  141. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (11:20:00) :
    to
    vukcevic (10:27:20) :
    it should be:
    conclusion: Nor presence of an electric current generated magnetic field or Faraday cage of the coil, prevents fixed (DC) magnetic field penetrating both.

  142. vukcevic (12:23:47) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”
    Makes no difference, solar system is as it is, no one knows how sun would react, if present balance is altered, still irrelevant.

    Here you are evading the issue [and do you think that I would ask something irrelevant?]. The total effect should be the interplay between the individual effects. So, if Jupiter and Saturn are on opposite sides of the Sun, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere on the side where Jupiter is should be felt. In getting at the physics, one must be able to understand the partial effects or demonstrate from physics that only when both effects are present do you see any of them.

    But if you had 4 values over 40 years, you might not be able to say:
    [the field changes very very little between values].

    Your values change very little.

    What is the point of measuring every 45 seconds if 4 measurements over 40 years are good enough ?!?!
    4 measurement are good enough to establish PF->SSN prediction, in fact in our prediction paper we only use 2. For other reasons do we want to know what the Sun’s magnetic field is doing, how it is maintained, and how it changes. Rapid changes may be the key to predicting flares and CMEs.

    “A varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma.”
    Not certain about that

    The very existence of the Earth’s [and Jupiter's] magnetosphere is a consequence of this fact [rather the converse, but it works both ways]. A plasma cannot penetrate a magnetic field: the solar wind is deflected around the Earth, does not get any closer than about 10 Earth radii, and is effectively excluded from the magnetic field around the Earth. Fluctuations of the solar wind make the boundary unstable and a small amount of plasma can enter. A lot of the plasma in the Van Allen belts come from the Earth, not from the Sun.

    It would be far more productive to offer some help (as with the corrected orbital period).
    The most productive is to point out errors early on, so you do not waste time on pursuing dead ends.

  143. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    UNKOWN KNOWNS?

    4. Summary and Conclusion
    The spectral bands occurring in the power spectrum of Z~lrich relative sunspot number can be clearly related to modified configuration periods, Pc(a,/a,+ 1), and their harmonics,of the planets (particularly the giant planets). A physical explanation however can not yet be given.

    It appears that vukcevic isn’t the only one interested in the phenomenon. There definitely appears to be something there, but getting to the bottom of what it is, and quantitating the finer aspects of it, will take a while.

    So I do hope that Dr. Svalgaard isn’t advocating abandoning that research for the superficial reason that we don’t yet know what we’re trying to discover? (That’s an attitude that infects many researchers, and one of the vectors of transmission is the grant process that refuses to fund someone unless he adheres to entirely too rigid parameters that more often prevent new discoveries than foster them.)

  144. HasItBeen4YearsYet? (13:08:01) :
    So I do hope that Dr. Svalgaard isn’t advocating abandoning that research for the superficial reason that we don’t yet know what we’re trying to discover?
    Of course not, but your subsequent statement about attitude is completely wrong. Every scientist dreams about out of the box revolutionary discoveries. It is just that these are HARD. What I basically rail against is substandard statistics, incorrect physics, use of wrong data [willingly or not], and the attitude that what we don’t know must be true. In short, I advocate research. Speculation is OK, as long as you know it is just that. Wild ideas are OK, as long as you drop them when they don’t pan out or are shown to be wrong. Critique should be taken into account, not pushed aside by comparing one’s work with that of Kepler, Galileo, Einstein, Velikovsy, and other luminaries. Such critique could be devastating, but such is Science, and such should be Science.

  145. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (13:01:31) :
    to
    vukcevic (12:23:47) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”
    Makes no difference, solar system is as it is, no one knows how sun would react, if present balance is altered, still irrelevant.

    Here you are evading the issue [and do you think that I would ask something irrelevant?]. The total effect should be the interplay between the individual effects. So, if Jupiter and Saturn are on opposite sides of the Sun, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere on the side where Jupiter is should be felt. In getting at the physics, one must be able to understand the partial effects or demonstrate from physics that only when both effects are present do you see any of them.

    That is your way of looking at things. I see more factors there, such as asymmetry of the heliosphere, When the magnetospheres are at head end they enter different conditions to the heliosphere’s tail end. One of the reasons why no one has managed to tie sunspot maxima and minima to a particular J-S angular displacement. One could even think of the heliosphere as an inverted Einstein’s space (magnetospheres are mountain peaks, that solar wind is unable to clime up to, so flows around it, as a river around an island, have you noticed shape of rapid river islands ? )

    But if you had 4 values over 40 years, you might not be able to say:
    [the field changes very very little between values].
    Your values change very little.

    I never claim my values change anything, they just agree extremely well with what your colleagues at Wilcox Solar Observatory measure (why not discuss my formula with them, I do not mind even if you have a laugh).

