Lightning: a new tool for accurately measuring the sun’s rotation when sunspots are not present

Patterns of Lightning Activity

Patterns of Lightning Activity

This is one big surprise. Moments of serendipity are some of the best quotes of science: “Hmmm, that’s odd”. As an amateur radio operator myself, I find this study fascinating. If you want to know more about VLF radio, see the NASA online VLF radio receiver link below.

http://www.spaceweather.com/audio/inspire/spherics_big.jpg

Sferics, short for "atmospherics", are impulsive signals emitted by lightning. Sferics are caused by lightning strokes within a thousand kilometers or so of the receiver. The dynamic spectra of sferics are characterized by vertical lines indicating the simultaneous arrival of all audio frequencies.

Learn more (and listen to the signals) at NASA’s INSPIRE online VLF radio receiver. – Anthony


From Tel Aviv University: A Lightning Strike in Africa Helps Take the Pulse of the Sun

 

TAU discovers an accurate tool for tracking solar rotation

Sunspots, which rotate around the sun’s surface, tell us a great deal about our own planet. Scientists rely on them, for instance, to measure the sun’s rotation or to prepare long-range forecasts of the Earth’s health.

But there are some years, like this one, where it’s not possible to see sunspots clearly. When we’re at this “solar minimum,” very few, if any, sunspots are visible from Earth. That poses a problem for scientists in a new scientific field called “Space Weather,” which studies the interaction between the sun and the Earth’s environment.

Thanks to a serendipitous discovery by Tel Aviv University‘s Prof. Colin Price, head of TAU’s Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science, and his graduate student Yuval Reuveni, science now has a more definitive and reliable tool for measuring the sun’s rotation when sunspots aren’t visible — and even when they are. The research, published in the Journal of Geophysical ResearchSpace Physics, could have important implications for understanding the interactions between the sun and the Earth. Best of all, it’s based on observations of common, garden-variety lightning strikes here on Earth.

Waxing and waning, every 27 days

solar_rotation

Using Very Low Frequency (VLF) wire antennas that resemble clotheslines, Prof. Price and his team monitored distant lightning strikes from a field station in Israel’s Negev Desert. Observing lightning signals from Africa, they noticed a strange phenomenon in the lightning strike data — a phenomenon that slowly appeared and disappeared every 27 days, the length of a single full rotation of the sun.

“Even though Africa is thousands of miles from Israel, lightning signals there bounce off the Earth’s ionosphere — the envelope surrounding the Earth — as they move from Africa to Israel,” Prof. Price explains. “We noticed that this bouncing was modulated by the sun, changing throughout its 27-day cycle. The variability of the lightning activity occurring in sync with the sun’s rotation suggested that the sun somehow regulates the lightning pattern.”

He describes it as akin to hearing music or voices from across a lake: depending on the humidity, temperature and wind, sometimes they’re crystal clear and sometimes they’re inaudible. He discovered a similar anomaly in the lightning data due to the changes in the Earth’s ionosphere — signals waxed and waned on a 27-day cycle. Prof. Price was able to show that this variability in the data was not due to changes in the lightning activity itself, but to changes in the Earth’s ionosphere, suspiciously in tandem with the sun’s rotation.

Taking the pulse of the sun

The discovery describes a phenomenon not clearly understood by scientists. Prof. Price, an acclaimed climate change scientist, believes it may help scientists formulate new questions about the sun’s effect on our climate. “This is such a basic parameter and not much is known about it,” says Prof. Price. “We know that Earth rotates once every 24 hours, and the moon once every 27.3 days. But we haven’t been able to precisely measure the rotation rate of the sun, which is a ball of gas rather than a solid object; 27 days is only an approximation. Our findings provide a more accurate way of knowing the real rotation rate, and how it changes over time,” he says.

Prof. Price cannot yet say how this finding will impact life on Earth. “It’s an interesting field to explore,” he says, “because nothing has been done to investigate the links between changing weather patterns and the rotation of the sun.

“Short-term changes in solar activity can also impact satellite performance, navigational accuracy, the health of astronauts, and even electrical power grid failures here on Earth. Many scientists claim that the sun’s variability is linked to changes in climate and weather patterns, so the small changes we observed every 27 days could also be related to small variations in weather patterns.

“Our data may help researchers examine short-term connections between weather, climate, and sun cycles. With this tool, we now have a good system for measuring the pulse of the sun.”

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114 Responses to Lightning: a new tool for accurately measuring the sun’s rotation when sunspots are not present

  1. jack mosevich says:

    I am interested in further explaination, for I assume the sun to be homogeneous and so its rotation would have no effect on the ionosphere.

  2. Jim says:

    Gee, since the Sun is a ball of gas, it could be they are measuring the rotation of the bulk material. Or they could be measuring the rotation of some structure within the Sun that may or may not rotate at the same frequency of the bulk material. I wonder how they will figure that one out?

  3. chillybean says:

    I found it interesting up to this point.

    ‘Prof. Price, an acclaimed climate change scientist,’

    Does that mean he is a real scientist and we should read this or a railway engineer who knows nothing about science. I think the title ‘climate CHANGE scientist’ is so wrapped up with the corrupt science that it should be used only as a derogatory term. I have no idea whether this man is a scientist or not. Maybe ‘Climatologist’ would be a better term for real scientists and ‘Climate change scientist’ for the tea leaf brigade.

    Apologies to the Prof if he is really a ‘climatologist’ and a ‘real’ scientist.

    Getting cranky in my old age.

  4. MD says:

    No, no, no.
    because the science is settled; & our experts know that it cannot have any affect upon the Earth & it’s atmosphere, therefore the Sun does NOT rotate.

  5. MD says:

    it’s should read- its.
    Serves me rights for being a smart-a*se

  6. Bill Illis says:

    Very interesting, I’m not sure this would have been predicted.

    It can probably be matched up with the solar irradiance data which also exhibits a cycle related to the rotation of the Sun.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/cgi-bin/ion-p?ION__E1=PLOT%3Aplot_tsi_data.ion&ION__E2=PRINT%3Aprint_tsi_data.ion&ION__E3=BOTH%3Aplot_and_print_tsi_data.ion&START_DATE=1900&STOP_DATE=2500&TIME_SPAN=6&PLOT=Plot+Data

  7. Kath says:

    I wonder if it has anything to do with coronal holes.

  8. wattsupwiththat says:

    Apparently, there are other techniques that predate this by quite a long time:

    http://www.leif.org/research/Rotation%20of%20the%20Sun.pdf

    I’m also told (via email) that GONG and SOHO [MDI] measure these Doppler shifts every few seconds continuously.

  9. crosspatch says:

    ““Even though Africa is thousands of miles from Israel”

    Obviously not a geography major.

  10. rbateman says:

    Sunspots are a surface phenomenon (IMHO) in the visible whereas the EUV I believe are just off the surface. Plus the Sun (normally) has differential rotation. So my question would be like Jim’s:
    What layer and what latitude are the lightning strikes representing, and how do you tell the difference?
    What happens when there are Coronal Holes in Earth LOS?
    Is the lightning going to be confined to the same latitudes, higher or lower latitudes that Coronal Hole strobings are?

