# New tool for solar flare prediction

From NOAA news: NOAA Scientist Finds Clue to Predicting Solar Flares

Forecasters at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

For decades, experts have searched for signs in the sun that could lead to more accurate forecasts of solar flares — powerful blasts of energy that can supercharge Earth’s upper atmosphere and disrupt satellites and the land-based technologies on which modern societies depend. Now a scientist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and her colleagues have found a technique for predicting solar flares two to three days in advance with unprecedented accuracy.

The long-sought clue to prediction lies in changes in twisting magnetic fields beneath the surface of the sun in the days leading up to a flare, according to the authors. The findings will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters next month.

“For the first time, we can tell two to three days in advance when and where a solar flare will occur and how large it will be,” said lead author Alysha Reinard, a solar physicist at NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center and the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, a partnership between NOAA and the University of Colorado.

Twisting magnetic fields beneath the surface of the sun erupt into a large solar flare, as shown above.

High resolution (Credit: NSF)

The new technique is already twice as accurate as current methods, according to the authors, and that number is expected to improve as they refine their work over the next few years. With this technique, reliable watches and warnings should be possible before the next solar sunspot maximum, predicted to occur in 2013. Currently, forecasters see complex sunspot regions and issue alerts that a large flare may erupt, but the when-and-where eludes them.

Solar flares are sudden bursts of energy and light from sunspots’ magnetic fields. During a flare, photons travel at the speed of light in all directions through space, arriving at Earth’s upper atmosphere—93 million miles from the sun—in just eight minutes.

Almost instantly the photons can affect the high-orbiting satellites of the Global Positioning System, or GPS, creating timing delays and skewing positioning signals by as much as half a football field, risking high-precision agriculture, oil drilling, military and airline operations, financial transactions, navigation, disaster warnings, and other critical functions relying on GPS accuracy.

“Two or three days lead time can make the difference between safeguarding the advanced technologies we depend on every day for our livelihood and security, and the catastrophic loss of these capabilities and trillions of dollars in disrupted commerce,” said Thomas Bogdan, director of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center.

Reinard and NOAA intern Justin Henthorn of Ohio University pored over detailed maps of more than 1,000 sunspot groups, called active regions. The maps were constructed from solar sound-wave data from the National Science Foundation’s Global Oscillation Network Group.

Reinard and Henthorn found the same pattern in region after region: magnetic twisting that tightened to the breaking point, burst into a large flare, and vanished. They established that the pattern could be used as a reliable tool for predicting a solar flare.

“These recurring motions of the magnetic field, playing out unseen beneath the solar surface, are the clue we’ve needed to know that a large flare is coming—and when,” said Reinard.

Rudi Komm and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory contributed to the research.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us on Facebook.

Note to Editors: The paper has been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters in February: “Evidence that temporal changes in solar subsurface helicity precede active region flaring,” by Alysha Reinard, Justin Henthorn, Rudi Komm, and Frank Hill.

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Dave F
January 23, 2010 12:13 am

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
Yeah, but can they balance an energy budget? 😉

Bill H
January 23, 2010 12:26 am

Dave F (00:13:20) : Yeah, but can they balance an energy budget? 😉
What is a budget?

Dave F
January 23, 2010 12:30 am

Gregg E. (00:12:02) :
Is the extra g for greatness? Had to ask. 🙂

January 23, 2010 12:43 am

So do the peaks of flare eruption have any correlation, to the timing of the heliocentric conjunctions of the major planets, with each other, or to the other local stars, center of the Galaxy?
Or do they think that is all solely an internal mechanism untouched by the interactions with the other parties in the solar system’s neighborhood. Just like the weather on the Earth is modeled?
Any pattern of connection to the sun’s orbit of the barycenter of the solar system? There are those who propose this interaction is the driving mechanism, for the control and production of sun spot cycles. Do they see any correlation or connection to this school of thought?
Are they just going to focus on one probable option, and not consider any others, like they do CO2 on Earth? Or like they used to with weather, and see it as a stand alone system, free of outside influence?

January 23, 2010 12:49 am

There are also alternative views, which imo are more realistic.
From: American Institute of Physics publication:
WHY CURRENT-CARRYING MAGNETIC FLUX TUBES GOBBLE UP PLASMA AND BECOME THIN AS A RESULT
quote: “This paper argues that axial uniformity is the result of a rather complex sequence of events which occur whenever an electric current I is made to flow along an initially axially nonuniform, current-free, axisymmetric magnetic flux tube ~a process corresponding to injection of magnetic helicity into the flux tube!.
The sequence of events occurs even when current I is modest, i.e., even when
the flux tube is only slightly twisted………
Thus when current I is constant, poloidal current flows along poloidal flux surfaces and there is no toroidal motion. ”
P. M. Bellan
MC 128-95, Caltech, Pasadena, California 91125
http://authors.library.caltech.edu/1892/1/BELpop03.pdf
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0301/0301037v1.pdf
http://solar.physics.montana.edu/cgi-bin/eprint/index.pl?entry=515
Also presented at: Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, October 29-30, 2007 .
The Astrophysical Journal, 490:L107–L110, 1997 November 20,1997. The American Astronomical Society.
THE EMERGENCE OF CURRENT-CARRYING MAGNETIC LOOPS
INTO THE SOLAR CORONA
we demonstrate that this process can qualitatively reproduce observations that show the emergence of a helically twisted magnetic structure with a suitable field-current combination.
http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1538-4357/….72-d405fa67f3bb
Observatolre de Parls-Meudon and University de Paris
PLASMA AND SOLAR PHYSICS. THE SOLAR FLARE PHENOMENON
.I. Heyvaerts
“This directed flow of electrons constitute a beam passing through a plasma, between the acceleration region and photosphere. It will not only become unstable to plasma waves but create an enormous magnetic field.
In fact the electric current represented by the downwards flowing fast particles will be compensated by a return current driven in the background plasma. This return current, if the beam is too strong, will itself turn microunstable and the beam will stop, because it loses all its energy driving this excessively damped current.”
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/21/94/29/PDF/ajp-jphyscol197940C7427.pdf

January 23, 2010 1:03 am

From the post: “The long-sought clue to prediction lies in changes in twisting magnetic fields beneath the surface of the sun in the days leading up to a flare, according to the authors. The findings will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters next month.”
Could this scientific paper have relevance?
Generation of large scale electric fields in coronal flare circuits
Submitted on 6 Aug 2009
Abstract: “A large number of energetic electrons are generated during solar flares. They carry a substantial part of the flare released energy but how these electrons are created is not fully understood yet. This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents. These currents can be described by macroscopic circuits. Under special circumstances currents can establish in the corona along magnetic field lines. The energy released by these currents when moderate assumptions for the local conditions are made, is found be comparable to the flare energy.”
http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.0813
To highlight:
“This paper suggests that plasma motion in an active region in the photosphere is the source of large electric currents.”
And another scientific paper might have bearing on the subject:
Driving Currents for Flux Rope Coronal Mass Ejections
Submitted on 23 Oct 2008
Abstract: “We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Such currents are responsible for providing the Lorentz self-force that propels CMEs. Our estimates for the driving current are based on measurements of the propelling force obtained using data from the LASCO coronagraphs aboard the SOHO satellite. We find that upper limits on the currents enclosed by CMEs are typically around $10^{10}$ Amperes. We estimate that the magnetic flux enclosed by the CMEs in the LASCO field of view is a few $\times 10^{21}$ Mx”
http://arxiv.org/abs/0810.4210
To highlight:
“We present a method for measuring electrical currents enclosed by flux rope structures that are ejected within solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs).”
From the posted article: “…twisting magnetic fields beneath the surface of the sun…”
And twisting magnetic fields in the coronal mass ejections (CME).
Well, also, it has been observed & measured that once CME’s have been ejected out into the heliosphere as part of the solar wind (a charged particle plasma flow) have the shape of a “croissant”. Obviously, the French pastry has a twist and this twisted shape owes to the CME’s magnetic field.
As reported by NASA: The Surprising Shape of Solar Storms (see link below):
“April 14, 2009: This just in: The Sun is blasting the solar system with croissants.
Researchers studying data from NASA’s twin STEREO probes have found that ferocious solar storms called CMEs (coronal mass ejections) are shaped like a French pastry. The elegance and simplicity of the new “croissant model” is expected to dramatically improve forecasts of severe space weather.”
“This is an important advance,” says Lika Guhathakurta, STEREO program scientist at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. From a distance, CMEs appear to be a complicated and varied population. Almost all of the 40-plus CMEs we have studied so far with STEREO have a common shape–akin to a croissant.”
“That’s how CMEs get started—as twisted ropes of solar magnetism. When the energy in the twist reaches some threshold, there is an explosion which expels the CME away from the sun. It looks like a croissant because the twisted ropes are fat in the middle and thin on the ends.”
“The shape alone, however, does not tell the full story of a CME. The contents of the CME must be considered, too. How much plasma does it contain? What is the orientation and strength of its internal magnetic field?”
It seems new observations & measurements raise new questions.
So, from below the surface of the Sun and continuing far from the Sun’s surface “twisted magnetic fields” are observed & measured.
Interesting…

J.Hansford
January 23, 2010 1:10 am

Can you twist magnetic fields in this way in the laboratory?… or is it something only “observed” on the sun?

J.Hansford
January 23, 2010 1:16 am

I asked that because I have been reading this….
http://www.electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm
…. I won’t make me blind will it? 😉

January 23, 2010 1:19 am

Twisting magnetic fields?
They are Birkeland currents which twist and hence the magnetic fields associated with those currents then become twisted as well, as observed.
However you cannot twist a magnetic field in the lab, but you can twist the current that produces that magnetic field.

Kate
January 23, 2010 1:39 am

In the best traditions of bureaucrats the world over, Pachauri blames others for his mistakes, infers he is being persecuted by skeptics, and denies all knowledge of the WWF’s glacier-melting fantasies until 10 days ago.
***************************************************************************
From the Times
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999051.ece
January 23, 2010
UN climate change expert: there could be more errors in report
Jeremy Page, South Asia Correspondent
The Indian head of the UN climate change panel defended his position yesterday even as further errors were identified in the panel’s assessment of Himalayan glaciers.
Dr Rajendra Pachauri dismissed calls for him to resign over the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s retraction of a prediction that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. But he admitted that there may have been other errors in the same section of the report, and said that he was considering whether to take action against those responsible. “I know a lot of climate skeptics are after my blood, but I’m in no mood to oblige them,” he told The Times in an interview. “It was a collective failure by a number of people,” he said. “I need to consider what action to take, but that will take several weeks. It’s best to think with a cool head, rather than shoot from the hip.”
The IPCC’s 2007 report, which won it the Nobel Peace Prize, said that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”. But it emerged last week that the forecast was based not on a consensus among climate change experts, but on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999. The IPCC admitted on Thursday that the prediction was “poorly substantiated” in the latest of a series of blows to the panel’s credibility.
Dr Pachauri said that the IPCC’s report was the responsibility of the panel’s Co-Chairs at the time, both of whom have since moved on. They were Dr Martin Parry, a British scientist now at Imperial College London, and Dr Osvaldo Canziani , an Argentine meteorologist. Neither was immediately available for comment. “I don’t want to blame them, but typically the working group reports are managed by the Co-Chairs,” Dr Pachauri said. “Of course the Chair is there to facilitate things, but we have substantial amounts of delegation.”
He declined to blame the 25 authors and editors of the erroneous part of the report , who included a Filipino, a Mongolian, a Malaysian, an Indonesian, an Iranian, an Australian and two Vietnamese. The “co-ordinating lead authors” were Rex Victor Cruz of the Philippines, Hideo Harasawa of Japan, Murari Lal of India and Wu Shaohong of China.
But Syed Hasnain, the Indian glaciologist erroneously quoted as making the 2035 prediction, said that responsibility had to lie with them. “It is the lead authors — blame goes to them,” he told The Times. “There are many mistakes in it. It is a very poorly made report.” He and other leading glaciologists pointed out at least five glaring errors in the relevant section.
It says the total area of Himalayan glaciers “will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 square kilometers by the year 2035”. There are only 33,000 square kilometers of glaciers in the Himalayas. Between 1845 and 1965, the Pindari Glacier shrank by 2,840m — a rate of 135.2m a year. The actual rate is only 23.5m a year. The section says Himalayan glaciers are “receding faster than in any other part of the world” when many glaciologists say they are melting at about the same rate. An entire paragraph is also attributed to the World Wildlife Fund, when only one sentence came from it, and the IPCC is not supposed to use such advocacy groups as sources.
Professor Hasnain, who was not involved in drafting the IPCC report, said that he noticed some of the mistakes when he first read the relevant section in 2008. That was also the year he joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Delhi, which is headed by Dr Pachauri. He said he realised that the 2035 prediction was based on an interview he gave to the New Scientist magazine in 1999, although he blamed the journalist for assigning the actual date. He said that he did not tell Dr Pachauri because he was not working for the IPCC and was busy with his own programmes at the time. “I was keeping quiet as I was working here,” he said. “My job is not to point out mistakes. And you know the might of the IPCC. What about all the other glaciologists around the world who did not speak out?”
Dr Pachauri also said he did not learn about the mistakes until they were reported in the media about 10 days ago, at which time he contacted other IPCC members. He denied keeping quiet about the errors to avoid disrupting the UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen, or discouraging funding for TERI’s own glacier programme.
But he too admitted that it was “really odd” that none of the world’s leading glaciologists had pointed out the mistakes to him earlier. “Frankly, it was a stupid error,” he said. “But no one brought it to my attention.”