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

    What is the point of measuring every 45 seconds if 4 measurements over 40 years are good enough ?!?!
    4 measurement are good enough to establish PF->SSN prediction,

    in fact in our prediction paper we only use 2.!
    OK with me if you think so, your prediction, not mine
    For other reasons we want to know what the Sun’s magnetic field is doing, how it is maintained, and how it changes. Rapid changes may be the key to predicting flares and CMEs.

    I am happy with that, I whish someone could measure frequently J-magnetosphere. I never questioned your conclusions, I am sure there are more qualified people to do that, but it appears it was not necessary.
    Hence, more predictive power to my formula, since it can look ahead further than half a cycle!
    That is I hope, why NASA (wcne-32-186-024.gsfc.nasa.gov 128.154.186.24 )is looking in at
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk.
    Come on, NASA drop us a line!
    “A varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma.”
    Not certain about that
    The very existence of the Earth’s [and Jupiter's] magnetosphere is a consequence of this fact [rather the converse, but it works both ways]. A plasma cannot penetrate a magnetic field: the solar wind is deflected around the Earth, does not get any closer than about 10 Earth radii, and is effectively excluded from the magnetic field around the Earth. Fluctuations of the solar wind make the boundary unstable and a small amount of plasma can enter. A lot of the plasma in the Van Allen belts come from the Earth, not from the Sun.

    Or may be a magnetosphere is an area where planet’s field is able to repel charged particles field, once with enough energy (according to NASA) to penetrate it and end up (for a wile) in the Van Allen belts and when their energy is dissipated, looping back and forth between two magnetic poles, end up in the atmosphere.

    A lot of the plasma in the Van Allen belts come from the Earth, not from the Sun.

    Do not know what a lot is: 90%, 10% ? and how can you tell which proton comes from the Earth?

    The most productive is to point out errors early on, so you do not waste time on pursuing dead ends.
    I value corrections, and appreciate constructive criticism, which may help advance a step forward, but not if it is just because somehow planets are involved, everything has to be rejected.
    We are all eventually at dead end, I would say very dead dead end, but until then it is better pursuing any challenge, than no challenge at all. Who knows, SC24 might make hero of Dr. Hathaway, if that is case, I will whistle in the wind, try to prove that Beaufort gyre is run by the sunspot cycle; have you any plans if SC24 is 120 ? (come to think about it, one of my formula allows for that as well).
    I suggest we here agree to disagree, I hope I was not giving you to much of hard time. It is all good fun, and that is what should attract younger generation, the science is good fun, right or wrong.
    I am off to see BBC 10 o’clock news.

  146. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (13:37:56) :

    “your subsequent statement about attitude is completely wrong.”

    No, it’s not. I was not making a blanket statement about every scientist. It’s like in every population, some individuals are more susceptible to infection than others, so not everyone will suffer to the same extent. If you aren’t affected, I’m happy for you. But I have seen it first hand on too many occasions to know it isn’t a little problem. How much would things be better without such micromanaging by bureaucrats? I don’t know, but if it’s anything like the difference between socialist markets and capitalism (and it probably is), then we are likely missing out on a lot of wonderful stuff.

  147. vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”
    I can see that we cannot progress further along the other questions, but this one you should not evade [as you have now done repeatedly]. Here there is no knowledge needed of plasma physics or statistics, so please make an effort to answer, what you think it should be. Then the same question, if Saturn was the only planet.

  148. HasItBeen4YearsYet? (14:58:00) :
    I was not making a blanket statement about every scientist.
    So simply saying that the statement applies equally well to any segment of the population?

  149. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @ vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “That is I hope, why NASA (wcne-32-186-024.gsfc.nasa.gov 128.154.186.24 )is looking in at
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk.
    Come on, NASA drop us a line!’

    It’s interesting that at least someone connected with them is referencing you…
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004astro.ph..1107V
    …citing this paper…
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0401/0401107.pdf

  150. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @ Leif Svalgaard (16:04:06) :

    “So simply saying that the statement applies equally well to any segment of the population?”

    No. They aren’t doing research, so why would funding constraints and publish or perish be irrelevant to them?

    Not all scientists are dependent on government grants, and among those who are some have more flexibility than others, depending on the nature of their work. But, as a general rule, there is a major down side for a talented scientist relying on the government for his livelihood. Of course, some of the negatives are independent of government ‘forcing’, as it is just due to the human nature of certain principle investigators who may just be naturally less creative, more controlling, narrow minded and/or suffer some other disruptive personality disorder that’s not conducive to a productive work environment for colleagues or staff.

  151. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    oops, didn’t catch this in proofing….

    That should have read, …
    “No. They aren’t doing research, so why would funding constraints and publish or perish be relevant to them?”

  152. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    NOTE ADDED IN PROOF

    …a case in point…
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/01/balling-michaels-climate-of-extremes.html

    I received a book by Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling Jr, “Climate of Extremes”. It is a very nice book that is crowded with graphs and information.