  11. stumpy says:

    yet again another solar influence on the climate is found, will the IPCC maintain the sun has no influence other than changes in TSI or will they remove their blinkers? If we are going to model the climate LETS DO IT RIGHT PLEASE!

  12. rbateman says:

    ~Is the lightning going to be confined to the same latitudes, higher or lower latitudes that Coronal Hole strobings are?~

    Correction: Are the lightning readings going to be confined to the same latitudes, higher or lower latitudes that Coronal Hole strobings are?

  13. Jerry says:

    I believe the sun has a magnetic field. So if it rotates, the field would as well, and this would impact any charged particles within it’s reach. And that’s what the ionosphere is all about.

  14. Tom in Texas says:

    I think the title ‘climate CHANGE scientist’ is so wrapped up with the corrupt science that it should be used only as a derogatory term.

    He used to be a “climate warming scientist”.

  15. tallbloke says:

    Interesting. I wonder if there’s a second order modulation at around 13 months frequency.

  16. Jeff L says:

    It would be interesting to look for other periodicities of 27 days in wx data.

    An initial thought though – the orbit of the moon has a periodicity of 27.3 days, see

    http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/the_universe/uts/moon1.html&edu=high

    - very close to the 27 day periodicity described in the article, so why do the researchers think this is a solar related phenomena & not a lunar phenomena?? Arcticle is a bit scant on details & science

  17. hareynolds says:

    Didn’t QST have an article a few years ago on building a low frequency radio receiver to “hear” lightning?

    [QST is the monthly publication of the American Radio Relay League, ARRL, or A-double R-L, the US organization for Amateur Radio; "hams"]

    Have a look. Hams do great stuff, even if we are a big bunch of hyper-nerds.
    http://www.arrl.org/

    de K5HAR

  18. Jim says:

    ********************
    hareynolds (16:29:42) :

    Didn’t QST have an article a few years ago on building a low frequency radio receiver to “hear” lightning?
    **************
    I built one. I was “looking” for whistlers. We don’t get many at my latitude, plus the Sun was winding down. The radio is really just a audio frequency amplifier with a high-impedance front-end. Here is the one I built …

    http://www.auroralchorus.com/bbb4rx3.htm

  19. _Jim says:


    “We know that Earth rotates once every 24 hours”

    No it doesn’t; that’s just the average length of a ‘day’ here on earth (relative to that glow in the sky termed ‘the sun’).

    The actual rotational period is 23 hr 56 min 4 secs (approx.)

    Quote Wiki “The rotation period of an astronomical object is the time it takes to complete one revolution around its axis of rotation relative to the background stars. It differs from the planet’s solar day, which includes an extra fractional rotation needed to accommodate the portion of the planet’s orbital period during one day.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotation_period

    Trivia, I know …
    .
    .

  20. fred says:

    Jack M, 15:33:27

    The sun is not a solid body and so does not have a rotation rate in that sense. It moves faster at the equator than towards the poles and that velocity can be applied to give a physical rotation rate “as defined”, but that is not the same as a rotating solid.

    The Israeli paper speaks of a periodicity which can only exist if there is some anisotropy in the magnetic field that is somewhat stable over time. How this relates to the equatorial rate is not clear.

  21. fred says:

    Jeff L (16:13:29)

    “An initial thought though – the orbit of the moon has a periodicity of 27.3 days,… very close to the 27 day periodicity described in the article, so why do the researchers think this is a solar related phenomena & not a lunar phenomena??”

    Dang good point.

  22. John Cooper says:

    At the risk of dating myself, back in the 1950s, Popular Electronics published an article about building a LF receiver and antenna which could be used to detect lightning. If I’m not mistaken, it would give you a direction and a distance.

  23. Ric Werme says:

    crosspatch (16:00:18) :

    > “Even though Africa is thousands of miles from Israel”

    > Obviously not a geography major.

    Look at the lightning strike map. My guess is that they are monitoring lightning from the equatorial region. Likely 30+ degrees of latitude, or 1800 nautical miles.

    I suspect Leif can list lots of ways solar rotation manifests itself on Earth beside visible wavelengths or this lightning data. Heck, just look at the full suite of SOHO products at http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/ – even though it is really, really boring today.

  24. Neil O'Rourke says:

    fred (17:01:26) :

    Jeff L (16:13:29)

    “An initial thought though – the orbit of the moon has a periodicity of 27.3 days,… very close to the 27 day periodicity described in the article, so why do the researchers think this is a solar related phenomena & not a lunar phenomena??”

    Dang good point.

    Because if it is lunar in nature, then this maniac might be correct in a whole bunch of things!

    https://www.predictweather.co.nz/#/home/

    And if this maniac is correct, whell then the whole AGW thing might just collapse, mightn’t it?

  25. Retired Engineer John says:

    Prof. Price’s website is http://www.tau.ac.il/~colin/. He has a long list of publications. The statement “changes in the Earth’s ionosphere, suspiciously in tandem with the sun’s rotation” is very interesting. Do we have other evidence of such a direct physical connection between the sun and the Earth?

  26. George E. Smith says:

    Lightning strikes being short pulsed transient events create a broad spectrum of low frequency radio noise. low meaning audio frequencies; so you can detect it with any sort of long wire antenna connected to the input of a high gain audio amplifier.

    These very low audio frequency radio waves actually propagate across the earth along paths that are guided by the earth’s magnetic fields. As a result strong signals at these frequencies can be detected, particularly in areas near either of the earth’s magnetic poles.
    VLF radio waves that arrive on the ground after following the field lines, get reflected off thegconductive ground, and return to the other end of the earth again following the earth’s magnetic fields, where they can again be detected at the otehr pole and also re-reflected.
    So a lightning stike anywhere on earth can generate a sequence of VLF radio bursts that propagate both ways and irrive near the magnetic poles at different times depending on exactly where the lightning strike occurred.

    So simultaneous synchronised receivers at both of those regions, can record the received signals, timed by atomic clocks, and communicate those signals to the sister station at the other end of the earth.

    One interesting property of this magnetic field guided mode of radio propagation is that it is dispersive; the velocity of propagation is dependent on the frequency. Depending on the Ionospheric properties, either the lower or the higher frequencies can travel faster.

    As a result, the original lightning strike, that sound like an instantaneous clap if it lands in your backyard; byt the time, it has lathced on the the magnetic train, it will arrive at the magnetic polar stations, time sorted by frequency, and the resulting audio signal received, is either a rising or falling chirped audio frequency signal.
    These radio atmospheric noises go by a number of names depending on the nature of the frequency sorting and its cause. “Whistlers”, “Howlers”, and “Dawn Chorus” are just some of the lightning caused audio frequency radio signals that propagate via the earth’s magnetic field (and the Ionosphere of course).