January 23, 2010 1:41 am

Just a quick note about something curious:
The maps were constructed from solar sound-wave data from the National Science Foundation’s Global Oscillation Network Group.
Sound wave data, from the NSF’s GONG.
New NSF grant proposal, researching the selecting of organizational names based on how good the acronyms sound. Highlighting why the GONG sounds silly.

January 23, 2010 2:13 am

J.Hansford (01:10:24) : Can you twist magnetic fields in this way in the laboratory?… or is it something only “observed” on the sun?
– one thing that is seen right after huge CMEs is a full bagel looking plasma. The weaker ones are the croissant looking ones. The bagel shaped ones are what seem to be described as a spheromak plasma. If there is enough energy, the open ends of the croissant could rejoin, which would allow the forming a toroidal current, which creates a poloidal field, yadda yadda, nice bagel shaped plasma.
On earth, it seems like “blue jets” are similar. The most extremely powerful ones (not the extremely large Pasko event, but the Sentmann & Wescott blue jet events imaged over the Texarkana area in the mid-90s) seem to have a toroid at the leading edge of their trumpet shape. Blue Starters seem to just be lower power versions.
So, yes, I would personally say there are visually similar events in the some CMEs on the SOHO C3 appear to look very much like the Sentman Wescott footage; I also have observed these events visually, with the unaided eye and yes, blue jets look “identical” to many CMEs as seen in the C3 instrument. “Absolutely identical” I say! 🙂
This similarity is ‘only’ with the ejected results and not the solar flare or the earth based lightning that create each event. But with similar results, I’d bet they are similar beasts.
Cheers!

January 23, 2010 2:44 am

Yup, there’ve been warning signs of impending CMEs (not necessarily flares) for years…
One way to do your own little visual experiment is to take a nice flexible mouse cord and simply twist it with your two hands. It twists up Just like the pictures in the post. When you twist it up, this is helicity caused by the rotational torque your hands apply.
In a flux bundle, when you force plasma into or across it, that causes the twisting and it is also adding energy that is stored in the bundle. More plasma pressure, more helicity. Bulk flows and motions all contribute to squish more and more plasma into and across the system.
Then, I think that the big clue is that before a huge sunspot blows, portions of the complex migrate; for instance the east side heads west and the west side heads east forming a nice ‘sigmoid’ shape or “S” or backwards “S”. The flux bundles connecting these migrating regions seem to be shaped like an ‘omega’ and the base of the omega simply shorts out. Blamo! Blamo!
Omega Sigmoid! OS Oscar Sierra!!!
Cheers!

January 23, 2010 2:57 am

We are NOT trying to make this look like the Starship Enterprise. Not at all. Are we Mr Sulu?

January 23, 2010 3:18 am

I knew the electric universe mugs would come schlepping out of the muck.
Funny thing… about what I say about spheromaks, I had a paper rejected by the AGU back in 1997 or 8. (sometimes, stupid people try to be smart)
“2085 G Varros 3324 0654
Title: Spheromak-Like Objects Observed in Blue Jets ”
http://www.agu.org/meetings/smarchive/sm98char
It was rejected because I am an un-Phd’d amateur astronomer and the reviewers wanted the observation only but the lead publisher (or whatever) wanted more about what I thought it was! And, I was way out of my league and needed a real knowledgeable person to help me 🙂
At the time, sprites and blue jets were just being imaged and documented for the first few times. My observations were only anecdotal since I had no video footage it was pointless to resubmit.
…and I say no more, the experts can now figure it.
I think that using “CME propulsion” or “blue jet propulsion” would help with some of the issues of long distance space travel. I’m deriving the necessary technology in my garage with a modified VASIMR engine but am still waiting on some badly needed stimulus.
OT: being an amateur astronomer, I have noticed that over the past few years and especially this past entire year, that the number of clear sky nights has dropped off to nearly zero. I picked up on the Cosmic Ray problem a few years back reading something in one of my physics mags. I also saw an increase of CR events on my detector while making video runs for lunar impacts events (CRs look like single video field meteoroid impacts), over the 2007-2009 time frame. Basically, the skies have clouded up so much, I have not done a lunar run since last April and normally, this time of year is the best for my crappy central Maryland location.

January 23, 2010 3:29 am

J.Hansford (01:16:48) :
I asked that because I have been reading this….
http://www.electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm
…. I won’t make me blind will it? 😉
It could make you blind. The sun is not “Electric” like a train wreck of misunderstood concepts.

January 23, 2010 3:32 am

I have always looked at science as the art of defining separate pieces, of a grand jig saw puzzle, that when fitted all together will show how the universe really works.
Each new paper in every field that reviles a new piece, becomes subject to critical thought processes, on how it is really shaped and colored, until it can be fitted into the already partially completed puzzle.
Some people work on the flower beds, some the tree sky interface, yes and some study tiny bubbles as well. I like to start with the border, and follow the stone walls, into the grassy areas myself.
Some times new pieces are found that do not connect any where yet, if they get discarded, as unusable before properly classified, it gets hard to complete even simple puzzles. If you never turn over all of the pieces first, then the works is slow and arduous.
Discussions like these, in this blog room, just gets my curiosity and adrenaline up. I have been trying to find all of the relevant pieces to the weather prediction puzzle, and think even this entry, carries some good info that needs incorporating.
The nature of the plasma, solar wind surges and flows, and their response / interactions with their resultant magnetic coupling through the inductive components, need to be considered, as to their effects on the planetary bodies as they flow toward, around, past and form magnetospheres, resplendent with their tails and interactions with the moon(s), and other planets, down stream.
Consideration for these forces acting on the planetary atmospheres, as well on/in the sun will result in better understandings of the total picture. IMHO
Damn I love a good mystery!

January 23, 2010 4:23 am

http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/mission/instruments.php
“SDO takes 1 image every .10 of a second. At best STEREO takes 1 image every 3 minutes and SOHO takes 1 image every 12 minutes.”
Imagine what this observational tool will reveal. Hopefully, the sun will come back out and put on a show.

January 23, 2010 4:34 am

G. Varros (03:18:01) :
OT: being an amateur astronomer, I have noticed that over the past few years and especially this past entire year, that the number of clear sky nights has dropped off to nearly zero.

I’m an amateur astronomer also (see name link), and my experience is very much the same here in Norway (at 60N). We have always had marginal conditions, but the last couple of years have been even worse. We had some clear skies recently this month, but at the same time the night temperatures were below -20C.
I secretly call the additional clouds “Svensmark clouds”, although I can’t prove the connection. I am hoping that the CLOUD experiment at Cern will provide some answers.

IMacfunk
January 23, 2010 5:16 am

“risking … financial transactions” and “trillions of dollars in disrupted commerce”! Is this a pitch for more funding? Financial transactions are terrestrial and take their timestamps over the wire not via satelites. Even intercontenental transactions are over cables. I guess the FUD worked so well for AGW, why not throw in a spoonfull to get someone to write a check for more toys?

phlogiston
January 23, 2010 6:07 am

Richard Holle (00:43:11) :
“So do the peaks of flare eruption have any correlation, to the timing of the heliocentric conjunctions of the major planets..”
The idea of planets exerting an effect on the sun – such as on sunspot cycle, is a fascinating one, which has been raised on some recent threads by yourself and others. It opens up the (hypothetical) possibility of a new source of feedback. Sunspot cycles are suspected of entraining global and oceanic cycles of heat exchange. Usually there is the assumption that any interaction sun-earth can only be one way.
However if planetary orbits and their interaction can influence the sunspot cycle, for instance, then orbital periodicities of planets have the possibility to influence climate by two routes, directly by the orbital effect on the planet’s climate, and indirectly via entrainment of the sunspot cycle – which in turn influences and entrains the planet’s climate.
Is it possible that these two routes of influence of orbital periodicity could interfere with eachother, resulting in either harmonics or nonlinear quasi-chaotic behaviour (e.g. nonlinear spontaneous pattern formation)?

Clive E Burkland
January 23, 2010 6:22 am

Slightly OT but a question for Leif Svalgaard.
Looking at Leif’s TSI graph http://leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png we see a big dip in TSI during sunspot 1035 in December. Leif explains that was due to a natural backing off in TSI due the cooler regions of the sunspot dampening the overall output of TSI.
Sunspot 1040 which was from the same region and displayed similar characteristics did not show the same dip in TSI. Is there a difference between the two regions?
Clive E Burkland

Andrew30
January 23, 2010 6:36 am

If this is correct, and the Cloud experiment at CERN confirms the cosmic ray to cloud formation relationship, would we actually be able to predict a sunny day a few days in advance?

cba
January 23, 2010 6:41 am

Viewing in south texas has been hard too. Unfortunately, most of the good viewing nights occurred during full moons and on nights before early morning commitments. Compared to a couple of years ago where almost every night was clear for months at a time (and the drought lasted 60 weeks), our conditions shifted dramatically as the el nino kicked in. It’s around 27 deg N Lat. here.
As for the unprecedented improvement in accuracy for the flares – it’s an interesting articile but the use of the term ‘unprecedented accuracy’ and the word ‘unprecedented’ have been abused so manytimes – especially in the climate world – as to become a distraction and an annoyance. It’s time for other synonyms to be allowed out of their cage where they’ve languished far too long, ignored by writers. Besides, with the overuse by the AGW crowd, ‘unprecedented’ has started to lose its meaning.

J.Hansford
January 23, 2010 6:55 am

G. Varros (03:29:46) : ….. I am of the opinion that as the tools that aid observation and examination become more advanced…. it pays to reexamine what has gone before….. Why?…. Because we MUST.
Richard Holle (03:32:57) : “Consideration for these forces acting on the planetary atmospheres, as well on/in the sun will result in better understandings of the total picture. IMHO
Damn I love a good mystery!”
———————————————————-
Aye, I too like a good mystery.

J.Hansford
January 23, 2010 7:00 am

Louis Hissink (01:19:20) :
Twisting magnetic fields?
They are Birkeland currents which twist and hence the magnetic fields associated with those currents then become twisted as well, as observed.
However you cannot twist a magnetic field in the lab, but you can twist the current that produces that magnetic field.
———————————————————-
Thanks Louis…….. Currently cyclone watching and battening down the hatches for Cyclone Olga here in Cairns…. So didn’t spot your response before.

Patrick Davis
January 23, 2010 7:24 am

“Gregg E. (00:12:02) :
Let’s hear it for real science!
(That room in the photo, it looks like it could be a starship bridge set for a movie.) ;)”
You mean a movie spoof, like Airplane II, right?
Predicting solar flares, I mean, as if!!!

Andrew30
January 23, 2010 8:16 am

Louis Hissink (01:19:20) :
“However you cannot twist a magnetic field in the lab”
Yes, you simply spin a mass of magnetic material in the field. To create a twisted magnetic field within the Sun all I think that you would need is to have something like a tornado operating under the surface more or less perpendicular to two of the Suns magnetic poles.
This is the reason why there were “Third-brush generators” where used in cars before the introduction of the alternator, to allow the generating coils to be moved back into the magnetic field when the RPM of the generator increased.
http://www.theviperr.info/hobo_dnn/Default.aspx?tabid=144

Pamela Gray
January 23, 2010 8:39 am

Is anyone else thinking, “the next generation of military weaponry”? If this action results in an explosion that disrupts all kinds of things electronic, I can envision Lex Luther coming up with a new kind of plasma laser beam pointed at someone he doesn’t like, ready to blast a plasma/particle stream right up their hiney parts.

Pamela Gray
January 23, 2010 8:44 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but the varying speed of the conveyor belts circling the Sun is what twists the ropes. This new prediction technique has been made available because we have several ways now of looking past the surface of the Sun into a few outer layers, gaining earlier information regarding the beginnings of the twists. This is not that earth shattering but is an expected result and application of the gathered data regarding the inner layers of the Sun.

bob paglee
January 23, 2010 9:12 am

Does the continued twisting magnetic field of a wannabe solar flare eventually cause it to twist itself beyond its elastic limit, and so stretch itself into a suicidal finale? And if a big electric current is flowing along it when it snaps, what happens with the effect of that presumably stupendous di/dt? Is there an incredible spark like a huge lightning discharge thousands of miles long? Does the enormous electromagnetic energy radiated from that spark cause our problems when it arrives on Earth? Just wondering….
But as a more practical question, isn’t the prediction of a peak in Cycle 24 during 2013 a bit optimistic? Would 2014 be more likely?
Bob

January 23, 2010 9:19 am

Clive E Burkland (06:22:10) :
Sunspot 1040 which was from the same region and displayed similar characteristics did not show the same dip in TSI. Is there a difference between the two regions?
When I look I see the dip as expected. Here are the numbers:
2010 1 9 2010.020272 1361.0872
2010 1 10 2010.02301 1361.0885
2010 1 11 2010.025747 1361.0084
2010 1 12 2010.028485 1360.8926 ==== 1040
2010 1 13 2010.031223 1360.8956 ==== 1040
2010 1 14 2010.033961 1360.9406
2010 1 15 2010.036699 1361.0838
2010 1 16 2010.039437 1361.2007
=======================
Generally, the magnetic field and the plasma in the corona are tied together and to the magnetic field in the photosphere and below. Because sunspots and their magnetic fields are moving around a bit, rotation of the spot will twist the field lines that stretch up into the corona. The region close to the Sun varies in what pushes what around. Low down the plasma energy is strong enough to dominate over the magnetic field, as you move up, the magnetic field dominates and guides the plasma, and yet further up [into the solar wind] the plasma again dominates the field and drags it along. The frozen-in condition is only weakly fulfilled in the lower regions because the conductivity is quite low. In the photosphere, the conductivity is only that of seawater, so there can be slippage between field and plasma. Higher up in the corona and the solar wind, the conductivity is extremely high and no slippage occurs. When slippage takes place, plasma and field will be moving relative to each other and electric currents arise and ‘explosions’ can occur that drive the CMEs. It is important to be clear about what drives what. [Electric] Currents are driven by changes [e.g. twisting] of the magnetic field. This is all well-known and NOAA can use this fact to help predict the ‘storms’.