    At the beginning, Michaels announces that he will have to leave his school in June 2009 because the current conditions don’t allow him to keep both his scientific integrity and the funding.

  153. HasItBeen4YearsYet? (18:45:52) :
    At the beginning, Michaels announces that he will have to leave his school in June 2009 because the current conditions don’t allow him to keep both his scientific integrity and the funding.

    perhaps the opposite of the attitude you ascribe to ‘many’ researchers. I know personally hundreds of researchers and the attitude you describe is rare [at least in my large sample].

  154. Leif Svalgaard (15:59:41) :
    vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”
    I can see that we cannot progress further along the other questions, but this one you should not evade [as you have now done repeatedly]. Here there is no knowledge needed of plasma physics or statistics, so please make an effort to answer, what you think it should be. Then the same question, if Saturn was the only planet.

  155. tallbloke says:

    Please could you comment on these farside images.

    This technique is still in its infancy and sometimes produces garbage, like now.

    Ok, thanks Leif. Just one more on this if you will. The nearside is totally blank, the farside according to the instruments, was showing plausible small areas of activity before it went crazy with the big black blotches. Are they artifacts too? Is the sensitivity of the instrumentation the same for nearside and farside in these images?
    http://soi.stanford.edu/data/full_farside/crots/2080.html
    Thanks again.

  156. tallbloke says:

    Just a quick followup to help explain why I’m asking. If you look at these plots from back in 2000 and scroll down a little way to the 29th Nov, you see the same big black blotches suddenly appear. Garbage as you pointed out. But in the days before and after, you see smaller patches of activity which look very similar to the farside ones in the link in my previous post before the black garbage sets in. The point is, they look similar on both the nearside and farside, which is why I’m asking. It seems interesting that there is some activity on the farside while the earthside is staying totally blank.

  157. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:17:51) :
    to
    vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”………..
    Then the same question, if Saturn was the only planet.

    I am not one of the ‘masters of the Universe’ to answer precisely what might happen if Saturn is to be removed (their fancy computer models buried Wall Street and so much more).
    Beside, possibly being most beautiful planet of the solar system, I do not whish to offend the god of time Kronos, who came down to Italy and thought humans agriculture and fertility of land, I say we have had enough of money man, ‘back to the land’. Beside his son, Zeus (the mighty Jupiter) might take an offence to such outrages contemplation.
    However, if you do whish to enrage ancient gods of our civilisation, you are more than welcome. Your torment in the centauries to come, might be eased somewhat by the fact that:
    North South asymmetry in the SSN would be simpler and distinctly linked to the Hale cycle, so no need for such a ‘least credible solution’ as two magnetic dynamos operating along each other.
    If you read
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ solar subcycle link
    you would find a detailed description how a particular planet’s magnetosphere makes its contribution to the SSN, which might help with the dilemma.
    This correlation is not only good, but it it profoundly significant:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

  158. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:17:51) :
    to
    vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”………..
    Then the same question, if Saturn was the only planet.

    I am not one of the ‘masters of the Universe’ to answer precisely what might happen if Saturn is to be removed (their fancy computer models buried the Wall Street, and so much more).
    Beside, possibly being most beautiful planet of the solar system, I do not whish to offend the god of time Kronos, who came down to Italy and thought humans agriculture and fertility of land, I say, we have had enough of money-men, ‘back to the land’. Beside his son, Zeus (the mighty Jupiter) may take an offence to such outrages contemplation.
    However, if you do whish to enrage the ancient gods of our civilisation, you have been warned. Your torment in the centauries to come, might be eased somewhat by the fact that you may observe:
    North South asymmetry in the SSN would be simpler and distinctly linked to the Hale cycle, so no need for such a ‘least credible solution’ as two magnetic dynamos operating along each other.
    If you read
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/ solar subcycle link
    you would find a detailed description how a particular planet’s magnetosphere makes its contribution to the SSN, which might help with the dilemma.

    This correlation is not only good, but it is profoundly significant:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

  159. tallbloke (00:40:22) :
    It seems interesting that there is some activity on the farside while the earthside is staying totally blank.
    The method doesn’t quite work yet, so I would not place any significance in whatever differences and garbage pop up from time to time. The method is sound, though, and with the data from the new SDO [Solar Dynamics Observatory] to be launched later this year will be a great help for forecasting solar activity a couple of weeks ahead.

  160. Ian Tresman says:

    Tom wrote:
    The electric/plasma universe people invaded Wikipedia a couple of years ago and it took some time to deal with them

    I don’t know why I needed “dealing with”? I wrote the original article on Wikipedia’s “. Likewise, I wrote articles on “Double layers“, and “Birkeland currents“, and the “Plasma pinch” and others.

    All the articles are thoroughly referenced and has received minor editing. Is there a problem with the article that I am unaware of?

  161. Ian Tresman says:

    Why no “preview” or editing options for comments?