    The DSIR in Wellngton New Zealand (actually Lower Hutt) used to be one of the stations that was paired up with a sister station somewhere in Scandinavia; I believe it was Norway; but I could be wrong on that.

    The interesting thing working with those other end scientists, is that each received signal, once reflected back to the other station, undergoaes a further time separation of the frequencies, so the chirp gets longer in time, and the Scandinavian station signals neatly interleaved with out signlas, and of course were intermediate in time stretching with out signals.

    As a result of this co-operative effort, it was possible to deduce quite a lot of information about both the earth’s magnetic fields, and also the ionospheric conditions over very long radia path lengths; half the circumference of the earth.

    I doubt that this work is still ongoing (talking late 1950s), and I believe the DSIR now has a longer fancier official title.

    At one time you could buy an LP record called “Out of This World”, which had on one side of it, recordings of all sorts of these audio frequency atmospheric radio signals. The other side was equally fascinating since it had earthquake recordings on it. Seismograph signals were recorded on tape running at 0.02 inches per second, and thent he recorded signals were played back and redubbed at a tape speed of 7.5 inches per second.

    As a result the sub audio waves of an earthquake, were up shifted into the audible range, and came out sounding like thunder. Well of course these earthquake thunderclaps, are sound waves propagating through the earth, and depending on the location of the quake relative to the seismic station, you could here different types of echoes as the signals bounced around inside the planet. A variety of totally weird extraneous sounds were also audible on this recording (was recorded in the Western United States); bearing in mind that the frequency range was scaled up by a factor of 375.

    The DSIR was also doing a lot of analog computer simulation of building responses to earthquakes, to help design better earthquake immunity into buildings. Since Wellington is a fairly active earthquake region, it was a good location to do this sort of research. There were a number of apartment complexes, that had periodic visits from “the meter readers” who were not related to the power company in any way, but needed new tapes loaded in the basement “equipment”.

    Never imagined that a short stint at that institution would come back to haunt me all these years later.

  27. Gene Zeien says:

    Jeff L (16:13:29)

    “An initial thought though – the orbit of the moon has a periodicity of 27.3 days,… very close to the 27 day periodicity described in the article, so why do the researchers think this is a solar related phenomena & not a lunar phenomena??”

    Dang good point.

    Agreed. Radio waves bouncing off the moon… hmm

  28. Tim Channon says:

    Oliver Heaviside would be delighted but old-timers will just smile.

    Any new information is interesting. The ionosphere has been recorded and studied for years, if less so these days. It was and is critical to long distance radio. See the panel on the right giving radio conditions?

    Solar rotation data has been available in radio data for many years. For example it is in the radio 10.7 data which has been measured since just after WW2.

    Twiddle, twiddle, here we are, extracted from a dataset I have on hand. Be a mismash of rotation signal from 1947 onwards.

    http://www.gpsl.net/data/solar-rotation-10_7.png

  29. D Gallagher says:

    chillybean (15:46:14) :
    I found it interesting up to this point.
    ‘Prof. Price, an acclaimed climate change scientist,’

    Yes, now that we know what we’re dealing with, we can accurately calibrate the interpretation of the discovery.

    First off, the sun does not rotate every 27 days, it’s not a solid body and there is a different rotation rate for each latitude. This is what stretches and winds the magnetic fields, leading to sunspots.

    Secondly, as anyone who listens to shortwave radio or is a ham radio operator knows, the ionosphere changes dramatically from day to night, and from season to season. Higher frequencies are used during the day time and summer; lower frequencies bounce better at night and during the winter. Shortwave stations regularly adjust the frequencies they use to accommodate these changes in order to reach their target audience. Anyone who listens to commercial AM radio (which is medium wave) at night has noticed that you can pick up AM stations from quite a distance at night; this too is due to ionosphere reflection.

    That said, ionosphere reflection primarily affects shortwave signals, the longer the wave length, the less the effect. Short wave length means high frequency. These guys are using VLF radio. Low frequency means long wave length.

    If the phenomenon they have noticed is real, my guess is that it is bouncing off the moon rather than the ionosphere. This would produce a waxing and waning with approximately the periodicity they have observed.

  30. D Gallagher says:

    Tim Channon (17:56:10) :

    Oliver Heaviside would be delighted but old-timers will just smile.

    Any new information is interesting. The ionosphere has been recorded and studied for years, if less so these days. It was and is critical to long distance radio. See the panel on the right giving radio conditions?

    Actually Tim, I had not noticed the panel on the right giving radio conditions – until you pointed it out.

    Thanks much.

  31. DaveE says:

    Talking of VLF.

    +52° 22′ 48.35″, -1° 10′ 16.34″ is about centre of the Rugby UK VLF communications aerial array.

    DaveE.

  32. DaveE says:

    Aerial is antenna for our American cousins.

    DaveE.

  33. DaveE says:

    jorgekafkazar (18:37:22) :

    I have a pet hate…

    The possessive apostrophe…

    Mark Webbers car, no apostrophe!

    Alan Jones’ car, apostrophe!

    DaveE.

  34. Yaakoba says:

    Do you think it is possible that the earth could be tipped a little different right now, which could hide the sun spots that have usually been visable? If the earth is tipped a few degrees out of the normal, this would actually speed up the earths rotation. As well as the moons rotation which balance’s the earth. This increase in rotation speed, would generate thermal heat, creating a greenhouse gas affect and melting ice. And maybe shorten days overall.
    I think the earth and the moon are rotating faster than they were, this is the cause of the thermal heat.
    I think time has sped up from only a couple of years ago.

  35. jeez says:

    Yaakoba,

    Pass some of that down over here.

  36. evanmjones says:

    Sorry, Yaak, we keep close track of the “tipping” (obliquity). Yeah, it appears to be a dominant factor in what triggers an ice age, but it’s a 41,000-year cycle.

    “Axe” Moerner discovered that there is a very, very slight variation in earth’s rotation depending on sea level. But the differences are truly minuscule.

  37. DaveE says:

    jeez (19:30:19) :

    Yaakoba,

    Pass some of that down over here.

    I want some too!

    There is some small evidence pointing to LOD as an influence on warming though.

    DaveE.

  38. Yaakoba says:

    Yes, but don’t you think that if the sea levels are rising, wouldn’t this increase the speed of the earths rotation, which of course the moon would have to also increase it’s rotating speed? Causing heat and shorter days.

  39. _Jim says:


    George E. Smith (17:28:57) :

    These very low audio frequency radio waves actually propagate across the earth along paths that are guided by the earth’s magnetic fields.

    ‘fraid not … (now, how those magnetic fields may affect the ionophere which affect radio waves is another issue)

    Were above assertion true, only N-S propagation would be possible, and I think OMEGA (10 kHz to 13 kHz area) had no such limitations. You will find that ‘ground currents (and they run deep at these frequencies), due to the continuous ‘knife edge RF diffraction’ (usually described at shorter wavelengths and described as a wave ‘breaking’ over the earth) is more the effect in play.

    http://jproc.ca/hyperbolic/omega.html

    http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/ptti/1988/Vol%2020_12.pdf
    .
    .