Spector
January 23, 2010 9:22 am

Good news! If this is true we now may have enough advance warning of a huge solar flare on the magnitude of the September 1859 Carrington Event to save our electric power distribution grid from being totally destroyed by the massive surge of induced direct current that would result from such an event. I hope we do establish a solar flare disaster alert and mitigation procedure for such events.

Dave F
January 23, 2010 9:31 am

Pamela Gray (08:39:57) :
Is anyone else thinking, “the next generation of military weaponry”? If this action results in an explosion that disrupts all kinds of things electronic, I can envision Lex Luther coming up with a new kind of plasma laser beam pointed at someone he doesn’t like, ready to blast a plasma/particle stream right up their hiney parts.
Boy, that does not sound pleasant. Fortunately, I think from my reading, that it is only on the sun that this happens. My hiney parts are thankful for this. 🙂

Frank Mosher
January 23, 2010 9:50 am

Interesting observation that TSI in the 750 to 900 range spiked in Nov. 2009, as did UAH temps. Similar spike is shown now, ( Jan.), with the current data through Jan, 16. I would paste the data but don’t know how. Obtained from lasp.colorado.edu

January 23, 2010 9:58 am

bob paglee (09:12:49) :
Does the continued twisting magnetic field of a wannabe solar flare eventually cause it to twist itself beyond its elastic limit, and so stretch itself into a suicidal finale?
That is basically what happens.
And if a big electric current is flowing along it when it snaps, what happens with the effect of that presumably stupendous di/dt?
The current is caused by the snapping, from the dB/dt.
Is there an incredible spark like a huge lightning discharge thousands of miles long? Does the enormous electromagnetic energy radiated from that spark cause our problems when it arrives on Earth? Just wondering….
The current energy goes into heating and kinetic energy of the plasma. There are radio bursts associated with this ‘spark’, but the energy involved is very small compared to the kinetic energy energy of the plasma, and THAT in turn is minuscule compared to the energy we get from the Sun.

January 23, 2010 9:58 am

G. Varros (02:13:57) wrote: “- one thing that is seen right after huge CMEs is a full bagel looking plasma. The weaker ones are the croissant looking ones. The bagel shaped ones are what seem to be described as a spheromak plasma. If there is enough energy, the open ends of the croissant could rejoin, which would allow the forming a toroidal current, which creates a poloidal field, yadda yadda, nice bagel shaped plasma.”
This describes a plasmoid, Plasma-Magnetic-Enity.
Plasmoids are known to take a “toroidal” shape.
From the Wikipedia entry for plasmoid:
“A plasmoid is a coherent structure of plasma and magnetic fields. Plasmoids have been proposed to explain natural phenomena such as ball lightning, magnetic bubbles in the magnetosphere, and objects in cometary tails, in the solar wind, in the solar atmosphere, and in the heliospheric current sheet. Plasmoids produced in the laboratory include Field-Reversed Configurations, Spheromaks, and the dense plasma focus.”
The word plasmoid was coined in 1956 by Winston H. Bostick (1916-1991) to mean a “plasma-magnetic entity”:
“The plasma is emitted not as an amorphous blob, but in the form of a torus. We shall take the liberty of calling this toroidal structure a plasmoid, a word which means plasma-magnetic entity. The word plasmoid will be employed as a generic term for all plasma-magnetic entities.”
Link for Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasmoid
“A plasmoid has an internal pressure stemming from both the gas pressure of the plasma and the magnetic pressure of the field. To maintain an approximately static plasmoid radius, this pressure must be balanced an external confining pressure. In a field-free vacuum, for example, a plasmoid will rapidly expand and dissipate.”
“Bostick went on to apply his theory of plasmoids to astrophysics phenomena.”
Plasmoids have been observed & measured in the Earth’s magnetotail.
So, it would seem that a CME on the high end of the power and intensity scale can form a “bagel” shape plasmoid.
Mr. Varros, thanks for the heads up, I appreciate that — also your discussion of “blue jets” in the high atmosphere was informative– plasmoids in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Who would of thunk it…

bob paglee
January 23, 2010 10:05 am

Pamela Gray (08:39:57) :
Is anyone else thinking, “the next generation of military weaponry”? If this action results in an explosion that disrupts all kinds of things electronic, I can envision Lex Luther coming up with a new kind of plasma laser beam pointed at someone he doesn’t like, ready to blast a plasma/particle stream right up their hiney parts.
Boy, that does not sound pleasant. Fortunately, I think from my reading, that it is only on the sun that this happens. My hiney parts are thankful for this. 🙂
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Yes, Pamela, I suspect such a weapon already exists but no nation wants to be the first to use it. However, I doubt that it is laser based — an EMP-emanating device is more likely, with lots of Ldi/dt.
Bob

solrey
January 23, 2010 10:45 am

The radial magnetic fields generated by helical pairs of Birkeland currents are the “twisted magnetic fields”.
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/091124-st-solar-dynamics-observatory.html

SDO will measure and observe the sun’s magnetic field, which powers all solar activity. Flow of hot, ionized gases in the sun’s convection zone — the region inside the sun where hot gas parcels rise and transport energy to the surface — act as electrical currents to generate the sun’s magnetic field.

Sounds like we’re getting past the mysterious “dynamo” and into the actual cause of the Sun’s magnetic field; electric currents.

January 23, 2010 11:06 am

solrey (10:45:50) :
Sounds like we’re getting past the mysterious “dynamo” and into the actual cause of the Sun’s magnetic field; electric currents.
You are misreading the SDO stuff. The flow of plasma across a weaker, existing magnetic field generates an electric current that amplifies the magnetic field. SDO is meant precisely to investigate those flows. The dynamo is alive and well.
The radial magnetic fields generated by helical pairs of Birkeland currents are the “twisted magnetic fields”.
Birkeland currents are field-aligned and would follow the helical [twisted] magnetic field. But there are no such currents at the CME or flare location during the build-up. When the flares goes off, the rapid changes of the magnetic field as it relaxes back to a smaller [or no] twist induces strong currents that are indeed Birkeland currents, just as in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
——
It seems that our usual suspects are beginning to come out of the woodwork.

Jim F
January 23, 2010 11:07 am

Now there’s a research topic!
G. Varros (03:18:01) : being an amateur astronomer, I have noticed that over the past few years and especially this past entire year, that the number of clear sky nights has dropped off to nearly zero.
Carsten Arnholm, Norway (04:34:11) : my experience is very much the same here in Norway (at 60N).
cba (06:41:59) : Viewing in south texas has been hard too.
Astronomers look at the sky every night and probably make some sort of commentary on viewing conditions. What would an interpreted log of such, assessed over many years, involving observatories scattered around the world, tell us about cloud conditions world-wide over time?
Just musing.

January 23, 2010 11:19 am

NOAA is partially right. Deep-seated magnetic fields produce solar active regions, sunspots, solar flares, and solar eruptions.
However, the Standard Solar Model (SSM) explains none of these. NASA has steadfastly refused to consider observations that falsify the SSM.
E.g., the TRACE satellite recorded this movie of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000:
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
The camera used 171 Å filters that were sensitive to emissions from iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X).
We discussed the video recording of this solar flare [1,2], but so far as I know NASA and NOAA have not discussed the rigid, iron-rich structures captured in this video recording.
Oliver K. Manuel
1. “The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass”
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0609509
2. “Isotopes tell origin and operation of the Sun”
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0510001

January 23, 2010 11:28 am

solrey (10:45:50) :
Sounds like we’re getting past the mysterious “dynamo”
From: http://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/newsroom/item/newsitem.php?i=6
‘Almost all solar activity from sunspots to solar flares is regulated by this inner dynamo. “Understanding how the dynamo works is a holy grail for stellar physics,” says Pesnell. “It is the key to forecasting solar activity and space weather.”‘
SDO’s purpose is to study the dynamo.

January 23, 2010 2:16 pm

Patrick Davis (07:24:47) :
Predicting solar flares, I mean, as if!!!

It’s been done by NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung with an ephemeris and a calculator. No need for Mission control type display arrays.
(a) Large solar flares were forecasted to start between late June 3 and early June 5, 2007, when the
sunspot group 960 was rotated to overhead point of Mercury and Venus. They would also have been very
likely to start on June 7 or 8, 2007, when the sunspot group was rotated to the position overhead of Earth
and Jupiter.
As shown in table V, the largest solar flare (M8.9) for sunspot group 960 actually started at 5:06 a.m.
UT on June 4, within the first forecasted time period, but there was no large solar flare in the next
forecasted period (June 7 to 8). Instead, this second forecasted period was crowded with seven smaller
(C-class) flares. It appears that the decaying sunspot group could not produce a large solar flare but was
still strong enough to act with the tide to produce many smaller flares throughout this period.
(b) Based on the previous pattern, large solar flares would also have started when the sunspot group
was 28° to 32° from any of the four tide-producing planets. These happened from late on June 1 to early
on June 2, midday on June 5, midday and late on June 6, and midday on June 9.
Table V shows there were indeed solar flares in all of these time periods, when the sunspot group 960
was 28° to 32° from one or two of the four tide-producing planets. It is noted that the solar flare at
10:17 p.m. UT on June 1 happened as forecasted when the event position was 29° from Venus. However,
it was 25° from Mercury, not the forecasted 28° to 32° range. Separately, the M1.0 solar flare on June 9 is
most interesting because it happened at the time when the sunspot group had been significantly decayed
for 5 days since the last M flare, and a new M-class flare looked less and less likely. Yet it was correctly
forecasted based on the rules presented here when it started at 29° longitude from Jupiter at the start time
of the flare.
It seems that our usual suspects are beginning to come out of the woodwork.
It seems we need to go with the successful predictions and the principles they are based on. [The failed theories form the footnotes of history]

solrey
January 23, 2010 3:06 pm

http://hmi.stanford.edu/Requirements/HMI_Objectives.html
First sentence:

Fluid motions inside the Sun generate the solar magnetic field.

There’s the dynamo, and fluid motions in plasma are an electric current, the source of the magnetic field.

jorgekafkazar
January 23, 2010 4:37 pm

Bill H (00:26:51) : “What is a budget?”
It’s the thing that gets busted when electricity rates “skyrocket.”
J.Hansford (01:16:48) : “I asked that because I have been reading this… http://www.electric-cosmos.org/sun.htm …. (It) won’t make me blind will it? ;-)”
No, but it will make hair grow on your palms.
LOL@DaveF & Pamela!

January 23, 2010 4:50 pm

solrey (15:06:42) :
There’s the dynamo, and fluid motions in plasma are an electric current, the source of the magnetic field.
No, fluid motions in plasma are not electric currents. Ask for your school money back.
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
It seems we need to go with the successful predictions and the principles they are based on. [The failed theories form the footnotes of history]
Obviously NOAA does not believe that the planets do anything or are useful for prediction. And for good reason. I have never seen a forecast on the SWPC website based on this [have you?]. Lots of ‘hindcasts’, by the believers. You can almost always find something within ‘range’ afterwards.

Clive E Burkland
January 23, 2010 4:55 pm

Leif Svalgaard (09:19:19) :
Clive E Burkland (06:22:10) :
Sunspot 1040 which was from the same region and displayed similar characteristics did not show the same dip in TSI. Is there a difference between the two regions?
When I look I see the dip as expected. Here are the numbers:
2010 1 9 2010.020272 1361.0872
2010 1 10 2010.02301 1361.0885
2010 1 11 2010.025747 1361.0084
2010 1 12 2010.028485 1360.8926 ==== 1040
2010 1 13 2010.031223 1360.8956 ==== 1040
2010 1 14 2010.033961 1360.9406
2010 1 15 2010.036699 1361.0838
2010 1 16 2010.039437 1361.2007
=======================

Thanks, but I still do not see a decline in the Jan TSI that matches the Dec decline. The value in Dec appears to be just over 1360.70, the scale makes it difficult to be precise. I was presuming the large dip in Dec was caused by 1035, but is it more likely a result of 1039?
If so the answer may be more elusive.