    My first sentence above should read:
    I wrote the original article on Wikipedia’s “Heliospheric current sheet

    REPLY: “Why no “preview” or editing options for comments? ” because wordpres.com free hosting for this website does not offer it. – Anthony

  162. vukcevic says:

    Ian Tresman (07:53:44) :
    I don’t know why I needed “dealing with”? I wrote the original article on Wikipedia’s “. Likewise, I wrote articles on “Double layers“, and “Birkeland currents“, and the “Plasma pinch” and others.

    I raised the original enquiry. Contentious points apparently are :
    Electric current
    The electric current in the heliospheric current sheet is directed radially inward (apparently not in vicinity of the Sun, only in distant parts where spiral is nearly circular), the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions (existence of this is disputed).
    Refer to the Dr. L. Svalgaard’s entry on the matter.

  163. Robert Bateman says:

    Could someone please take a moment and answer a relatively simple question:
    Are satellite-borne instruments at greater risk of damage from higher levels of cosmic rays, or is the increase only a minor issue?

  164. Ian Tresman says:

    vukcevic wrote:
    Contentious points .. current sheet is directed radially inward the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions

    I agree with you, it should probably be attributed to Alfvén and Israelevich, and the standard view cited. I note that the academic astronomer did not pick up on this. Don’t forget that anyone can edit Wikipedia and amend it.

  165. gary gulrud says:

    “Are satellite-borne instruments at greater risk of damage from higher levels of cosmic rays”

    I’ve done some electronic design, not like George Smith, but note that SORCE indicates measuring UV with a diode sensor which I take to be crude but durable. They say sigma for the sensor is 12-24%, an unusual spread except when noting that solar flares may boost UV 100% and include X-Rays.

    So I think this may well indicate CR sensitivity of some sensors in the form of alpha particles and the like in the solar wind when CMEs are earth directed.

    All the same, electromagnetic surges are more commonly destructive to electronics of all sorts.

  166. Ian Tresman (11:45:31) :
    “current sheet is directed radially inward the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions”
    I agree with you, it should probably be attributed to Alfvén and Israelevich, and the standard view cited. I note that the academic astronomer did not pick up on this. Don’t forget that anyone can edit Wikipedia and amend it.

    Because it is incorrect. For once, the polarity of the solar fields changes every 11 years so the direction of the current should change too. This is not the only error.

  167. Ian Tresman says:

    I wrote:
    “current sheet is directed radially inward

    Leif wrote:
    “Because it is incorrect. For once, the polarity of the solar fields changes every 11 years so the direction of the current should change too”

    For want of appearing like I am digging myself into a hole, yes, I agree with you completely. Alfvén writes of a “radial current”, and it was my error to say that they were directed just inwards.

  168. Robert Bateman says:

    Thanks for answering, Gary. I am going to assume that satellites going over the poles are going to get a dose of CR’s, and maybe some High Speed Coronal Hole gusts from time to time, but it won’t be anything special.
    I do wonder about today’s microprocessors that are down to 45 and 32 nm being easier to damage by CR’s.
    I don’t know how wide in nm a CR is.

  169. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (21:17:51) :
    Leif Svalgaard (15:59:41) :
    vukcevic (14:25:32) :
    “I asked what the formula would look like if Jupiter was the only planet there. I.e. remove Saturn. Surely, the effect of Jupiter’s magnetosphere should be there even if Saturn is removed.”

    After the brief excursion into ancient Greek mythology, it would be impolite to totally ignore you question. On the other hand, I was surprised by insistence on this particular point. As far as the formula is concerned, the answer is simple: it would loose its second component, thus it would directly follow Jupiter’s cycle. It should be noted that the synchronising (or a modulating effect) is related to the Hale cycle.
    Since heliosphere is not homogeneous, gradient of the strength of solar wind varies along 360 degrees, then if planetary feedback is controlling factor, it is obvious that it would be function of that gradient. In addition, the heliosphere is prone to incursion by strong CRs from its front end; this may change the magnetosphere’s effectiveness (squeezed from both directions). In addition, huge magnetospheres (both J & S) may shield the sun, for period of time, from any incursion effect CRs they may have on the solar activity.

  170. vukcevic says:

    Ian Tresman (16:26:21) :
    ……………. Alfvén writes of a “radial current”, and it was my error to say that they were directed just inwards.

    I am particular interested in accuracy and other any references to:
    the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions.
    beside Israelevich’s work, which I have been aware of for some time.

  171. vukcevic (07:33:43) :
    I am particular interested in accuracy and other any references to: the circuit being closed by outward currents aligned with the Sun’s magnetic field in the solar polar regions.
    There is no such current.

  172. vukcevic (02:51:17) :
    it would be impolite to totally ignore you question.
    Totally? Even partially would be impolite.

    It should be noted that the synchronising (or a modulating effect) is related to the Hale cycle.
    makes no sense, explain.