  40. evanmjones says:

    DaveE (19:01:27) :

    Say, what?!

    I think you need to reexamine.

  41. RhudsonL says:

    So if lightning in Africa stops, the Sun stops. A connection to Brazil hydro would have made it go super nova.

  42. DaveE says:

    evanmjones (19:39:17) :

    DaveE (19:01:27) : edit

    Say, what?!

    I think you need to reexamine.

    Only going by what I was taught 50+ years ago.

    The possessive is the same as the plural

    The plural of Jones is Jones’ NOT Joneses.

    You also have the plural possessive, so a car belonging to the Webbers would be the Webbers’ car and a car belonging to the Jones’ would be the Jones’ car, (no need for multiple apostrophes).

    DaveE.

  43. evanmjones says:

    Yes, but don’t you think that if the sea levels are rising, wouldn’t this increase the speed of the earths rotation, which of course the moon would have to also increase it’s rotating speed? Causing heat and shorter days.

    No, it would decrease. The extra water humps up ever so slightly in a band around the equator. Earth spins slower for the same reason a twirling figure skater extending her arms spins slower. (The differences, however, are almost immeasurably small.)

    I don’t see why moon’s orbit would measurably increase. It’s just falling around the centered mass of earth. Regardless of whether that mass is rotating, it’s still the same amount of mass.

  44. DaveE says:

    Dunno where the edit came from.

    DaveE.

  45. D Gallagher says:

    After a little research, I’m not certain about the moon bounce theory. I know that radio signals routinely are bounced off the moon, and that sometimes very low power signals can be picked up after a lunar bounce, in the milliwatt range.

    However radio signals that are bounced tend to be at higher frequencies that what is being discussed in this article. Microwave, UHF and VHF readily bounce off the moon and are used for EME (earth-moon-earth) communication. However the practical lower end for the method is about 30 MHz.

    The lowest frequency that has been intentionly bounced for communciation purposes is 6.7925 Mhz. According to the display above, they are looking at 640 – 2560 Hz, much lower. A moon bounce will have a 2.4 sec delay (770,000 km round trip).

    On the other hand, a lightening strike isn’t exactly a modulated signal, and doubtless has some power behind it.

    Given the daily changes in the Ionosphere as it’s pushed and pulled by solar wind, and the d layer coming and going with the light,it’s rather difficult to believe that there is a 27 day solar signal that is modulating the signal from lightening strikes. I mean what exactly is a “calibrated” lightening strike so that you could measure the effect?

  46. _Jim says:


    D Gallagher (17:58:07) :

    That said, ionosphere reflection primarily affects shortwave signals, the longer the wave length, the less the effect.

    Not entirely (I say entirely, because there is still quite distinct measured and definite effects on these lower frequency/longer wavelength signals although effects at HF are/can be seen most dramatically) true; recommend the first link in my post above re: Omega and the paragraph within titlled: “VLF WAVE GUIDED MODE”.
    .
    .

  47. Mark Webbers says:

    What’s this about my car – and why the hell don’t I get an apostrophe’s

    DaveE’s rule?

  48. DaveE says:

    Yaakoba (19:37:52) :

    Yes, but don’t you think that if the sea levels are rising, wouldn’t this increase the speed of the earths rotation, which of course the moon would have to also increase it’s rotating speed? Causing heat and shorter days.

    Think of an ice skater in a spin, as the arms are extended, the rotational speed decreases, the Earth equivalent would be an increase in LOD.

    DaveE.

  49. Yaakoba says:

    It would increase in speed, because there is more gravity from the weight of the salt.

  50. DaveE says:

    Mark Webbers (19:58:16) :

    Hey, you’d get one, it would be Mark Webbers’ car ;-)

    DaveE.

  51. AnonyMoose says:

    What’s odd is that there would have to be something asymmetric about the Sun which would be causing this. Whatever it is has lasted long enough to be noticed.

    The Lunar timing is interesting, and I’m sure they had fun eliminating that.

    Incidentally, the rotation period of part of the Sun is not sufficient when you’re playing with numbers. It has to be offset by the distance which the Earth moves along its orbit in 27 days, which is significant. Of course, maybe the part of the Sun which is causing the effect is rotating faster than the slowest part, and happens to be in sync with the Earth. Odd coincidence.

  52. D Gallagher says:

    Yaakoda,

    One second is defined as 9,192,631,770 cycles of the radiation of caesium atoms, that won’t change with sea level. We can monitor the rotation of earth from the background stars (sidereal time).

    Every so often, scientists add in an extra second in a year to keep sidereal time lined up with the universe.

    If the rate of spin changed we would know all about it.

  53. DaveE says:

    Yaakoba (19:59:01) :

    It would increase in speed, because there is more gravity from the weight of the salt.

    As evan said

    No, it would decrease. The extra water humps up ever so slightly in a band around the equator. Earth spins slower for the same reason a twirling figure skater extending her arms spins slower. (The differences, however, are almost immeasurably small.)

    In fact LOD has increased, but it’s <1s/Yr total effect.

    If anyone knows better, I will stand corrected on that one.

    DaveE

  54. Smokey says:

    Apostrophe rules

    [Sorry Evan, they left you out.]

  55. evanmjones says:

    BTW, possessive of Jones can either be Jones’ or Jones’s. Consistency is important — just don’t mix forms.

  56. Mark Webbers says:

    DaveE

    Thanks, I need all I can get, I tend to leave them lying around.

  57. DaveE says:

    Don’t wanna fall out over it guys, times & styles change I guess :-P

    BTW. I should probably have said much less than 1s/Yr total LOD change effect.

    DaveE.

  58. D Gallagher says:

    In the UK is there such an expression as “Keeping up with the Joneses”?

    Just Curious

  59. Yaakoba says:

    Gravity is kinetic energy. With the earth’s population of people, animals, and modern building, there will be more gravity energy created, increasing thermal heat. As ice melts and becomes liquid, this also increases gravity pull, which creates more energy created by kinetic heat. As the gravity of the earth increases with population this will increase the earths rotation, creating more kinetic heat. Speeding up time.

  60. crosspatch says:

    “First off, the sun does not rotate every 27 days, it’s not a solid body and there is a different rotation rate for each latitude.”

    I thought exactly the same thing. The rotation period of the sun varies with latitude.

    Wikipedia:

    As the Sun exists in a plasmatic state and is not solid, it rotates faster at its equator than at its poles. This behavior is known as differential rotation. The period of this actual rotation is approximately 25.6 days at the equator and 33.5 days at the poles. However, due to our constantly changing vantage point from the Earth as it orbits the Sun, the apparent rotation of the star at its equator is about 28 days.