January 23, 2010 5:42 pm

Clive E Burkland (16:55:04) :
Thanks, but I still do not see a decline in the Jan TSI that matches the Dec decline. The value in Dec appears to be just over 1360.70
TSI reacts from day to day on the spots. The monthly mean cannot be tied to any particular spot or active region. Here a blow-up of the past 1/4 year:
http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-Latest.png
You can clearly see the dips in TSO correlated with each serious sunspot group. I’m a bit confused as to what your problem is. Perhaps this expanded is helpful.

January 23, 2010 5:53 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:42:09) :
Clive E Burkland (16:55:04) :
Here a blow-up of the past 1/4 year …
The vertical grid lines are one week apart and there is one ‘dot’ per day. In interpreting the graphs one must remember that they all are disk-totals.

January 23, 2010 6:08 pm

tallbloke (14:16:47) :
The failed theories form the footnotes of history
No, they live one as pseudo-science and ‘alternative belief’ or just plain nuttiness.

Clive E Burkland
January 23, 2010 6:30 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:42:09) :
Clive E Burkland (16:55:04) :
Thanks, but I still do not see a decline in the Jan TSI that matches the Dec decline. The value in Dec appears to be just over 1360.70
TSI reacts from day to day on the spots. The monthly mean cannot be tied to any particular spot or active region. Here a blow-up of the past 1/4 year:
http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-Latest.png
You can clearly see the dips in TSO correlated with each serious sunspot group. I’m a bit confused as to what your problem is. Perhaps this expanded is helpful.

The expanded graph helps greatly, I also graphed the adjusted F10.7 flux to double check the timing against the sunspot groups. If there is no lag the sharp decline in TSI agrees with sunspot 1039. My problem is understanding why the much greater decline in TSI coincided with 1039 as compared with 1035 & 1040.
Could you please clarify Leif.

Paul Vaughan
January 23, 2010 6:46 pm

Sunspots & JEV – Collection of Graphs:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/SunspotsJEV.htm
The match/mismatch pattern appears systematic.
The various investigations used indices that threw away info, so I devised alternate indices to get an alternate view of what all the fuss was about.
I draw no conclusions about the physics.

January 23, 2010 7:14 pm

Clive E Burkland (18:30:59) :
My problem is understanding why the much greater decline in TSI coincided with 1039 as compared with 1035 & 1040.
I’m not sure what you mean: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-Latest.png

January 23, 2010 7:32 pm

Paul Vaughan (18:46:06) :
I draw no conclusions about the physics.
Good, because there isn’t any. This is just numerology. Jupiter’s period is 11.85 years, which is a bit more than the sunspots. By adding in Venus and the Earth, you subtract a bit and get closer to 11 years.
It is a bit disingenuous to claim that you draw no conclusions about the physics. Like admitting it is just numerology…

January 23, 2010 8:27 pm

Quote: Leif Svalgaard (18:08:24):
“. . . they live one as pseudo-science and ‘alternative belief’ or just plain nuttiness.”
Sounds like someone described in the Avatar movie as “too full” !
Did Leif overlook this movie of a flare and mass ejection that the TRACE satellite recorded from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000?
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

January 23, 2010 8:40 pm

Oliver K. Manuel (20:27:20) :
Did Leif overlook this movie of a flare and mass ejection that the TRACE satellite recorded from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000?
No, but what does that show other than what everyone knows: the CME and flare is triggered from above because the loops have become too twisted and now carry too much energy, wanting to [and doing it] relax to a lower energy state.

Clive E Burkland
January 23, 2010 8:41 pm

Leif Svalgaard (19:14:31) :
I’m not sure what you mean: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-Latest.png
That is one way to hide the decline, but unfortunately does not provide an answer to my question.

January 23, 2010 9:03 pm

Clive E Burkland (20:41:35) :
That is one way to hide the decline, but unfortunately does not provide an answer to my question.
Your question is like: “how come that 6 is larger than 7 and 8?”
The dip for 1039 is smaller than the dips for 1035 and 1040. So what precisely is your question?

January 23, 2010 9:12 pm

Clive E Burkland (20:41:35) :
That is one way to hide the decline, but unfortunately does not provide an answer to my question.
Perhaps you are missing that TSI has a rotational modulation [and we don’t know why – actually] as you can see in: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-SORCE-2008-now.png
The dips related to sunspots ride on top of the rotational modulation [RM – taking a bite out]. The 1039 region occurred near the bottom of the RM so what you might believe is the 1039 dip is the RM dip plus the 1039 dip. If you think that the total dip should be 1039 you are ignoring the RM. I am at a loss how to make it any clearer.

January 23, 2010 9:15 pm

Quote: Leif Svalgaard (20:40:59) :
“No, but what does that show other than what everyone knows: the CME and flare is triggered from above because the loops have become too twisted and now carry too much energy, wanting to [and doing it] relax to a lower energy state.”
The CME and flare are triggered from above?
Above the rigid, mountainous iron-rich structures that vent in the movie?
Did Leif forget that the camera used 171 Å filters to see emissions from iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X).
Definitely too full!
That’s my opinion,
Oliver K. Manuel

Paul Vaughan
January 23, 2010 9:57 pm

Leif Svalgaard (19:32:00) “This is just numerology.”
Not at all. The calculations objectively summarize the geometry of NASA Horizons output.
Leif Svalgaard (19:32:00) “Jupiter’s period is 11.85 years, which is a bit more than the sunspots. By adding in Venus and the Earth, you subtract a bit and get closer to 11 years.”
The period has been worked out theoretically by 3 different methods (none of which are “eyeball” or “statistical”).
Leif Svalgaard (19:32:00) “It is a bit disingenuous […]”
Not at all. I draw no conclusions about the physics.

Clive E Burkland
January 23, 2010 10:28 pm

Leif Svalgaard (21:12:14) :
I am at a loss how to make it any clearer.
Considering you left out the unknown vital RM factor, it should not be hard to work out my lack of understanding. Thank for your time Dr. Svalgaard.

January 23, 2010 10:51 pm

phlogiston (06:07:13) :
Richard Holle (00:43:11) :
“So do the peaks of flare eruption have any correlation, to the timing of the heliocentric conjunctions of the major planets..”
The idea of planets exerting an effect on the sun – such as on sunspot cycle, is a fascinating one, which has been raised on some recent threads by yourself and others. It opens up the (hypothetical) possibility of a new source of feedback. Sunspot cycles are suspected of entraining global and oceanic cycles of heat exchange. Usually there is the assumption that any interaction sun-earth can only be one way.
However if planetary orbits and their interaction can influence the sunspot cycle, for instance, then orbital periodicities of planets have the possibility to influence climate by two routes, directly by the orbital effect on the planet’s climate, and indirectly via entrainment of the sunspot cycle – which in turn influences and entrains the planet’s climate.
Is it possible that these two routes of influence of orbital periodicity could interfere with eachother, resulting in either harmonics or nonlinear quasi-chaotic behaviour (e.g. nonlinear spontaneous pattern formation)?
link was recently sent to me by old contact:
http://www.wxresearch.org/papers/paper18.pdf
Spector (09:22:43) :
Good news! If this is true we now may have enough advance warning of a huge solar flare on the magnitude of the September 1859 Carrington Event to save our electric power distribution grid from being totally destroyed by the massive surge of induced direct current that would result from such an event. I hope we do establish a solar flare disaster alert and mitigation procedure for such events.
There is a good possibility that the outage you refer to was caused by the near simultaneous multiple heliocentric conjunction of Earth, Mars, and Neptune, where in, the increased flux in the solar wind toward the three planets in line concentrated, or directed more of the flare through the Earth. Affecting the surge in DC homo polar generator currents through the ground buss of the grid, past the rated capacity of the network, taking it down.
This is a common occurrence in large grid outages, if you have dates for the multiple instances of record, look up the relative positions (Heliocentrically) of the Earth and other planets mainly Venus, mars, and Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune. Time limited but good tool for that here; http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
Patrick Davis (07:24:47) :
Predicting solar flares, I mean, as if!!!
It’s been done by NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung with an ephemeris and a calculator. No need for Mission control type display arrays.
(a) Large solar flares were forecasted to start between late June 3 and early June 5, 2007, when the
sunspot group 960 was rotated to overhead point of Mercury and Venus. They would also have been very
likely to start on June 7 or 8, 2007, when the sunspot group was rotated to the position overhead of Earth
and Jupiter.
As shown in table V, the largest solar flare (M8.9) for sunspot group 960 actually started at 5:06 a.m.
UT on June 4, within the first forecasted time period, but there was no large solar flare in the next
forecasted period (June 7 to 8). Instead, this second forecasted period was crowded with seven smaller
(C-class) flares. It appears that the decaying sunspot group could not produce a large solar flare but was
still strong enough to act with the tide to produce many smaller flares throughout this period.
(b) Based on the previous pattern, large solar flares would also have started when the sunspot group
was 28° to 32° from any of the four tide-producing planets. These happened from late on June 1 to early
on June 2, midday on June 5, midday and late on June 6, and midday on June 9.
Table V shows there were indeed solar flares in all of these time periods, when the sunspot group 960
was 28° to 32° from one or two of the four tide-producing planets. It is noted that the solar flare at
10:17 p.m. UT on June 1 happened as forecasted when the event position was 29° from Venus. However,
it was 25° from Mercury, not the forecasted 28° to 32° range. Separately, the M1.0 solar flare on June 9 is
most interesting because it happened at the time when the sunspot group had been significantly decayed
for 5 days since the last M flare, and a new M-class flare looked less and less likely. Yet it was correctly
forecasted based on the rules presented here when it started at 29° longitude from Jupiter at the start time
of the flare.
It seems you have done the leg work, to find the connections I have been hinting at, with the magnetic fields of the solar wind’s interactions with the Earth’s atmosphere related to severe weather out breaks.
I am also noticing that there is considerable disagreement on this subject, I as a new comber to this blog was unaware of, this is good as it will help sort things out for the open minded. At least four schools of thought with slightly different logic applied, this is healthy science in action.

Dave F
January 24, 2010 12:01 am

Leif Svalgaard (16:50:31) :
You can almost always find something within ‘range’ afterwards.

Climate science, to a tee. We predict something, everything is consistent (with ‘precise statistical meaning’), and nothing disproves. It is all within range Leif, if you could just come see the light… There is no falsified, this is not the proof you are looking for…

Paul Vaughan
January 24, 2010 12:15 am

Richard Holle (22:51:54) ” http://www.wxresearch.org/papers/paper18.pdf
Thanks for reminding me about that paper – looks a whole lot simpler now (months later) — they’ve left a few loose ends…

January 24, 2010 12:24 am

I think we need to turn over, some more still upside down pieces, to fit all of these things together, before we can throw out any “extra ones.” Can’t wait to see what this new satellite’s data, flips over for further evaluation.

January 24, 2010 12:47 am

Leif Svalgaard (16:50:31) :
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
[NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung’s solar flare predictions]
Obviously NOAA does not believe that the planets do anything or are useful for prediction. And for good reason. I have never seen a forecast on the SWPC website based on this [have you?].
No, and I’ve never seen any equally successful predictions come out of the dynamo theory either. [Have you?]
Lots of ‘hindcasts’, by the believers. You can almost always find something within ‘range’ afterwards.
I know you understand the difference between a hindcast and a prediction, so why are you trying to dismiss Ching Cheh Hung’s successful predictions this way?

January 24, 2010 1:11 am

We already had a spate of 14 Tornadoes (preliminary data total) on the 20th January 2010, 12 more on the 21st, just as the Moon crossed the equator headed North. Which brought in warmer moist air from the gulf, and a nice tight body of more polar, dry line air mass, mid afternoon to start things off. Expect another round the (Texas) 27th -30th (Ga, Al) January the same areas.
As the moon will be maximum North on the 27th, the warm moist air it will drag with it, will clash with the cold air mass, the models are hinting at. The resultant wrap around mixing of the two, will generate a spate of severe weather, that sweeps across the SE / Gulf coast, with hail and tornadoes very possible.
To show how the other planets seem to create increases in severe weather, the Earth is having a heliocentric conjunction with Mars on the 29th January at 7:37 EST, and it would appear that this has had some effect in increasing last weeks tornado production.
What will be telling is the peak of the Mars/Earth conjunction will be two days past the lunar declinational Maximum North culmination. If this works as I expect it to, there will be a near record outbreak centered on the 29th, predicted by all indicative variables maxing together.
http://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/reports/100121_rpts.html
(Now where does this little packet of connected pieces, fit into the rest of the puzzle?)

January 24, 2010 2:33 am

Leif Svalgaard (18:08:24) :
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
The failed theories form the footnotes of history
No, they live one as pseudo-science and ‘alternative belief’ or just plain nuttiness.