    Since heliosphere is not homogeneous, gradient of the strength of solar wind varies along 360 degrees
    Because the Sun in rotating [160 times as fast as Jupiter's orbital movement, and 400 times as fast as Saturn's] the heliosphere does not have any 360 degree variation on the time scales of interest.

    the heliosphere is prone to incursion by strong CRs from its front end; this may change the magnetosphere’s effectiveness (squeezed from both directions).
    Because of the rotation mentioned above, the CRs are evenly distributed in longitude within the heliosphere.

    In addition, huge magnetospheres (both J & S) may shield the sun, for period of time, from any incursion effect CRs they may have on the solar activity.
    The CRs have absolutely no effect on solar activity.

    —–

    Even if Jupiter’s magnetosphere would have an effect [which it cannot, remember], Jupiter from the viewpoint of the Sun would always be sitting there [almost stationary] in the sky, while the Sun rotates 160 times during a Jupiter orbit. There would be no asymmetry that could have any influence on anything.

  173. vukcevic says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:27:14) :
    to
    vukcevic (02:51:17) :
    it would be impolite to totally ignore you question.
    -Totally? Even partially would be impolite.

    Degree of politeness is subject to the context and culture.

    It should be noted that the synchronising (or a modulating effect) is related to the Hale cycle.
    – makes no sense, explain.

    The formula describes the Hale cycle (either the polar field or SC); the function ABS is used for a visual impression of the SC coincidence.

    Since heliosphere is not homogeneous, gradient of the strength of solar wind varies along 360 degrees
    -Because the Sun in rotating [160 times as fast as Jupiter's orbital movement, and 400 times as fast as Saturn's] the heliosphere does not have any 360 degree variation on the time scales of interest.

    I think you have misunderstood my statement about gradient of the strength. What I have in mind is something totally different. In order not labour a verbal description please refer to the article and image:
    http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=36805
    from the European Space Agency.

    the heliosphere is prone to incursion by strong CRs from its front end; this may change the magnetosphere’s effectiveness (squeezed from both directions.
    – Because of the rotation mentioned above, the CRs are evenly distributed in longitude within the heliosphere.

    Not so according to scientist from University of California, Berkeley:
    ‘These ENAs were traced back to hot ions in the heliosheath, the region between the termination shock and heliopause, which are more intense (indicated by color code) around the nose of the heliosphere, with an asymmetric double peak.’
    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18148

    In addition, huge magnetospheres (both J & S) may shield the sun, for period of time, from any incursion effect CRs they may have on the solar activity.
    -The CRs have absolutely no effect on solar activity.

    Since CR’s are charged particles (can be and are modulated by the Solar activity) , and usually all come from same direction into heliosphere than it is reasonable to expect an assumed current (movement of charged particles) and associated magnetic field. Since I believe in the currents feedback, and you do not, I believe that such current may have an effect, and you do not.
    Impasse !

    -Even if Jupiter’s magnetosphere would have an effect [which it cannot, remember], Jupiter from the viewpoint of the Sun would always be sitting there [almost stationary] in the sky, while the Sun rotates 160 times during a Jupiter orbit. There would be no asymmetry that could have any influence on anything.

    Again not exactly: It revolves along an elliptical orbit which regularly takes it into parts of the heliosphere, subject to the points as described in:
    http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=36805
    http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/18148

    For time being ( to my regret) I will have to temporarily terminate our dialogue, since I will be shortly off to Florence for few days, make an effort to visit Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza and hopefully have chance to take a look at some of Galileo’s telescopes.
    I will revisit WUWT on my return.
    Thank you for giving me oportunity for the fascinating and enjoyable exchange, at least from my point of view.

  174. vukcevic (14:46:47) :
    “it would be impolite to totally ignore you question.
    Degree of politeness is subject to the context and culture.”

    Ignoring my question is impolite in this context and this culture.

    The formula describes the Hale cycle (either the polar field or SC); the function ABS is used for a visual impression of the SC coincidence.
    Still makes no sense. What do you think the Hale cycle is?

    “the heliosphere does not have any 360 degree variation on the time scales of interest.”
    I think you have misunderstood my statement about gradient of the strength

    apart from ‘gradient of strength’ not being defined or having much meaning, what happens at 100 AU has no bearing of what happens between the Sun and Jupiter.

    “Because of the rotation mentioned above, the CRs are evenly distributed in longitude within the heliosphere.”
    Not so according to scientist from University of California, Berkeley: ‘These ENAs”

    The ENAs are not cosmic rays and are not charged.

    assumed current (movement of charged particles) and associated magnetic field. Since I believe in the currents feedback, and you do not,
    The CRs are not currents and have no associated and measurable magnetic fields.

    “There would be no asymmetry that could have any influence on anything.”
    Again not exactly: It revolves along an elliptical orbit which regularly takes it into parts of the heliosphere, subject to the points as described in:

    The eccentricity of Jupiter’s orbit is slight [1 in 20] and it does not take Jupiter into the parts of the heliosphere that are 100 AU away.