    The solar magnetic field extends well beyond the Sun itself. The magnetized solar wind plasma carries Sun’s magnetic field into the space forming what is called the interplanetary magnetic field. Since the plasma can only move along the magnetic field lines, the interplanetary magnetic field is initially stretched radially away from the Sun. Because the fields above and below the solar equator have different polarities pointing towards and away from the Sun, there exists a thin current layer in the solar equatorial plane, which is called the heliospheric current sheet. At the large distances the rotation of the Sun twists the magnetic field and the current sheet into the Archimedean spiral like structure called the Parker spiral. The interplanetary magnetic field is much stronger than the dipole component of the solar magnetic field.

    So it would appear that equatorial rotation period would be what is interesting.

  61. DaveE says:

    D Gallagher (20:44:14) :

    In the UK is there such an expression as “Keeping up with the Joneses”?

    Yes and it always infuriated me as I’d had it drummed into me from an early age, at home AND at school, that you don’t pluralise Evans, which is my surname, as Evanses but Evans’

  62. p.g.sharrow "PG" says:

    As I read the article the very first thing that slapped me in the face was the 27 day rotation of the sun effecting the propagation of lignting EMF, wasn’t that the orbital timing of the moon? But of course it is!
    Is this new science discovery or new BS postulation ??

  63. D Gallagher says:

    Yaakoba,

    You are correct, but don’t worry you’ll speed up too. So even though your life is going to go past much faster, you’ll be able to fit more into it.

    Trust me, it will all even out. Find something else to worry about.

  64. mr.artday says:

    Back before Digital TV took over, when I didn’t want to see the commercials on TV I would switch channels to a channel that was empty in the Seattle area. Usually chan.3. Occasionally I would get a weak signal, very occasionally the signal would be strong enough to produce a picture. From an ad for a rug company I found I was getting chan.3 from Phoenix AZ. Once I got PBS Prairie States and once I got some other PBS station. Seemed more likely to happen during rain storms. Stranger than that is Hams transmitting long distances by bouncing signals off the ionized trails that micrometeorites make as they burn up in the upper atmosphere.

  65. evanmjones says:

    In the UK is there such an expression as “Keeping up with the Joneses”?

    In the US, too.

    I’d had it drummed into me from an early age, at home AND at school, that you don’t pluralise Evans, which is my surname, as Evanses but Evans’

    Well, my mother was a copy editor (U.S.). The way I got it was that you can’t use an apostrophe to denote a plural. I think Evanses is correct, after all, for plural of Evans. And, of course, Evans is plural of Evan.

    Plural of Jones is Joneses.

    (Hmm. Would being named Evan Jones count for anything?)

  66. DaveE says:

    Thanks for the typo correction with the requested snip.

    You moderators go above & beyond the call of duty & it’s appreciated. :-D

    DaveE.

    [REPLY - Well, I was there already, so I figured, why not. (Normally I don't copy edit posts.) ~ Evan]

  67. crosspatch says:

    Joneses and Jones’ are two different things. Joneses is plural, Jones’ is possessive as in belonging to the Joneses.

    The Joneses up the street have a mower. I borrowed Mr. Jones’ mower to cut my lawn.

    It is the difference between cats and cat’s for example. The first showing plurality, the second showing possession. I chased the cats. I took the cats’ ball from them.

  68. evanmjones says:

    Yes. And Jones’s is acceptable for possessive singular. (It would be Joneses’ for plural possessive.)

    So far as I know, both the s’ and s’s form are correct for possessive (when singular ends in s). Pick one and make sure you are consistent throughout the document in question.

  69. DaveE says:

    As I understand it Evan. My name, David Evans, is akin to David son of Evan, Evans being the possessive of Evan.

    Who says we’re all anonymous?

    I’m actually proud of my Welsh name, it’s just that DaveE is shorter to type.

    DaveE.

  70. DaveE says:

    Incidentally.

    The Welsh pronunciation of David is Taffit which is why the Welsh are often given the nickname Taff.

    DaveE.

  71. evanmjones says:

    That may be the etymology, but to denote actual possessive, you’d need the apostrophe. The apostrophe was dropped out of last names by convention, but possessive of Evan is definitely Evan’s.

    Google no doubt has more on possessives. I’m sure Strunk/White has a web page. (I do have a couple of professional copy edit/proofreader credits, but I am not really a qualified expert.)

    Evan Jones is about as Welsh a name as it gets, but I am not Welsh, myself.

  72. DaveE says:

    I earlier posted the location of the Rugby UK VLF communications aerial. As far as I know this is now rarely used but the whole point of VLF was that you could transmit signals around the world without the need for repeaters. Rugby was about 15kHz.

    I may have been misinformed but I was given the impression that there were even lower frequency transmitters on the military network, (telephone frequency 3kHz & lower).

    DaveE.

  73. DaveE says:

    I think we’ll agree to disagree on possessive apostrophes.

    I can only go by what I was taught, more moons ago than I really care to remember.

    I nearly mistyped that as moans. Probably not that inaccurate, ;-)

    DaveE.

  74. evanmjones says:

    Agreement on astrophysics is more important than agreement on apostrophes.

  75. steve says:

    Was an attempt made to correlate the flux in lightning patterns with heliospheric current sheet crossings?

  76. anna v says:

    In Greece there is a popular/folk view that the weather changes with the quarter of the moon. Used in the following way:
    If the weather changes, one looks at the moon and says: of course, the quarter is changing.
    If the weather is not changing, particularly a week of rain/wind, one looks at the moon and says ” oh dear, another week of rain/wind”.

    I do not know if this folk correlation is specific to our area and connected with the seas, because we are a sea going race ( rather were).

    Now since both the moon and the sun are about 28 days, maybe folks timed the sun change to the moon quarters?

    Anyway, that we have a week of 7 days is surely connected to the moon cycle and need to watch the weather of agriculture and fishing .

  77. yonason says:

    Yeah, saw that the other day.
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1257455212868&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

    I thought I posted it on another thread, too, but I can’t find it.

    In any case, thanks for the additional info.

  78. LarryOldtimer says:

    Conservation of angular momentum anyone? Or is that just too old-fashioned for the modern world? Of course, that is for solid objects. I do wonder what exactly is being measured. The actual rotation of the sun, or simply the movement of magnetic fields. Or something else entirely.

  79. Kath says:

    I should have a listen to VLF and see what I can hear. I’m good down to 500Hz on my SDR, though my 40ft antenna is a bit on the short side.

  80. Martin Brumby says:

    @crosspatch (21:29:39)
    Hey!
    Lay off my cats’ balls.

  81. TJA says:

    Strunk and White says Jones’, As in Davy Jones’ locker, I guess. I am not sure it works for Americans though. I have a friend James, and I don’t know anyone who says anything but “James’s this” or “James’s that”

    Reply: It is Charles’s burden to have to wade through conversations like this. ~ charles the singular possessive ending in s moderator.

  82. Geoff Sharp says:

    LarryOldtimer (22:58:23) :

    Conservation of angular momentum anyone? Or is that just too old-fashioned for the modern world? Of course, that is for solid objects. I do wonder what exactly is being measured. The actual rotation of the sun, or simply the movement of magnetic fields. Or something else entirely.