As you keep telling us Leif, we have to follow the observations and successful predictions. I think there will eventually be an amalgamation of the dynamo theory and solar-planetary theory, since there are clearly worthwhile elements in both.
You can almost always find something within ‘range’ afterwards.
Ching Cheh Hung’s predictions are statistically testable. He bases them on clearly defined rules which fall within quite specific and fairly narrow ranges.:
“The appearance of the previous largest known solar flares followed a pattern, which is described in this report and again described briefly in the next paragraphs. It is hoped that this pattern can be used to forecast future large solar flares. A practical way to test this possibility is to use the observed pattern to make repeated trial forecasts in the coming months or years, and then compare the forecasts with the facts that are subsequently observed. This appendix describes the first of such trial forecasts and comparisons. Based on data from past events, when giant sunspot groups appear it is seen that the largest solar flares (X9.0 and larger)
(A) are most likely to start when these sunspot groups rotate into a region where at least one of the
four tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, or Jupiter) is either overhead or underfoot (within 10° longitude)
(B) are also likely to start when these sunspot groups are at 28° to 32° longitude away from the overhead or underfoot points of at least one of the four tide-producing planets
(C) are least likely to occur when these sunspot groups are at 36° longitude or further away from the overhead or underfoot points of all these four planets
These three rules were good in the past, but will they hold true in the future? The first opportunity to answer this question came when the very large sunspot group 960 rotated into the east limb of the solar disk on June 1, 2007, and the precondition for the above three rules was met.”
The outcome is detailed in my earlier post: tallbloke (14:16:47) :
So, let’s discuss the valid results in scientifically definable terms.

January 24, 2010 3:38 am

Dr. Svalgaard: “I am at a loss how to make it any clearer”
(Self-satisfied arrogance dripping from the statement.)
Clive E Burkland (22:28:22): “Considering you [Svalgaard] left out the unknown vital RM factor, it should not be hard to work out my lack of understanding.”
Svalvaard leaving something out of his “assessment”?
Heaven for fend, oh, no, that couldn’t be!
The hardest falsehood to spot, is the one closest to the truth.

jinki
January 24, 2010 3:58 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:12:14) :
Perhaps you are missing that TSI has a rotational modulation [and we don’t know why – actually]
To be blunt Dr. Svalgaard you lost it right there. The level of solar knowledge is not impressive.

January 24, 2010 5:47 am

Leif Svalgaard (20:40:59) :
“No, but what does that” [movie] “show”
[This movie of a flare and mass ejection that the TRACE satellite recorded from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000):
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
[The Trace camera used 171 Å filters to see emissions from iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X).]
“other than what everyone knows: the CME and flare is triggered from above because the loops have become too twisted and now carry too much energy, wanting to [and doing it] relax to a lower energy state.”
What an imagination: Twisted magnetic fields fall from the sky and trigger the CME and flare from above!
Leif, the movie shows absolutely no twisted magnetic fields that fall on the solar surface and trigger the CME and flare from above.
The movie shows rigid, mountainous iron-rich structures that vent solar flare ejecta upward, triggered by deep-seated magnetic fields that arise from the Sun’s highly magnetic (~10^12 Gauss) core [JFE 21 (2002) 193-198: http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0501441%5D
Can you simply address the observations recorded in the movie?
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

January 24, 2010 7:12 am

Clive E Burkland (22:28:22) :
Considering you left out the unknown vital RM factor, it should not be hard to work out my lack of understanding. Thank for your time Dr. Svalgaard.
So are you saying that you understand it now?
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
It’s been done by NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung

(a) Large solar flares were forecasted to start between late June 3 and early June 5, 2007 […] large sunspot 960
Flares are always expected when a large sunspot rotates into view. The predictor is simple the presence of a large spot.
tallbloke (00:47:33) :
No, and I’ve never seen any equally successful predictions come out of the dynamo theory either. [Have you?]
Dynamo theory has nothing to do with flares and cannot be used a predictor. Dynamo theory has to do with the generation of the sunspot itself deep within the Sun, but not with the subsequent happenings.
why are you trying to dismiss Ching Cheh Hung’s successful predictions this way?
First, I don’t know it was a public prediction made ahead of time [link was broken]. Second, the presence of any large sunspot [especially early on] is in itself a good predictor, no need for Hung. Third, at solar maximum there are flares every day, so every prediction will be successful [like predicting sunshine in July in California]. Did Hung predict this one http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3 ?
Of the nine flares shown here http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005,09,04
some might be in ‘range’, but for successful prediction everyone must be accounted for. Or here: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2000,03,16
NOAA did not set up the prediction scheme advocated by Hung. If I had been Hung and had been snubbed by NASA/NOAA and believed that my result was solid, I would have put up my own website with real predictions based on my theory and shown them that there was something to this. Did Hung do that? Perhaps. I don’t know about any such, and your link didn’t work. The predictions would also have to deal with when flares didn’t happen. If I predict a flare every day, regardless, every flare that occurs would have been a successful prediction. Failures are actually more important here. Flares are not supposed to happen until predicted.
tallbloke (02:33:20) :
As you keep telling us Leif, we have to follow the observations and successful predictions.
There are well-established rules for calculating skill-scores and I have not seen any for Hung’s prediction website [see above].
I think there will eventually be an amalgamation of the dynamo theory and solar-planetary theory, since there are clearly worthwhile elements in both.
First, dynamo theory has to do with the overall level of sunspots, but the specific occurrence of a spot and later its flare activity is not the domain of dynamo theory. And [although it would be nice – from a prediction standpoint] there does not seem to be anything worthwhile or solid in solar-planetary speculations [they do not rise to the level of a ‘theory’ e.g. http://wilstar.com/theories.htm ]
So, let’s discuss the valid results in scientifically definable terms.
It would, indeed, be nice if you would adhere to that.
jinki (03:58:28) :
“Perhaps you are missing that TSI has a rotational modulation [and we don’t know why – actually]”
To be blunt Dr. Svalgaard you lost it right there. The level of solar knowledge is not impressive.

Perhaps you could explain it to me, then. TSI has a strong rotational modulation that seems unrelated to sunspots and solar activity. And solar physicists [not just me] do not have a good explanation [yet] for this.

January 24, 2010 7:44 am

Leif Svalgaard (07:12:07) :
tallbloke (14:16:47) :
It’s been done by NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung

Hmm,still works for me. pops up a box asking if I want to save or open with acrobat. Check your file associations. Anyway, here’s another link direct to NASA
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/Citations.aspx?id=330
The link to the full .pdf is near the bottom of the page. I’ll wait until you’ve had a look and had the chance to revise your other comments.

January 24, 2010 8:32 am

Oliver K. Manuel (05:47:29) :
What an imagination: Twisted magnetic fields fall from the sky and trigger the CME and flare from above!
Even the second figure on the thread shows where the explosion takes place. Here you can learn more about flares and CMEs: http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/SEGwayed/lessons/exploring_magnetism/in_Solar_Flares/s4.html#sf pay special attention to Figure 4.5.
The movie shows rigid, mountainous iron-rich structures that vent solar flare ejecta upward, triggered by deep-seated magnetic fields
The structures are not iron-rich [less than 0.1% is iron]. They are not rigid [only on the short time scale of the movie do they appear not to be changing]. Come back a few hours or a day later and the structures are gone and replaced with other structures. The triggering takes place high above the spot, not deep seated and no trillion Gauss fields.
A somewhat more technically demanding description of flares can be found here:
http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/Articles/lrsp-2008-1/
From the paper:
“the flare energy is released in the corona by reconnecting magnetic fields. The process heats the plasma in the reconnection region to temperatures of tens of millions of degrees Kelvin (MK), but also efficiently accelerates electrons to super-thermal energies peaking below some 20 keV and extending sometimes to several tens of MeV. […] The energy then propagates from the corona into the dense chromosphere along a magnetic loop by thermal conduction or free-streaming non-thermal particles, depending on the flare and the flare phase. The chromospheric material is heated to tens of million degrees and expands into the corona. The upward motion fills up existing coronal loops, but the motion may continue in an expansion of these loops.”
Paul Vaughan (21:57:13) :
“This is just numerology.”
Not at all. The calculations objectively summarize the geometry of NASA Horizons output.

That is what numerology is, unless there is a physical basis for doing that [which you do not claim]
The period has been worked out theoretically by 3 different methods (none of which are “eyeball” or “statistical”).
Still just numerology.
Not at all. I draw no conclusions about the physics.
Then your numerology is void of meaning. Only when you can and do connect to something physical or a physical process does it acquire meaning.

January 24, 2010 8:47 am

Paul Vaughan (21:57:13) :
Not at all. The calculations objectively summarize the geometry of NASA Horizons output.
One can perform numerology on the same data and produce correlations with Jupiter+Saturn+(Uranus+Neptune) as we have seen numerous times on the blog. The people peddling those claim that Venus+Earth are not effective and you do not involve Saturn [not to speak about U and N – which would be silly]. Then there are others that invoke Mercury [e.g. tallbloke (14:16:47) : sunspot group 960 was rotated to overhead point of Mercury and Venus] and so on. It is all numerology until we connect it with physics.

January 24, 2010 9:00 am

After few days of absence I am trying to catch-up on up to date discussion on the two latest solar threads. What do I find; beleaguered Dr. Svalgaard fighting on all fronts. Despite the past, he has my sympathy not that he needs it, or even less that he is expecting it from me. One image comes to my mind; Don Quixote and the windmills.
Now to some serious science:
Leif Svalgaard (07:12:07) :
TSI has a strong rotational modulation that seems unrelated to sunspots and solar activity. And solar physicists [not just me] do not have a good explanation [yet] for this.
Although a bit odd and unexpected, I am not entirely surprised. Some 30+ years ago Dr. Svalgaard and his colleague discovered what appears to be kind of Bartels rotation modulation within the solar wind. In recent years this was confirmed by Dr. Marcia Neugebauer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as: “the repetition interval at 27 days and 43 minutes and shows that the Sun has kept this steady rhythm, much like a metronome, for at least 38 years.”
It just may show that there is subtle connection to theTSI.
Question: Dr. Svalgaard do you have any numerical data relating to this TSI effect.
Thanks, and keep it up !

January 24, 2010 9:21 am

tallbloke (07:44:37) :
The link to the full .pdf is near the bottom of the page. I’ll wait until you’ve had a look and had the chance to revise your other comments.
The report [not a peer-reviewed paper that you like so much] has a date of July 2007, so is not a prediction of a flare in June 2007.
Simple as that.
vukcevic (09:00:42) :
One image comes to my mind; Don Quixote and the windmills.
I doubt that they would like to be characterized as mere Windmills. Some of them have quite a high opinion about themselves.
It just may show that there is subtle connection to the TSI.
You sound as you think none of us have thought of that. Another one, perhaps, with a [too] high opinion of himself.
do you have any numerical data relating to this TSI effect.
Yes, one can compute its power spectrum and, unfortunately it does not show a strong peak at 27 days.

pochas
January 24, 2010 9:35 am

Leif Svalgaard (08:47:23) :
“It is all numerology until we connect it with physics.”
Leif,
Would you encourage a qualified physicist to attempt to make such a connection?

January 24, 2010 9:43 am

Leif Svalgaard (09:21:31) :
tallbloke (07:44:37) :
The link to the full .pdf is near the bottom of the page. I’ll wait until you’ve had a look and had the chance to revise your other comments.
The report [not a peer-reviewed paper that you like so much] has a date of July 2007, so is not a prediction of a flare in June 2007.
Simple as that.

NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung would have written the report some time before it was published by NASA, and states in the report that the predictions were made before the events. So unless you are calling him a liar [are you?], I think we should take him at his word.
He also notes that his look-backs on the data also showed the solar flares conforming to his three rules, so it seems pretty good. If these flares are consistently occurring when big sunspot groups pass directly beneath or exactly opposite one of the nearest four planets, or when they are around 30 degrees away, then there is good reason to consider what the mechanism of causation could be.
Please could we discuss that, rather than red herrings about dates of publication?

January 24, 2010 9:45 am

Leif Svalgaard (09:21:31) :
do you have any numerical data relating to this TSI effect?
Yes, one can compute its power spectrum and, unfortunately it does not show a strong peak at 27 days.

Don’t be coy! Tell us what the periodicity of the peak is!!

January 24, 2010 9:47 am

Leif Svalgaard (09:21:31) :
“Yes, one can compute its power spectrum and, unfortunately it does not show a strong peak at 27 days.”
Thanks, perhaps you might direct me to a data-file, I am numerology enthusiast.
“You sound as you think none of us have thought of that. Another one, perhaps, with a [too] high opinion of himself.”
To paraphrase lovely Judy: I always try being a first-rate version of myself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.”

January 24, 2010 10:20 am

pochas (09:35:18) :
Would you encourage a qualified physicist to attempt to make such a connection?
Absolutely, yes. There would be eternal glory to him’her if success. So, why don’t we all fall over each other to do this? Because qualified physicists usually only attempt to explain something if there is a reasonable chance of success, and the first thing he/she would do would be to look at the statistical significance, then at the energies and couples available. The current state of these are such that it will encourage most people from wasting their time on this.
tallbloke (09:43:07) :
I think we should take him at his word.
On page 29 he explains that it is a hindcast. His “Large solar flares were forecasted to start …”. Where? in what public report? What he means is that if he had made the forecast, then he would have …
As I said whenever a ‘very large sunspot rotates into view’ it is a good bet that there will be flares in any case.
Please could we discuss that, rather than red herrings about dates of publication?
When you are in the prediction business, dates are king and is the only thing that matters. The ‘red herring’ is a needless accusation.
tallbloke (09:45:11) :
“Yes, one can compute its power spectrum and, unfortunately it does not show a strong peak at 27 days.”
Don’t be coy! Tell us what the periodicity of the peak is!!