    This discussion reminds me of a discussion I once had with someone believing that the Earth was only 6000 years old. He was equally impervious to reason, facts, and coherent arguments. He even used the same word as you: “you believe in something and I in something different, Impasse!”.

  175. E.M.Smith says:

    Leif Svalgaard (20:46:20) :

    Robert Bateman (20:13:07) : The sun, overly active or acutely inactive, is a driver of human behavior.

    A Soviet scientist I once worked with was convinced that the agitation of inmates in insane asylums peaked on the day the HCS sweps over the Earth. [see, I'm even on topic]. Pigeon races are canceled if the Kp-index exceeds 4. [This latter factoid may have some foundation in physiology as it is claimed that pigeons partly use the Earth's magnetic field for navigation].

    pay attention to crowd behavior.

    Maybe they are just sensing the magnetic fields:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=49775
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/04m2315151120121/
    http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?articleId=682&issueId=26

    I have a ‘very good sense of direction’. I can point north, more often than not within about 10 degrees, almost all the time. (My dad ‘trained me’ to have a sense of direction when I was about 4 or 5). When I do this, it’s magnetic north that my finger hits, not true north.

    I’ve been ‘disoriented’ only a couple of times. (Once after sleeping on a bus for a few hours of night driving through mountains, another after arriving in Australia. Took me about 3 days to ‘get oriented’. The sun was in the ‘wrong place’ and my head ‘felt funny’. ) Most of the time I can just close my eyes, turn my head side to side, and center on north. It’s a subtile ‘balanced’ feeling.

    FWIW, my dad claimed that when they first got ‘electric’ in the house, his dad complained that he could hear a soft buzzing in his head and didn’t like it! My dad said he had barely heard it, but then it ‘went away’ and didn’t bother him any more… but he still felt more comfortable away from electric wiring.

    Also, FWIW, I’m synchronized with the lunar cycle most of the time. Unless I make special efforts, I’m awake during periods when the moon is overhead (especially if full. If I’m having insomnia, it’s a full moon, 98%+ of the time.)

    All anecdotal. But I still navigated a sailboat over a 50 mile distance in San Francisco bay haze and hit the outer channel marker by pointing the boat ‘thataway’ and holding the heading; and when a road clogs up I’ll just head off to other roads and keep returning my heading to goal until I get there with very high success… Yes, I’m pretty sure people have a magnetic sense. I’m also pretty sure it’s subtile and it’s best trained when very young (and maybe in places not so full of mag fields as modern life…) It may also be variable by person. My son has it, a very good friend does not and can not learn it.

    Longer term cycles may also be sensed. This could explain the wide spread observation that animal coats get thicker when cold weather is coming. My cats and rabbits have thicker fur this year than prior years. (Heck, I even think my hair is a bit thicker… ). Maybe that magnetite in our heads connects us to the solar mag field as a climate indicator… If Sevensmark is shown correct, it would be a reasonable evolutionary pressure and response. (Yes, all rampant speculation. The seed patch of crazy ideas where science first sprouts before it gets tested via thesis, hypothesis, antithesis, … and the ‘keepers’ kept and the ‘tossers’ tossed. )

    It would help explain some of the ‘strange coincidences’ like the Great Depression and the present recession landing on sunspot low points… maybe it’s just that a lot of people get ‘edgy’ when the solar mag field says it’s time to ‘put some acorns away’… and start taking money out of the banks and stocks.

  176. E.M.Smith says:

    Leif Svalgaard (20:46:20) :

    Robert Bateman (20:13:07) : The sun, overly active or acutely inactive, is a driver of human behavior.

    A Soviet scientist I once worked with was convinced that the agitation of inmates in insane asylums peaked on the day the HCS sweps over the Earth. [see, I'm even on topic]. Pigeon races are canceled if the Kp-index exceeds 4. [This latter factoid may have some foundation in physiology as it is claimed that pigeons partly use the Earth's magnetic field for navigation].

    pay attention to crowd behavior.

    Maybe they are just sensing the magnetic fields:

    http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=49775
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/04m2315151120121/
    http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?articleId=682&issueId=26

    I have a ‘very good sense of direction’. I can point north, more often than not within about 10 degrees, almost all the time. (My dad ‘trained me’ to have a sense of direction when I was about 4 or 5). When I do this, it’s magnetic north that my finger hits, not true north.

    I’ve been ‘disoriented’ only a couple of times. (Once after sleeping on a bus for a few hours of night driving through mountains, another after arriving in Australia. Took me about 3 days to ‘get oriented’. The sun was in the ‘wrong place’ and my head ‘felt funny’. ) Most of the time I can just close my eyes, turn my head side to side, and center on north. It’s a subtile ‘balanced’ feeling.