    I am with you oldtimer, what exactly are they measuring. This story was mentioned here the other day in another thread where I posted a link to the paper involved. Reading through the paper it is suggesting that there must be some fixed point perhaps internal that is not subject to the differential rotation. If more research suggests this is so I would like to see a graph, as it would be a first.

  83. Paul Hanlon says:

    At the risk of sounding like a lunatic, Ken Ring of predictweather.com has a free pdf book on his site about the moon and it’s effect on the Earth. Fascinating stuff.
    For instance, the Earth doesn’t rotate on a central axis, but rather on an axis shifted about 2900 miles off the central axis because of the gravitational effects of the moon. Interestingly too, although we have two sea tides per day, we have an equivalent atmospheric tide once per day. Apparently, it is stretched on the moon-side by a factor of two. So I wonder if that also applies to the ionosphere and it is that that is causing the 27 day signature on the lightning strikes.

  84. vg says:

    any news on the best science blog ie stats?

  85. Henry Galt says:

    anna v (22:33:17) :

    What you describe is known to weather predictors as ‘lookback periods’. Weather is fundamentally cyclical. Lives and livelihoods have hinged around interpreting those cycles correctly.

    The @27 day period is quite important, along with 14 and 7 day ones. There are a few important decadal and even century long lookbacks.

    “It is worthy of note that in 1948, when Jupiter and Saturn were spaced by 120º, and solar activity was at a maximum, radio signals averaged of far higher quality for the year than in 1951 with Jupiter and Saturn at 180º and a considerable decline in solar activity. In other words, the average quality curve of radio signals followed the cycle curve between Jupiter and Saturn rather than the sunspot curve…”
    From Planetary Position Effect on Short-Wave Signal Quality by John H. Nelson

    Susan Manuel writes in HelioGram, the newsletter of the NCGR Helio SIG in May, 1992, p.5:

    “While working for RCA Communications, John Henry Nelson became a heliocentric pioneer. Nelson discovered the correspondence between certain heliocentric aspects and the quality of shortwave radio communications. Mr. Nelson’s methods, the specific aspects he used in his forecasts as well as the system he developed to evaluate the effect of various aspects on radio propagation quality (ak.a. radio weather) can guide today’s heliocentric astrologers toward developing more precise methods of studying heliocentric aspects and determining their association with things other than radio weather.

    “Nelson had to make four forecasts every day–120 a month–for RCA. Once he discovered the importance of heliocentric aspects, his rate of accuracy for a given month often reached 90 percent or better. Although he found some correlation between geocentric planetary aspects and radio weather, it was the heliocentric aspects that allowed him to make such consistently accurate predictions of radio weather.”

    90% accuracy beats 90% confidence every time.

  86. R Taylor says:

    DaveE (21:57:59) :

    I earlier posted the location of the Rugby UK VLF communications aerial. As far as I know this is now rarely used but the whole point of VLF was that you could transmit signals around the world without the need for repeaters. Rugby was about 15kHz.

    I may have been misinformed but I was given the impression that there were even lower frequency transmitters on the military network, (telephone frequency 3kHz & lower).

    DaveE.
    ________________________________________________
    VLF operates for communication with submarines. The Very Low Frequency enabled a little penetration into the ocean, so floating a long-wire antenna (or “noodle”) even in choppy seas was effective. There was some experimentation with ELF (Extra Low Frequency) communication, but I gather transmitter size/power requirements, diffusion of signal and minimal bandwidth killed it. Also, I have heard that VLF continues in the satellite era only as a redundant system.

    Speaking of diffusion, in my casual review of global energy balance I haven’t seen anything that shows that the radiation reflected by greenhouse gasses won’t just leak out of the ionosphere after it gets bounced down to lower frequencies.

  87. wws says:

    Yaakaba, the real problem with the ocean is that there aren’t enough sponges. If we were to work to increase the growth of more sponges, then they would soak up the extra water and it wouldn’t be so deep. Right?

    and the Joneses got a jones for Mr. Jones’ junk.

    (runs away, ducking)

  88. lgl says:

    Paul Hanlon (05:07:47) :

    There is a 50 000 km difference between the moon’s perigee and apogee (more than 10%) so there is definitely a 27 days gravitational signal.
    http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html

  89. Mark Webbers says:

    Strange, I had always thought that the plural of of Jones, was Jones’, but that the ” ‘ ” was to show that there was an “s” missing, rather than denoting the possessive. Perhaps Joneses is indicating that you are trying to keep up with more than one Jones family (Plural X 2) in which case it should be Jones’es.

    Now lets see, I have two cars and they both have radios, Dave, would that be “Mark Webbers’ cars aerials” and Evan “Mark Webbers’s car’s antennaes” ?

    null OT [on topic :)] – What about about “Ionospheric tides”? Does the moon causes tides in the atmosphere as it does in the oceans? In low latitudes, thunderstorms are most likely to occur in the late afternoon. Since the lightening from these storms tends to happen at a fairly consistent time of day, perhaps the RF noise is best reflected at times of high (or low) local ionospheric tide. If such a thing does happen, not only would the reflective layers be pulled higher or lower, they would be more or less dense since the atmoshere is gaseous and can change density, unlike the water in the oceans.

    If this were the case, then the periodicity of the phenomenon would be lunar, rather than solar. I can’t help but feel that this guy needs our help, he’s a climate scientist for pete’s sake.

    And Yaakoba, no, this would not change the Earth’s rotational speed.

  90. Mark Webbers says:

    Dave and Evan,

    No you’re both wrong – remember, I have two cars.

    (runs away, ducking)

  91. vukcevic says:

    Geoff Sharp (02:06:47) :
    “Reading through the paper it is suggesting that there must be some fixed point perhaps internal that is not subject to the differential rotation. If more research suggests this is so I would like to see a graph, as it would be a first.”

    Hi Geoff
    This should not be a great surprise. There is certain axial asymmetry to solar magnetic events. It is an anomaly noticed many years ago, subsequently researched by number of solar scientists.
    It generally goes under a name ‘Preferred Longitude’, it suggests that the sources of solar magnetic events including solar wind streams, are usually concentrated at ‘preferred longitude zones’ on the sun, these are rigidly locked with the rotation period of the Sun.
    http://helene.ethz.ch/papers/berdyugina/alon_bonn.pdf
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0004-637X/604/2/944/58759.text.html
    Google will point you to more papers.

  92. George E. Smith says:

    “”” Yaakoba (20:48:26) :

    Gravity is kinetic energy. With the earth’s population of people, animals, and modern building, there will be more gravity energy created, increasing thermal heat. As ice melts and becomes liquid, this also increases gravity pull, which creates more energy created by kinetic heat. As the gravity of the earth increases with population this will increase the earths rotation, creating more kinetic heat. Speeding up time. “””

    Well that is a revelation. I always thought that gravity was one of the four forces of nature (that we know about); and since it is just a force, then it certainly isn’t any kind of energy; doesn’t even have the same dimesnions as energy.