Who said there is a peak? 🙂
Well, there is weak one at 30 days: http://www.leif.org/research/FFT-TSI.png showing the PMOD long-term composite.
There is also a small peak at one year [365 days], which is artificial [having to do with PMOD not calculating the distance to the Sun correctly]. Finally there is the strong solar cycle peak at 4000 days.
But no marked peak near 27 days. The rotational modulation is not coherent in phase and therefore we see no single peaks near 27 days, but just a blur of power between 20 and 30 days.
vukcevic (09:47:53) :
Thanks, perhaps you might direct me to a data-file, I am numerology enthusiast.
certainly: on my website click on ‘B Download of data links (Links to downloadable data)’, then on “TSI from PMOD Composite [Total Solar irradiance since 1978]”
To paraphrase lovely Judy: I always try being a first-rate version of myself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.”
Not the same as that version actually being first-rate.

January 24, 2010 10:22 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:20:21) :
pochas (09:35:18) :
The current state of these are such that it will not encourage most people from wasting their time on this.

I seem to forget the ‘nots’ a lot 🙂

January 24, 2010 10:52 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:20:21) :
tallbloke (09:43:07) :
If these flares are consistently occurring when big sunspot groups pass directly beneath or exactly opposite one of the nearest four planets, or when they are around 30 degrees away, then there is good reason to consider what the mechanism of causation could be.
Please could we discuss that, rather than red herrings about dates of publication?
When you are in the prediction business, dates are king and is the only thing that matters. The ‘red herring’ is a needless accusation.

Yet here we are, still agonizing over dates instead of taking Ching Cheh Hung at his word when he says:
“Large solar flares were forecasted to start…”
and getting on with the more interesting questions about causation his paper raises. 🙁
Quick question about TSI. Is it a measure of the activity of the whole sun or just the side facing Earth, or more accurately facing the satellite? Is the satellite always between Earth and the Sun?
Interesting little peak around 400 days… (E+J synodic period)

January 24, 2010 10:56 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:22:22) :
Leif Svalgaard (10:20:21) :
pochas (09:35:18) :
The current state of these are such that it will not encourage most people from wasting their time on this.

Anyone who is willing to invest some of their time on this interesting voyage of discovery will find useful info on my site here:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com

January 24, 2010 11:00 am

tallbloke (09:43:07) :
I think we should take him at his word.
Look at the first Figure at:
http://www.leif.org/research/Most%20Recent%20IMF%2C%20SW%2C%20and%20Solar%20Data.pdf
Note the blue line marked B. It shows the magnitude of the interplanetary magnetic field measured at the Earth since 2003. You will note several spikes: in late 2003, early 2005, late 2006. Each of these correspond to times with powerful flares and CMEs. These pump up the solar wind speed [the red curve marked V]. In fact, if you look really close, the B spikes precede the flares and I now predict that when the interplanetary field goes up, that a powerful flare will occur shortly thereafter. This is actually also borne out by data before 2003. There is even a peak in B just before the July 2007 flare! So, my scheme works! This I have known for many years.
So why doesn’t NOAA pay me a lot for my prediction service [and why don’t I make a website with that]? Because, B goes up when a lot of extra magnetic flux appears on the Sun because a big active region is developing and that development is the predictor in any case.

January 24, 2010 11:11 am

Leif Svalgaard (11:00:30) :
So why doesn’t NOAA pay me a lot for my prediction service [and why don’t I make a website with that]? Because, B goes up when a lot of extra magnetic flux appears on the Sun because a big active region is developing and that development is the predictor in any case.

The point of interest which I’d like to discuss is that the trigger for the flares seems to be the angular position of the planets in relation to the sunspot group. The increase/decrease in overall flare numbers you are able to predict is of great interest, but a separate issue.

January 24, 2010 11:27 am

tallbloke (10:52:19) :
and getting on with the more interesting questions about causation his paper raises. 🙁
I don’t think his analysis is valid is it peer-reviewed – your standard of validity, it seems], so why bother.
Quick question about TSI. Is it a measure of the activity of the whole sun or just the side facing Earth, or more accurately facing the satellite? Is the satellite always between Earth and the Sun?
TSI is measured at the satellite which is always between Earth and Sun, so only measures what comes our way. and is not just of activity [which is only a fraction of a percent of the total], but of the total energy we [the instrument – which by the way is of the size of your thumb] receive from the Sun.
Interesting little peak around 400 days… (E+J synodic period)
Typical pseudo-science reaction. The peak is completely artificial. Only shows in PMOD’s data. Not in SORCE that does compute the distance correctly [now], partly due to my analysis of the calculation leading to discovery of their neglect of a Special Relativity correction ( ! ) and to not calculating the distance at the time the photons left the Sun rather than at the time the photons were observed [the difference of 8+ minutes means that the distance has changed while the photons were in flight and more importantly the relative speed between Sun and Earth has changed, and hence the Doppler shift correction comes out slightly wrong- TSI measurements are now so sensitive that this matters].

January 24, 2010 11:38 am

tallbloke (11:11:08) :
The point of interest which I’d like to discuss is that the trigger for the flares seems to be the angular position of the planets in relation to the sunspot group.
‘seems’ is much too strong. ‘is claimed to’ is more appropriate. There are thousands of sunspots and thousands of flares in each cycle. Hung’s analysis is even hampered with his events not being independent. There were only five events not nineteen [or whatever the number claimed was]. Flares often have a tendency to repeat in the same group over several days, basically because the photospheric magnetic configuration does not change much during a flare, so the twisting will often resume.
The increase/decrease in overall flare numbers you are able to predict is of great interest, but a separate issue.
I do not predict the overall number, but the single superflares that occurred at those times. Those are the ones dominating the data. But, let me be clear: my prediction is spurious in the sense [and that is true of Hung’s as well] that the real predictor is just the appearance of a ‘very large sunspot’ group.

January 24, 2010 11:49 am

tallbloke (10:52:19) :
Interesting little peak around 400 days… (E+J synodic period)
One can compare SORCE [left] and PMOD [right]
http://www.leif.org/research/FFT-TSI.png
To get a feeling for what is real and what is not repeatable. The SORCE data set is shorter so the noise is a bit higher.
The Figure shows [from the bottom up] TSI, FFT logarithmic scale, and FFT linear scale.

January 24, 2010 12:07 pm

From a paper linked by Dr. Svalgaard: “…the flare energy is released in the corona by reconnecting magnetic fields.”
No, Dr. Svalgaard, the flare energy is released by exploding Electric Double Layers because too much electrical energy is flowing through the “circuit” and when double Layers breakdown, explode, the entire energy of the circuit is released, as Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner, described — as he saw in electrical transmission circuits in the Swedish power transmission system.
So-called “magnetic reconnection” is a misnomer, the energy doesn’t come from impinging magnetic fields alone, but from electrical energy generated by the Electric Double Layer process, a process that encompasses magnetic fields, electric fields, plasma flows, and charged particle acceleration of free electrons and ions in opposite directions.
Even NASA doesn’t agree with your take:
“It’s ubiquitous [“magnetic reconnection].
The problem is, researchers can’t explain it.”
“But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
NASA can’t explain it because the “magnetic reconnection” concept ignores the electric fields, plasma flows, and charged particle acceleration, free electrons and ions accelerated in opposite directions.
NASA can’t explain it because the causation process is fundamentally an electromagnetic process and astronomy is in denial about the fundamental importance of electric fields and plasma flow in space plasma phenomenon.
To explain the physical processes of “magnetic reconnection” is to explain electro-magnetic processes and NASA hasn’t quite come to grips with that, or they have privately, but know any public clarification will upset the astronomy community — their most important constituency.

January 24, 2010 12:12 pm

tallbloke (11:11:08) :
The point of interest which I’d like to discuss is that the trigger for the flares seems to be the angular position of the planets in relation to the sunspot group.
And Hung’s analysis seems less that kosher. For example, for the Nov 4th 2003 event he omits the X-flare on Oct. 22, omits one of the X-flares on Oct. 26, and omits two X-flares on Nov. 03. For his Apr. 15, 2001 event he omits the X-flares on Mar. 29, and April 2. Includes the M-flare on Apr. 9, but omits the large M-flares on Apr. 5. This wanton selection of what fits and omission of what does not, completely destroys his argument. No wonder NOAA is not suing his ‘method’.
Peddlers of pseudo-science are all to eager to uncritically accepting something like this, without minimally even checking the data.

January 24, 2010 12:20 pm

Leif Svalgaard (11:27:07) :
Interesting little peak around 400 days… (E+J synodic period)
The peak is completely artificial. Only shows in PMOD’s data. Not in SORCE that does compute the distance correctly

Make your mind up. A couple of posts ago you said it was the peak at one year that was spurious. I’m talking about the separate peak at 400 days.

January 24, 2010 12:22 pm

James F. Evans (12:07:46) :
To explain the physical processes of “magnetic reconnection” is to explain electro-magnetic processes
This is not an electric-magnetic process. And I thought we had already closed that discussion: The energy is a release of magnetic energy stored in the field. Every well-versed physicist knows this. Even NASA’s people. That we are still researching the exact mechanism is just a tribute to how much we already know about reconnection. The issue is to pin down the reason for the increase of resistivity that allows reconnection to occur fast. The Reconnection Experiment http://mrx.pppl.gov/ provides you with the details necessary to grasp this. You can forget about the double layers. There are sometimes observed in the debris from reconnection, but play no role otherwise. Even the double layers that are at times postulated to occur in the Earth’s ionosphere are far from where the reconnection takes place, way out in the magnetotail. You really should come to grips with modern space physics.
and NASA hasn’t quite come to grips with that, or they have privately, but know any public clarification will upset the astronomy community — their most important constituency.
I think there are other websites where you can peddle your conspiracy theories.

Paul Vaughan
January 24, 2010 12:35 pm

Leif Svalgaard (08:32:36) “[…] numerology […] numerology […] numerology […]”
Leif Svalgaard (11:49:02) ” http://www.leif.org/research/FFT-TSI.png

Surely you don’t assume stationarity.

January 24, 2010 12:40 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:12:18) :
Hung’s analysis seems less that kosher. For example, for the Nov 4th 2003 event he omits the X-flare on Oct. 22, omits one of the X-flares on Oct. 26, and omits two X-flares on Nov. 03. For his Apr. 15, 2001 event he omits the X-flares on Mar. 29, and April 2. Includes the M-flare on Apr. 9, but omits the large M-flares on Apr. 5. This wanton selection of what fits and omission of what does not, completely destroys his argument.

Were the magnitudes of these missing flares M9.0 or less?

January 24, 2010 12:49 pm

tallbloke (12:20:31) :
Make your mind up. A couple of posts ago you said it was the peak at one year that was spurious. I’m talking about the separate peak at 400 days.
Since there is noise in the process unless you have a really strong signal [like the peak at 4000 days] you’ll usually get a series of close peaks around a ‘real’ peak. These are not individually significant, just shows that there is power around one year. That the peak is spurious is also seen from the fact that does not show up in the SORCE data.
As I said, pseudo-scientists are all too willing to ignore simple error considerations and ascribe reality to spurious things if these fit their agenda.

January 24, 2010 12:51 pm

Paul Vaughan (12:35:35) :
Surely you don’t assume stationarity.
This whole thing started with Vuk suggesting a stationary signal at 27 days and 43 minutes extending over 38+ years. If so, that would have shown as a strong peak in the FFT, and it doesn’t.

January 24, 2010 12:57 pm

tallbloke (12:40:16) :
Were the magnitudes of these missing flares M9.0 or less?
Of course not. They were X-flares. Except the ones in 2001 of higher magnitude that the M-flare mentioned by Hung. He lists four M-flares down to M3 [out of 19 total for which we have X-ray data] among his ‘successful’ predictions.

January 24, 2010 1:00 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:12:18) :
Hung’s analysis seems less that kosher. For example, for the Nov 4th 2003 event he omits…

Did you read the title of table III?
TABLE III.—PLANET AND SOLAR FLARE POSITIONS FOR MAJOR FLARE EVENTS WHERE THE LARGEST FINAL FLARE WAS APPROXIMATELY 30° FROM NEAREST HIGH-TIDE POSITION

January 24, 2010 1:27 pm

Leif, I think you are confused.
the prediction is made in Appendix D.

January 24, 2010 1:29 pm

tallbloke (12:20:31) :
“Interesting little peak around 400 days… (E+J synodic period)”
Leif Svalgaard (11:27:07) :
“The peak is completely artificial. Only shows in PMOD’s data. Not in SORCE that does compute the distance correctly.”
400 days has more significance than being spurious or artificial.
This graph shows filtered 400 day cycle (blue line, red line is 400 day COS wave). within SC17& SC23
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm
Some 2 years ago I analysed all 23 cycles my ideas and results can be found here:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/

January 24, 2010 1:32 pm

tallbloke (13:00:21) :
Did you read the title of table III?
So what? the flares he omit still belong to the same group he selects. Yet another example of how you’ll believe anything as long as it fits, and ignore the rest.
People are actually by Evolution conditioned to do this. We are likely to accept false positives because the penalty for doing so is so small. Every time we interpret some shadows in the grass as a tiger and flee, is better than to ignore one [because it is not statistically significant] that turns out to actually be a tiger.
In fact, his title and selection only weaken his case as no explanation [that I could find] is there for why the 30 degree difference is important. He even says: “In all five events, at the time of the final major flares, the event positions were about 30° away from the nearest planets. Whether these similarities were
the results of coincidence remains to be determined.”