    FWIW, my dad claimed that when they first got ‘electric’ in the house, his dad complained that he could hear a soft buzzing in his head and didn’t like it! My dad said he had barely heard it, but then it ‘went away’ and didn’t bother him any more… but he still felt more comfortable away from electric wiring.

    Also, FWIW, I’m synchronized with the lunar cycle most of the time. Unless I make special efforts, I’m awake during periods when the moon is overhead (especially if full. If I’m having insomnia, it’s a full moon, 98%+ of the time.)

    All anecdotal. But I still navigated a sailboat over a 50 mile distance in San Francisco bay haze and hit the outer channel marker by pointing the boat ‘thataway’ and holding the heading; and when a road clogs up I’ll just head off to other roads and keep returning my heading to goal until I get there with very high success… Yes, I’m pretty sure people have a magnetic sense. I’m also pretty sure it’s subtile and it’s best trained when very young (and maybe in places not so full of mag fields as modern life…) It may also be variable by person. My son has it, a very good friend does not and can not learn it.

    Longer term cycles may also be sensed. This could explain the wide spread observation that animal coats get thicker when cold weather is coming. My cats and rabbits have thicker fur this year than prior years. (Heck, I even think my hair is a bit thicker… ). Maybe that magnetite in our heads connects us to the solar mag field as a climate indicator… If Sevensmark is shown correct, it would be a reasonable evolutionary pressure and response. (Yes, all rampant speculation. The seed patch of crazy ideas where science first sprouts before it gets tested via thesis, hypothesis, antithesis, … and the ‘keepers’ kept and the ‘tossers’ tossed. )

    It would help explain some of the ‘strange coincidences’ like the Great Depression and the present recession landing on sunspot low points… maybe it’s just that a lot of people get ‘edgy’ when the solar mag field says it’s time to ‘put some acorns away’…

  177. E.M.Smith says:

    Sam the Skeptic (15:13:53) : Your statement seems to tie in rather well with the old saw that 68.7% of statistics are made up on the spur of the moment.

    And 25.6% are made up after some contemplation ;-)

  178. E.M.Smith says:

    Leif Svalgaard (14:54:55) :The amount of solar wind matter impinging on the Earth every second has the same mass as one BigMac with Fries. Better be afraid and duck!

    Crud falls into the sun. Solar wind, CME et. al. come out. What’s the net mass balance? Is the sun gaining or losing mass, net?

    Will this change over time as less ‘junk’ is left to fall in? Will it matter on very long time scales, or does it just move a digit way over on the right hand side of the decimal point every few billion years?

  179. E.M.Smith (22:17:37) :
    Will this change over time as less ‘junk’ is left to fall in? Will it matter on very long time scales, or does it just move a digit way over on the right hand side of the decimal point every few billion years?

    It is losing mass, but very slowly. In th end, the Sun will begin to lose mass more rapidly and ‘puff’ off about 40% of its mass and become a ‘planetary nebula': http://www.astro.washington.edu/users/balick/WFPC2/

  180. E.M.Smith says:

    Robert Bateman (23:09:38) : I do wonder about today’s microprocessors that are down to 45 and 32 nm being easier to damage by CR’s.

    It’s not just damage… The size of the memory cell in modern memory is so small and the charge on it so few electrons that even at ground level particle events can cause a memory cell to flip states. This is a major factor in the move to error correcting memory in the last decade or two in PC’s. ( I remember when I was first told that we needed to make sure we put ECC chips in machines due to cosmic rays being an issue at the new scales used… it was an interesting discussion ;-) While it doesn’t happen often and ECC (error correction code) can fix it, you don’t want this happening in the middle of your bank transactions nor in your real time flight controls!

  181. E.M.Smith says:

    Leif Svalgaard (12:27:14) :
    “vukcevic (02:51:17) :It should be noted that the synchronising (or a modulating effect) is related to the Hale cycle.”
    makes no sense, explain.

    As I understand Vukcevic, I would take this to mean that the oscillation of the planetary magnetosphere above and below the plane of the ecliptic (causes / is related to / modulates); the double cycle (magnetic flip) Hale cycle as opposed to the single 11ish year non-magnetic specified half cycle.

    At least, that’s how I read his stuff…

  182. vukcevic says:

    Vukcevic
    to
    Svalgaard

    Just a quick note before I depart;
    Elsewhere you said, to paraphrase, that solar scientists do not know what sunspots are (where, how and why they are generated, etc). For millennia lack of knowledge has been substitute by a belief, an attribute of very subjective quality, belief of one man cannot be superior to that of the other.

    My correlation is good ! ; still stands righteous, despite the relentless assault, while the rest may or may not prove to be a worthless speculation, or as my grandfather would often say:
    omnia nihil sunt et reliqua minoris

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/PolarFields-vf.gif
    http://www.geocities.com/vukcevicu/PolarFields-vf.gif

  183. HasItBeen4YearsYet? says:

    @Leif Svalgaard (21:02:37) :

    “HasItBeen4YearsYet? (18:45:52) :
    I know personally hundreds of researchers and the attitude you describe is rare [at least in my large sample].”