    This IS a science blog, so we should be careful about seriously misusing real scientific terms, as that can lead to confusion; specially for the many readers here who don’t have strict science backgrounds.

  93. Chuck near Houston says:

    ctm (or should I say ctspeism) wrote:

    Reply: It is Charles’s burden to have to wade through conversations like this. ~ charles the singular possessive ending in s moderator.”

    Chucks

  94. George E. Smith says:

    “”” DaveE (19:58:24) :

    Yaakoba (19:37:52) :

    Yes, but don’t you think that if the sea levels are rising, wouldn’t this increase the speed of the earths rotation, which of course the moon would have to also increase it’s rotating speed? Causing heat and shorter days.

    Think of an ice skater in a spin, as the arms are extended, the rotational speed decreases, the Earth equivalent would be an increase in LOD.

    DaveE. “””

    If sea levels are rising (argumentative); then that would imply that it is the result of water that was stored ABOVE sea level; perhaps as ice or snow, (or in the atmosphere) getting deposited in the existing oceans; i.e. closer to the center of the earth.

    As a result, of mass moving closer to the center of the earth, the moment of inertia of the earth would decrease with sea level rise; and conservation of angular momentum, would require the earth rotation speed to increase.

    Then of course you might have to consider some land bounce due to removing all that water from the high lands; and that would have the effect of raising the moment of inertia; so slowing the rotation.

    Also increase in ocean temperatures; which would cause sea level rise without increase in sea mass, also results in increasing the moment of inertia.

    So without allowing for all of those things, calculating the effect of sea level rise on the day length would be a problem.

  95. Chuck near Houston says:

    In case I was not clear in my previous comment – the solution to Charles’ burden is to use Chuck.

    ChuckS

    Reply: Chuck gets used plenty by pretty girls. ~ chuck the horribly abused moderator

  96. George E. Smith says:

    “”” evanmjones (19:52:36) :

    Yes, but don’t you think that if the sea levels are rising, wouldn’t this increase the speed of the earths rotation, which of course the moon would have to also increase it’s rotating speed? Causing heat and shorter days.

    No, it would decrease. The extra water humps up ever so slightly in a band around the equator. Earth spins slower for the same reason a twirling figure skater extending her arms spins slower. (The differences, however, are almost immeasurably small.)

    I don’t see why moon’s orbit would measurably increase. It’s just falling around the centered mass of earth. Regardless of whether that mass is rotating, it’s still the same amount of mass. “””

    See the above Evan; if sea levels rise due to thermal expansion, then it would slow the earth; but if the rise is due to melting; which deposits higher altitude water at lower altitudes, then it would speed up.

    The moon’s orbit is slowly increasing in radius due to the tidal forces slowing the earth’s rotation, which lowers it’s angular momentum; so the moon’s angular momentum about the earth has to increase to keep the sum constant; well cosntant other than for solar effects, and the continuous influx of materials from outer space, in comets, and meteorites; but who knows what that does, since there is a mass increase due to the material landing on earth; but also there is an angular momentum imparted to the earth in completley random directions depending on the trajectory of the incoming.

  97. Jim says:

    ********************
    R Taylor (07:01:07) :
    There was some experimentation with ELF (Extra Low Frequency) communication, but I gather transmitter size/power requirements, diffusion of signal and minimal bandwidth killed it. Also, I have heard that VLF continues in the satellite era only as a redundant system.
    *********************

    see http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/LisaWu.shtml

  98. George E. Smith says:

    “”” _Jim (19:38:37) :

    George E. Smith (17:28:57) :

    These very low audio frequency radio waves actually propagate across the earth along paths that are guided by the earth’s magnetic fields.

    ‘fraid not … (now, how those magnetic fields may affect the ionophere which affect radio waves is another issue) “””

    Well I guess we must have been listening to alien transmissions then. Last time I checked, the ionosphere that affects electromagnetic wave propagation; was so-called because it has a lot of ions floating around up there, which includes free electrons, as well as other charged particles.

    And somewhere I learned that these charged particles can and do spiral around the earth’s magnetic field lines; along with charged solar particles and cosmic rays, so that those directed ion streams end up creating auroral displays near the magnetic polar regions, so the earth’s field gives all the signs of creating ion pathways, that simply would not be there in the absence of a magnetic field on earth.

    The radio signals that we were studying chirped from subaudible (few Hertz) to a few khz at most. I could easily hear to 20KHz in those days, and I never heard anything that high; maybe 3 kHz at best.

    At those frequencies it would be pretty much ground wave anyway.

    But obviously we were being fooled by Hams or aliens spinning the knob on an audio oscillator, just to keep us busy.

    Or maybe I just imagined the whole experience.

  99. Philip Mulholland says:

    tallbloke (16:11:07) :

    Interesting. I wonder if there’s a second order modulation at around 13 months (396 days) frequency.

    Here is a link to the original pdf:-

    A new approach for monitoring the 27-day solar rotation using VLF radio signals on the Earth’s surface
    (Don’t think this has been posted here yet).

    In Figure 3, the data computation length of this power spectrum is 220 days (7 months), so more data is clearly needed to address your point.

  100. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (16:11:07) :
    “I wonder if there’s a second order modulation at around 13 months (396 days) frequency.”

    Number of Solar Cycles show presence of a strong subcycle with a period of 399 days or 1.0928 years). I analysed all 23 cycles individually, you can see here result for SC17 & SC23.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/SC17-SC23.gif
    Complete analysis:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarsubcycle.pdf

  101. Richard says:

    George E. Smith (10:36:29) :
    “”” evanmjones (19:52:36) :

    The moon’s orbit is slowly increasing in radius due to the tidal forces slowing the earth’s rotation, which lowers it’s angular momentum; so the moon’s angular momentum about the earth has to increase to keep the sum constant; well cosntant other than for solar effects, and the continuous influx of materials from outer space, in comets, and meteorites; but who knows what that does, since there is a mass increase due to the material landing on earth; but also there is an angular momentum imparted to the earth in completley random directions depending on the trajectory of the incoming.

    One way of looking at it is that the Earth and Moon are tethered together by a gravitational “string”. As the seas rotate with the Earth due to its gravity they are also pulled and dragged back by the Moon which rotates around the Earth at a much slower rate. Thus there is a slight drag on the Earth as the seas pile up on the rigid land and a corresponding flick on the Moon, pushing it further away.

    The slowing of the Earth due to its increase in mass from objects from space and impacts from them would be negligible compared to this.

    The Moon is moving away from the Earth at about 4 cms/ year? Considering that the Moon is about 384,000 Kms from the Earth a billion years ago the moon would have been 40,000 kms closer to the Earth. (Maybe closer still as the increase is not linear, it would have been greater the closer the distance). It would have been much bigger in the sky and the tides would have been huge.