January 24, 2010 1:35 pm

tallbloke (13:27:27) :
the prediction is made in Appendix D.
That is where I looked. Nowhere there is a ‘prediction’ made. In my book it is a prediction if it is made public [either when made or by a sealed and notarized document], otherwise not.

January 24, 2010 1:38 pm

vukcevic (13:29:22) :
400 days has more significance than being spurious or artificial.
The 400 ‘peak’ in the PMOD [the other TSIs don’t have it] is artificial because of known [very small] errors in the calculation of the solar distance. As I pointed out to tallbloke [and you nicely confirm], pseudo-scientists will willing accept erroneous data if it just fits.

January 24, 2010 1:58 pm

Leif Svalgaard (13:38:08) :
“vukcevic (13:29:22) :
400 days has more significance than being spurious or artificial.
The 400 ‘peak’ in the PMOD [the other TSIs don’t have it] is artificial because of known [very small] errors in the calculation of the solar distance. As I pointed out to tallbloke [and you nicely confirm], pseudo-scientists will willing accept erroneous data if it just fits.”
This is nothing to do with TSI, it is the Sunspot numbers record, and as far as I know SSN has NOT “errors in the calculation of the solar distance”
Obviously you do not read beyond the first few words: here it is again so need no search:
This graph shows filtered 400 day cycle ( ! Sunspot numbers, not TSI !) (blue line, red line is 400 day COS wave). within SC17& SC23
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC5.htm
Some 2 years ago I analysed all 23 cycles my ideas and results can be found here:
http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/

January 24, 2010 2:10 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:49:26) :
As I said, pseudo-scientists

Again, and again, and again.
Bye Leif.

Clive E Burkland
January 24, 2010 4:55 pm

Vuk mentions a NASA report on a 27 day period in the solar wind, this might be different to the 20-30 day observation in TSI fluctuations outside of sunspot activity.
I remember a story on WUWT dealing with a 27 day frequency picked up on earth via grids used to measure lightning. They were suggesting it was a solar signal.
Has there been a comparison of both data sets?

January 24, 2010 5:51 pm

vukcevic (13:58:23) :
This is nothing to do with TSI
Of course, it has something to do with TSI. I showed a power spectrum of TSI, and you suggested that the 400-day peak was real or significant because it ‘matched’ your speculation about SSNs. Anyway, as long as you know that the TSI-peak is artificial everything is cool. Just don’t take that peak as ‘confirmation’ of your SSN speculation.
tallbloke (14:10:04) :
Bye Leif.
were it only true… 🙂

January 24, 2010 6:01 pm

Clive E Burkland (16:55:16) :
Has there been a comparison of both data sets?
I don’t think so. There are lots of physical parameters that vary with an approximate 27-day quasi-period, so any number of plausible reasons can be put forward, but would be of little practical significance, except on the very occasions where the current is really huge. Amusingly, one of the foremost customers of predictions of geomagnetic activity is pigeon fanciers, who won’t do races if the geomagnetic Kp-index exceeds 4 [on the 0 to 9 scale used] as the pigeons get confused and can’t find their way home [it is claimed].
It has been known since the 1840s [not a typo] that geomagnetic [and therefore solar] activity causes electric currents in wires [e.g. telegraphs wires (in the 1840-90s) and now power lines].

Paul Vaughan
January 24, 2010 8:51 pm

Leif Svalgaard (17:51:08) “tallbloke (14:10:04) : “Bye Leif.”
were it only true… :-)”

When tallbloke, vukcevic, & others ‘challenge’ Dr. Svalgaard, Dr. Svalgaard divulges a LOT more info about various phenomena – useful for note-taking (…but there probably is an ‘optimal’ length to each round).

Updated in response to questions (in tallbloke’s & other forums) about calculations:
http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/SunspotsJEV.htm

Frank Perdicaro
January 24, 2010 9:21 pm

Very interesting info on helical currents and toroidal structures.
Thanks all.
For an on-the-earth version, take a peek at the Focus Fusion
Reactor. focusfusion.org.

January 24, 2010 9:27 pm

Paul Vaughan (20:51:08) :
When tallbloke, vukcevic, & others ‘challenge’ Dr. Svalgaard,
I thought it was the other way around 🙂
Dr. Svalgaard divulges a LOT more info about various phenomena
The info I provide is an attempt to educate our beloved pseudo-scientists. I realize that this is probably futile [having brought up four children], but such educational effort is my wont.
Updated in response to questions (in tallbloke’s & other forums) about calculations
In spite of the many decimals and the heavy smoothing [some approximation to running means] which btw enormously decreases the number of degrees of freedom [you might enlighten us with how many the resulting curves have], the eventual correlation with JVE is extremely poor, both in phase and amplitude, e.g. [showing one of your Figures – it would be a good idea to number them]: http://www.leif.org/research/Vaughan1.png
If the correlations were good, I would be the first to try to make sense of them physically [in preparation for my Nobel Prize which would surely be the result of a successful outcome], but they are just too weak to arouse interest.

January 24, 2010 9:41 pm

Paul Vaughan (20:51:08) :
Updated in response to questions (in tallbloke’s & other forums) about calculations
In one of your figures you try to make the mismatch between the amplitudes smaller by plotting Log2(R+1). There is, of course, no justification for adding ‘1’, rather than 2.71828183 or 3.14159265328979 or any thing else not smaller than 1 [to make the argument positive]. This is what I call numerology.

January 24, 2010 10:05 pm

Oliver K. Manuel (21:15:09) :
Did Leif forget that the camera used 171 Å filters to see emissions from iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X).
No, but that has nothing to do with what the dominant ions are. Each ion will radiate in a given temperature range [1 million K for 171 Å, 2 million K for 284 Å], and the choice of those ions was to see structures having temperatures of a certain value [thus at different heights in the corona]. Other filters are used for other temperatures, e.g. to see the He(II) ions at 304 Å. The latter gives us a view at a temperature of ~70,000 K, but does not prove that the Sun consists entirely of Helium. I have a hard time believing that you do not know this [but I could be wrong], so shall characterize your statement as a cheap attempt of deception [with suitable apologies if the statement was based on ignorance].

Paul Vaughan
January 24, 2010 11:18 pm

Leif Svalgaard (21:41:01) “In one of your figures you try to make the mismatch between the amplitudes smaller by plotting Log2(R+1). There is, of course, no justification for adding ‘1′ […] This is what I call numerology.”
I’ve had those graphs of Log2(R+1)’ on file for many months – there’s no deceitful scheming going on here.
Elaboration:
The +1 is to:
a) avoid the singularity at Log(0).
b) Make 0 map to 0.
I discussed this with an academic statistician who agreed that 1 is a sensible choice. In my files, the “1” is adjustable, so I’m well-aware of the effect of adjustments (…but there are already enough graphs in the public summary).
The log is because the distribution is skewed (which corrupts analyses by violating statistical assumptions, regardless of what is or isn’t physical).
I prefer Log2(R+1)’, but I presented R’ because that is what most seem to prefer. I have other adjustable graphs on file for other positions on the “ladder of powers” (e.g. square root, cubed-root, etc.).
The preceding notes are not specific to sunspot numbers, but rather standard procedure for variables with skewed distributions.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 12:12 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:41:01) “In one of your figures you try to make the mismatch between the amplitudes smaller by plotting Log2(R+1). There is, of course, no justification for adding ‘1′ […] This is what I call numerology.”
I’ve had those graphs of Log2(R+1)’ on file for many months – there’s no deceitful scheming going on here.
Elaboration:
The +1 is to:
a) avoid the singularity at Log(0).
b) Make 0 map to 0.
I discussed this with an academic statistician who agreed that 1 is a sensible choice. In my files, the “1” is adjustable, so I’m well-aware of the effect of adjustments (…but there are already enough graphs in the public summary).
The log is because the distribution is skewed (which corrupts analyses by violating statistical assumptions, regardless of what is or isn’t physical).
I prefer Log2(R+1)’, but I presented R’ because that is what most seem to prefer. I have other adjustable graphs on file for other positions on the “ladder of powers” (e.g. square root, cubed-root, etc.).
The preceding notes are not specific to sunspot numbers, but rather standard procedure for variables with skewed distributions.

Leif Svalgaard (21:27:32) “[…] decimals […] smoothing […] degrees of freedom […] poor, both in phase and amplitude […] Figures […] number them […] If the correlations were good, I would be the first to try to make sense of them physically [in preparation for my Nobel Prize which would surely be the result of a successful outcome], but they are just too weak to arouse interest.”
The phase-contrast is actually fairly stable for some of the indices (using cross-wavelet methods).
As indicated, the smoothing is to assist people who don’t understand cross-wavelet methods. Cross-wavelet methods work on RAW data — the repeat-smoothing over harmonics is just a way to make insights from wavelet methods more intuitive for a mainstream audience.
I’m not trying to sell ideas about JEV-R – just devising indices that capture things claimed by others to assist with assessment. My current interest is in phase-aware data analysis – not necessarily physics …but I appreciate your notes on physics.
As for your valid points about decimals & figure numbering: Rather than investing more in formalizing casual JEV-R notes (that are subject to change), I’d prefer to get on to cross-wavelet QBO/LOD/GLAAM/SOI analyses.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 12:14 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:27:32) “[…] decimals […] smoothing […] degrees of freedom […] poor, both in phase and amplitude […] Figures […] number them […] If the correlations were good, I would be the first to try to make sense of them physically [in preparation for my Nobel Prize which would surely be the result of a successful outcome], but they are just too weak to arouse interest.”
The phase-contrast is actually fairly stable for some of the indices (using cross-wavelet methods).
As indicated, the smoothing is to assist people who don’t understand cross-wavelet methods. Cross-wavelet methods work on RAW data — the repeat-smoothing over harmonics is just a way to make insights from wavelet methods more intuitive for a mainstream audience.
I’m not trying to sell ideas about JEV-R – just devising indices that capture things claimed by others to assist with assessment. My current interest is in phase-aware data analysis – not necessarily physics …but I appreciate your notes on physics.
As for your valid points about decimals & figure numbering: Rather than investing more in formalizing casual JEV-R notes (that are subject to change), I’d prefer to get on to cross-wavelet QBO/LOD/GLAAM/SOI analyses.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 12:16 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:41:01) “In one of your figures you try to make the mismatch between the amplitudes smaller by plotting Log2(R+1). There is, of course, no justification for adding ‘1′ […] This is what I call numerology.”
I’ve had those graphs of Log2(R+1)’ on file for many months – there’s no deceitful scheming going on here.
Elaboration:
The “+1” is to:
a) avoid the singularity at Log(0).
b) Make 0 map to 0.
I discussed this with an academic statistician who agreed that 1 is a sensible choice. In my files, the “1” is adjustable, so I’m well-aware of the effect of adjustments (…but there are already enough graphs in the public summary).
The log is because the distribution is skewed (which corrupts analyses by violating statistical assumptions, regardless of what is or isn’t physical).
I prefer Log2(R+1)’, but I presented R’ because that is what most seem to prefer. I have other adjustable graphs on file for other positions on the “ladder of powers” (e.g. square root, cubed-root, etc.).
The preceding notes are not specific to sunspot numbers, but rather standard procedure for variables with skewed distributions.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 12:41 am

Leif Svalgaard (21:41:01) “In one of your figures you try to make the mismatch between the amplitudes smaller by plotting Log2(R+1). There is, of course, no justification for adding ‘1′ […]”
The +1 is to:
a) avoid the singularity at Log(0).
b) Make 0 map to 0.
I discussed this with an academic statistician who agreed that 1 is a sensible choice. In my files, the “1” is adjustable, so I’m well-aware of the effect of adjustments (…but there are already enough graphs in the public summary).
The log is because the distribution is skewed (which corrupts analyses by violating statistical assumptions, regardless of what is or isn’t physical).
I prefer Log2(R+1)’, but I presented R’ because that is what most seem to prefer. I have other adjustable graphs on file for other positions on the “ladder of powers” (e.g. square root, cubed-root, etc.).
The preceding notes are not specific to sunspot numbers, but rather standard procedure for variables with skewed distributions.