    I’m happy for you that the sun is shining in your neck of the woods.

  184. vukcevic (02:04:15) :
    belief of one man cannot be superior to that of the other.
    But the ignorance of one man can be ‘superior’ to that of the other.

  185. HasItBeen4YearsYet? (09:18:46) :
    I’m happy for you that the sun is shining in your neck of the woods.
    My neck of the woods covers a large fraction of solar science, so you should be happy for science at large.

  186. vukcevic (02:04:15) :
    My correlation is good !
    Through any number of data points one can find a curve that has perfect correlation [e.g. Lagrange polynomials], and fits all the data points exactly. But this curve is usually useless outside of the domain of the data points [or sometimes even between the points] and cannot be used for extrapolation [i.e. prediction]. For that there has to be valid physics behind the curve.

  187. anna v says:

    Somebody on another thread gave the following synchronisation demonstration of metronomes:

    It is instructive to watch them. What is happening? conservation of momentum and angular momentum is finally synchronizing the two. How? Through the base and some friction.

    In the planetary system and the sun, I cannot conceive an analogue of this, with the physics we know. ( science fiction is another story).

    People are hand waving planetary magnetic fields. I would like to see numbers, the strength of these fields and the strength of the Sun’s fields. Does anybody have links?

  188. Radun says:

    Mr. Leif Svalgaard
    I’ve observed Mr. Vuckevic posts, I have no time for his theories, but I do believe that your attitude is very odd. His formula appear, at list to me to be in line with your predictions. It is wrong in this case to state: “Through any number of data points one can find a curve that has perfect correlation.” Mr. Vuckevic claims correlation is good (not perfect) formula parmeters are not some specialy chosen values to fit the data, but the acurate values for Jupiter’s orbit and Jupiter-Saturn orbit linkage.

  189. Radun (11:36:26) :
    formula parmeters are not some specialy chosen values to fit the data, but the acurate values for Jupiter’s orbit and Jupiter-Saturn orbit linkage.
    Since Jupiter’s period is close to the sunspot cycle length, it is picked for that reason; suppose the cycle was 17 years long. Jupiter would not have been selected. Then one has to pick a phase, and that one is certainly picked to fit. Last, since the amplitude changes over the 40 year period you need to add in a function to do this. Almost any periodic function with power well above 11 years would do with the right [picked] phase.

  190. Hugo M says:

    Radun (11:36:26) : Mr. Leif Svalgaard,
    I’ve observed Mr. Vuckevic posts, I have no time for his theories, but I do believe that your attitude is very odd.

    Radun, this is really unjust. Since two weeks or so Dr. Svalgaard became the patience itself, especially when reacting on V.’s paraphysical way of thinking. Confer to V.’s response on the point, that “a varying electric/magnetic field cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma” . The weakness of Svalgaard’s argument lies in the adjective “highly”, which is uncertain to almost any extend. But you certainly would not take a magnet, a coil and a compass to counter this, evading to consider the plasma and thus the core of the argument.

  191. Radun says:

    Mr. Hugo, Mr. Svalgaard, Mr. Vuckevic
    I have clearly stated :” I have no time for his theories”, but that does not mean that this intriguing formula should not raise serious interest, just because there is no satisfactory explanation. From correlation point of view, the amplitude and phase adjustments can be ignored, only two physically meaningful and accurate numbers are left. Cycles oscillate around 11 years and science has to take it as such. To say “suppose the cycle was 17 years long” introduces a wrong premise, it is not good enough for science.
    Mr. Vuckevic, by accounts your science is unsafe, but your formula is an original and notable achievement, for the moment at least. Further data over years to come will decide long term value of your efforts.

  192. Radun (14:15:12) :
    I have clearly stated :” I have no time for his theories”, but that does not mean that this intriguing formula should not raise serious interest
    The formula is not intriguing at all [not to me, at least]. There have been dozens of similar formulae, going back to Rudolf Wolf himself:
    Rz(t) = 50.31 + 3.73 * (1.68 sin (585.26t) + 1.00 sin (360t) + 12.53 sin (30.35t) + 1.12 sin (12.22t))
    where Rz is the sunspot number. This formula had a very good correlation with the observed sunspot number during 1834-1858.
    The formula was based on the accurate periods of Jupiter, Venus, Earth, and Saturn. Needless to say, the formula stopped working as more data came in.

  193. Hugo M (13:22:11) :
    cannot penetrate a collision-less highly conducting plasma” . The weakness of Svalgaard’s argument lies in the adjective “highly”,
    I should have said infinitely high. The resistivity of a plasma is determined by collisions between the particles and there are no collisions in the solar wind. The mean-free-path [=distance between collisions] is of the order of the distance to the Sun. The conductivity is for all intents and purposes infinitely high.

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