  102. Legatus says:

    I have noticed that you say here that there can’t be a 27 day rotation of the sun since it is not a solid, what if it IS a solid? There is some evidence that suggests that it may be here http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/ . What do we really KNOW about the inner layers of the sun anyway? Are we just going on “consensus science” on the makup of the sun, and how it operates? Since we can’t, or haven’t, actually sent a probe down INTO the sun, how do we know what is beneath the surface layer?
    The above websight suggests strogly that the sun has a subsurface ferrite layer that rotates every 27.3 days, sound familiar?

  103. Legatus says:

    Furher observations on a “solid sun” model:
    There is considerable controversy on the idea that the sun is largly iron cored, or solid, however, there is some dats that suggests that the idea may have some merit, and data such as this 27 day rotation period and SOHO imaging that suggests that whatever the core of the sun is made of, it may be acting as a solid or semi-solid due to the considerable gravitational and magnetic forces involved. After all, what do we really know about hydrogen plasma under those kinds of gravitational pressures?
    There is some recent data however that suggests that after the big bang, and afer the formation of hydrogen, that there were a lot of vary large hydrogen stars formed that burned out quickly and then exploded, which would result in a lot of early iron/nickel around. The question then is, how much iron/nickel compared to how much hydrogen, is there enough hydrogen around after that to account for billions of years of steller fusion?
    Competing with that, if the sun were largely made of iron, wouldn’t that make it a lot more dense than obsorved, gravity wise? One could suggest that a sun made of heavier elements than hydrogen and of the observed size that it is would have more gravity than one made of largly lighter elements than hydrogen/helium. This assumes that we know how either of them would react under the gravitational and magnetic and atomic forces present in the unseen subsurface of the sun. Perhaps with the ongoing attempts to create fusion on earth as a power source we will better understand hydrogen under extreme pressures and tempetures to answer this.

    Whatever the answers to the above questions are, it does appear that for whatever reason, the suns subsurface acts at least semi solid, and has a rotaion of 27.3 days, which is consistant with other data such as this lightning strike data, and it suggests that we really don’t know a whole lot about the interior of the sun and it’s makup and workings.

  104. tallbloke says:

    vukcevic (12:27:26) :

    tallbloke (16:11:07) :
    “I wonder if there’s a second order modulation at around 13 months (396 days) frequency.”

    Number of Solar Cycles show presence of a strong subcycle with a period of 399 days or 1.0928 years). I analysed all 23 cycles individually, you can see here result for SC17 & SC23.
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/SC17-SC23.gif
    Complete analysis:
    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarsubcycle.pdf

    Thanks Vuk, very interesting. Does the trough in the negative subcycle align with a particular phase of the earth-jupiter synodic period? Like opposition maybe?

  105. anna v says:

    This publication sounds to me like a swallow publication:
    When God created the swallow, a migrating bird that winters in Africa, He started to show him how to build his nest. He showed how to make small mud balls with his tongue and how to gradually build up the nest; but He was interrupted just before reaching the point where He started to show the swallow how the nest should get covered and have a roof. The swallow, half paying attention flexing its wings and ready to fly off swiftly after juicy flies and mosquitoes said “OK, OK, I know, I know” and flew away.

    That is why swallows’ nests are only half built and they have to be under a roof or an outcropping. The swallow never had the patience to listen to the end of the demonstration.

    The period of observation is too short, there exists another approximate 27 day cycle (the moon one)that distorts with that period the whole atmosphere. Are these addressed? Or is it “I know, I know” and rushing merrily along to publication?

  106. D Gallagher says:

    Legatus,

    If Leif were here…

    Observations of the spectrum of light given off by the sun give a good indication that the sun is still primarily hydrogen. In fact the physics behind stars is understood well enough that they have an fairly close estimate on the age of the sun and about how long it will be before it finishes fusioning, 4 1/2 billion years old and about 5 1/2 billion to go, if memory serves.

    Information about star formation, composition, and life cycle is available in any good textbook concerning astronomy, there’s no need to speculate on that account.

  107. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (18:00:47) :
    “Thanks Vuk, very interesting. Does the trough in the negative subcycle align with a particular phase of the earth-jupiter synodic period? Like opposition maybe?”

    Unfortunately, as you know, it is never as simple as that. There is continuous drift back and forth over period of a sunspot cycle or two. This is one of the reasons I believe that gravity is not a factor (except maintaining the orbits), leading me to conclude that whole process might be to do with magnetospheric feedback. If takes 8-14 months for ‘solar current’ to hit boundary of the heliosphere, and as much again to come back, hence phase drift of the subcycle, as well as variability in the duration and strength of the main 11y cycle.

  108. tallbloke says:

    vukcevic (01:51:52) :

    Unfortunately, as you know, it is never as simple as that. There is continuous drift back and forth over period of a sunspot cycle or two.

    Perhaps the Jupiter-Saturn synodic period affects this too. I agree with you that magnetic resonances are a more likely a fruitful area of investigation than gravity/tidal effects.

  109. vukcevic says:

    tallbloke (02:24:03) :
    Perhaps the Jupiter-Saturn synodic period affects this too.

    Well, it is all a bit of a guessing game. In my view J is a main driver while S is a main distracter, others E, U & N are minor ones. E is important since it is close enough, its magnetosphere can take significant amount of power from ‘solar current’ before it spreads out. Saturn much further away is large enough to provide main secondary effect, while U & N although strong are too far out, so if you take square law dispersal into account, their influence becomes minor. If you consider that SC4 had SC4a appendage (http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LostCycle.gif), than with variability of the heliosphere we can see certain logic to it.

  110. Hugo M says:

    Jeff L (16:13:29)
    “An initial thought though – the orbit of the moon has a periodicity of 27.3 days,… very close to the 27 day periodicity described in the article, so why do the researchers think this is a solar related phenomena & not a lunar phenomena??”

    1.) The 27 day periodicity was detectable only on the dayside of the earth
    2.) The moon orbit has a sidereal periodicity of 27.23 days, while it’s synodicperiod is 29.53 days.

  111. anna v says:

    Hugo M (04:46:20)

    If it is a moon effect it will have to do with the rotational period of 27.3 days. A sort of tide of the ionosphere, so it is only the daylight that connects the phenomenon to the sun, but maybe does not exclude the moon, since it might be an effect that needs the extra boost of the incoming sun ionisation of all frequencies.
    I am speculating, of course, but as we know that all these phenomena are complex it seems very simplistic to just think of the sun.

  112. Hugo M says:

    anna v (01:24:17) :

    If it is a moon effect it will have to do with the rotational period of 27.3 days. A sort of tide of the ionosphere, so it is only the daylight that connects the phenomenon to the sun, but maybe does not exclude the moon, since it might be an effect that needs the extra boost of the incoming sun ionisation of all frequencies. I am speculating, of course, but as we know that all these phenomena are complex it seems very simplistic to just think of the sun.

    Anna,

    compared with the hypothesis of Reuveni and Price, your speculation has the advantage that it can be more easily falsified. If the moon had such a prominent influence I would expect at least one more peak in their Fig. 3, namely at 29.5 days (same moon phase). You could argue that the observation period was too short, as there had been only about six lunar cycles passed during data aquisition.

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