January 25, 2010 2:50 am

Leif Svalgaard (17:51:08)
tallbloke (14:10:04) :
Bye Leif.
were it only true… 🙂

I had to step away before I said something intemperate. :o)
Informed speculation [or as Leif would have it, pseudo-science]:
There is an energy wave traveling around the sun created by the big players, primarily Jupiter and Saturn. It doesn’t show up much in oblateness studies because the high gravity on the sun keeps everything pulled pretty spherical, apart from the average oblateness due to rotation. This gravitational force transforms the wave into a longitudinally compressed wave which has sub eddys which stir up the matter between tachocline and solar surface, producing anomalies in the magnetic field which produces sunspots.
This low frequency, long lived wave is modulated by the shorter term stresses induced by the JEV cycle which beats with the long term wave to cause the main rise and fall of the ~11 year cycle and a ~105 year cycle. The ~172 yr interval where U and N conjoin, creates a period of time where the addition of all forces brings the centre of the sun very close to the centre of mass of the solar system. At these times, the angle of the Sun’s orbit about the centre of mass can change radically over a period of months, upsetting the latitudinal motion of the circulating pressure wave and causing a slowdown in sunspot production which can last for several solar cycles. (Maunder, Dalton, Now) This effect will not be regular each ~172 years because the relative positions of J and S, and the location of the peak compression areas in the circulating wave relative to the sudden inclination of the solar orbit will also modify the effect.
We should not expect therefore, that a nice easy correlation is going to be found between the JEV cycle and the amplitude of the sunspot cycles. But neither therefore, is this to be regarded as a reason for dismissing the correlation, which is clearly a good one, oscillating as it does in and out of phase, but never by a whole cycle. It just means we need to determine the additional modulating influences and model the Sun’s behaviour with these other factors included.
Clearly not an easy job, but if some additional human and computational resources were to be provided for this promising line of enquiry, it would get done more quickly and successfully. Once the model is working well, we will be in a better position to re-assess some bits of what we thought we knew about the interplanetary medium, and James F. Evans might be able to reduce the length of his posts, which would be a blessing to all. 😉
So come on Leif, start lobbying your institution on our behalf and join in yourself. Then we can all get called onto the stage together to receive the Nobel Prize, and you can stop calling us pseudo-scientists. 🙂

January 25, 2010 3:39 am

Paul Vaughan (23:18:54) :
I’ve had those graphs of Log2(R+1)’ on file for many months – there’s no deceitful scheming going on here.
Of course not. And 1 is sensible. Question: is it [Log2(R+1]’ or Log2[(R+1)’] or Log2(R’+1) ?

January 25, 2010 4:10 am

tallbloke (02:50:57) :
There is an energy wave traveling around the sun created by the big players, […] At these times, the angle of the Sun’s orbit about the centre of mass can change radically over a period of months, upsetting the latitudinal motion of the circulating pressure wave
‘Energy wave’? What is that? The Sun is in free fall within the solar system and feel no forces other that tidal ones and they are minuscule and don’t add up the way Paul assumes for the phase. The speculation fully qualifies as pseudo-science. The correlations are lousy and lack physical underpinning.
Clearly not an easy job, but if some additional human and computational resources were to be provided for this promising line of enquiry
Reminds me of the Monty Python skit about the Ministry of Silly Walks, with Michael Palin demonstrating his Silly Walk, and John Gliese commenting that ‘the walk is not particularly silly’ to which Palin retorts that “I’m sure that with government funding and backing my walk could be made very much more silly”.

January 25, 2010 4:19 am

tallbloke (02:50:57) :
For those unfamiliar with MoSW:

January 25, 2010 4:56 am

Just a brief remark regarding Earth and Venus: as many of you may be familiar with the fact that if one performs any of arithmetic calculations on periodic functions, you always end up with sums and differences (and their fractions) of frequencies/periods concerned.
Venus’s period of revolution is just over 0.6, Earth’s 1 & Jupiter’s 11.86 (all in years), you are bound to end up with lot of components around SS period which varies in the same band 10-13 years. This is nothing new, 160 years ago Wolf wrote to Carrington with calculations using inner planets masses and mean distances, which gave similar results.

January 25, 2010 5:12 am

Leif Svalgaard (04:10:49) :
The Sun is in free fall within the solar system and feel no forces

This is Newton’s assumption from a priori reasoning, like Einstein’s thought experiments with clocks (proved to be nonsense by Louis Essen), not the outcome of any practical empirical investigation. You know, the sort of thing employed by the scientific method?
The problem with Newton’s clockwork universe reasoning which you so unreflectingly parrot (Norwegian Blue, lovely bird!), is that the Sun is not a billiard ball of rigid matter which obeys his simple laws of motion, but has deep outer layers of magnetically active highly mobile plasma. As it moves in it’s highly eccentric planet determined ‘orbit’ (more a clover leaf shaped dance in fact), it swings through interplanetary space which contains magnetic fields. These will interact with the Sun’s own magnetic field and cause disturbances in the form of pressure waves.
Never mind, it was worth a try. I’ll leave you with your C17th Dead Parrot Newtonian thought experiment.

January 25, 2010 5:30 am

“This Newtonian Thought Experiment I bought from you is dead”
“No it’s not, it’s just resting”
It’s dead, kicked the bucket, defunct. It’s joined the choir invisible”

January 25, 2010 7:18 am

Obviously admirers of John Cleese, something in your dialog reminds me of JC with Marty Feldman

January 25, 2010 7:39 am

tallbloke (05:12:24) :
the Sun is not a billiard ball of rigid matter which obeys his simple laws of motion, but has deep outer layers of magnetically active highly mobile plasma. As it moves in it’s highly eccentric planet determined ‘orbit’ (more a clover leaf shaped dance in fact), it swings through interplanetary space which contains magnetic fields. These will interact with the Sun’s own magnetic field and cause disturbances in the form of pressure waves.
[sigh]. The interplanetary magnetic field is the Sun’s own magnetic field and is now much too weak to cause anything in the Sun. You should join forces with Evans and postulate some double layers pushed around by the planets or by intense magnetic fields at the center of the Galaxy. It is a hallmark of a pseudo-scientist to believe in unphysical speculation without taking the trouble maybe he can’t] to investigate the magnitudes of the forces involved. Once down that road, everything else unravels: relativity, astronomy, cosmology, evolution, everything becoming nonsense perpetuated by dishonest scientists engaged in a vast conspiracy: ScienceGate.

January 25, 2010 7:40 am

tallbloke (05:12:24) :
the Sun is not a billiard ball of rigid matter which obeys his simple laws of motion, but has deep outer layers of magnetically active highly mobile plasma. As it moves in it’s highly eccentric planet determined ‘orbit’ (more a clover leaf shaped dance in fact), it swings through interplanetary space which contains magnetic fields. These will interact with the Sun’s own magnetic field and cause disturbances in the form of pressure waves.
[sigh]. The interplanetary magnetic field is the Sun’s own magnetic field and is now much too weak to cause anything in the Sun. You should join forces with Evans and postulate some double layers pushed around by the planets or by intense magnetic fields at the center of the Galaxy. It is a hallmark of a pseudo-scientist to believe in unphysical speculation without taking the trouble maybe he can’t] to investigate the magnitudes of the forces involved. Once down that road, everything else unravels: relativity, astronomy, cosmology, evolution, everything becoming nonsense perpetuated by dishonest scientists engaged in a vast conspiracy: ScienceGate.

January 25, 2010 8:05 am

tallbloke (05:12:24) :
Leif Svalgaard (04:10:49) :
The Sun is in free fall within the solar system and feel no forces

This is Newton’s assumption from a priori reasoning, like Einstein’s thought experiments with clocks (proved to be nonsense by Louis Essen), not the outcome of any practical empirical investigation. You know, the sort of thing employed by the scientific method?
Leif Svalgaard (07:40:35) :
It is a hallmark of a pseudo-scientist to believe in unphysical speculation without taking the trouble to investigate the magnitudes of the forces involved

I knew we’d reach agreement in the end

January 25, 2010 8:25 am

tallbloke (08:05:54) :
“The Sun is in free fall within the solar system and feels no forces”
This is Newton’s assumption from a priori reasoning

Newton never thought of this. You really should study the modern experiments that prove Einstein correct [much to the chagrin of all the physicists trying to prove him wrong]. Here is a good place to start http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0506/0506168v1.pdf
The results of Gravity B also bears studying, as well as the ever increasing precision confirmation by the binary pulsar, etc etc etc.
I knew we’d reach agreement in the end
Good that you in the end recognize the errors of your ways. What took you so long?

anna v
January 25, 2010 8:25 am

tallbloke (08:05:54) : | Reply w/ Link
tallbloke (05:12:24) :
“Leif Svalgaard (04:10:49) :
The Sun is in free fall within the solar system and feel no forces”
This is Newton’s assumption from a priori reasoning, like Einstein’s thought experiments with clocks (proved to be nonsense by Louis Essen), not the outcome of any practical empirical investigation. You know, the sort of thing employed by the scientific method?

Whether you like it or not, the scientific method does not end with practical empirical investigation. Not in physics . It requires the full panoply of solving differential equations and applying boundary conditions, ever since Newton’s time.
It is tiresome that you keep coming up trying to “show up” Leif, thinking I guess that you are “showing up standard model physics”. Well, you are not. I do not want to apply the pseudo science label, but am tempted. Standard model physics will not be changed to a new paradigm except by a lot of elbow grease in solving differential equations of some kind or another applying boundary conditions and showing better fit to the empirical data than the previous paradigm as well as new predictions. Pontificating will not do it.

January 25, 2010 9:10 am

pseudo-science…. conspiracy… sciencegate…. Blimey!
In the context of solar flare prediction, I’m interested in NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung’s success, and the consequences for what we know about the interplanetary medium. That in turn raises interesting questions about the well correlated (whatever you say) links between planetary motion, solar activity, and the potential physical mechanisms which link them.
Like Ching Cheh, Hung, I’m not making claims or saying this or that is definitely true or false (unlike some others around here), just calling for the scientific method to be applied, and proper empirical tests to be done now we have the technology to do it. Better than relying on thought experiments in my view. Meantime, we can discover what we can through looking at available data. It’s a work in progress.
I’ll leave the last word to Ching Cheh Hung.
“To summarize, it is noted that the forecast based on rules (A) and (B) worked very well, but the
forecast based on rule (C) worked only marginally well. It is also noted that the solar flares from this
sunspot group 960 (M8.9 and smaller) were much smaller than the flares from which rules (A), (B), and
(C) were established (X9.0 and larger). In this particular forecast, applying these three rules to flares
smaller than X9.0 produced acceptable results.
The trial forecast described here is a single data point that supports the possibility of forecasting the
solar flares based on the planet positions, but it is far from statistically significant. Using the future large
sunspot groups and the procedure described above to repeatedly conduct trial forecasts of solar flares is
needed to confirm, disprove, or modify the above three rules of solar flare forecasting.
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/Citations.aspx?id=330

January 25, 2010 9:25 am

tallbloke (09:10:21) :
In the context of solar flare prediction, I’m interested in NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung’s success
And I have shown you that his analysis is flawed. And even if he were correct, that would have no import for the interplanetary medium. It is your assertions about the latter that marks you.

anna v
January 25, 2010 9:39 am

The trial forecast described here is a single data point that supports the possibility of forecasting the
solar flares based on the planet positions, but it is far from statistically significant. Using the future large
sunspot groups and the procedure described above to repeatedly conduct trial forecasts of solar flares is
needed to confirm, disprove, or modify the above three rules of solar flare forecasting.
From your quote, bold mine.
As far as empirical goes, professionals look at errors. Not statistically significant means errors larger than the measurement. Once again: the scientific method in physics in our times requires rigorous mathematical analysis of the physics behind any claim.
This is not science as physics knows it.

January 25, 2010 10:34 am

Leif Svalgaard (09:25:32) :
tallbloke (09:10:21) :
In the context of solar flare prediction, I’m interested in NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hung’s success
And I have shown you that his analysis is flawed.

No you didn’t. You attempted a hatchet job and failed.
anna v (09:39:48) :
Not statistically significant means errors larger than the measurement.

No it doesn’t. Not in this case anyway. It’s a pity you and others in the physics community didn’t get as far as the next sentence in NASA scientist Ching Cheh Hungs report after the one you bolded. Why do you think I chose to quote that part of the report?
Strangling a promising field of study at birth
This is not physics as science knows it.

January 25, 2010 10:45 am

tallbloke (10:34:09) :
“And I have shown you that his analysis is flawed.”
No you didn’t. You attempted a hatchet job and failed.

I showed that he omitted several events which is a no-no when attempting to do statistics [which on top of this isn’t significant as per his own admission] on a small number of cases. You language is not conducive to serious discussion.
Strangling a promising field of study at birth
If it is not significant then it is not promising.

January 25, 2010 10:56 am

Leif Svalgaard (10:45:30) :
tallbloke (10:34:09) :
“And I have shown you that his analysis is flawed.”
No you didn’t. You attempted a hatchet job and failed.
I showed that he omitted several events which is a no-no when attempting to do statistics

No you didn’t. You misread the title at the top of table III and convinced yourself he was “cooking the books” when he wasn’t.

January 25, 2010 10:56 am

tallbloke (10:34:09) :
Why do you think I chose to quote that part of the report?
Hung is welcome to do this and report back in the peer-reviewed literature [that you prefer]. Others have little incentive to do so given the non-significance of the ‘finding’. Soviet doctors years ago reported that inmates in lunatic asylums were more agitated following the passage over the Earth of the HCS. One might propose that Congress allocates billions to investigate this promising line of research. Perhaps the magnetic disturbances emanating from the electric activity in their brains interacts with the interplanetary magnetic field in turn interacting with the Sun’s magnetic field causing flares and climate change. As a result of this promising line of research special tin-hats could be constructed to prevent such calamities. A lot more research [by honest scientists, mark you] is clearly needed and this project should not strangled at birth.

January 25, 2010 11:05 am

tallbloke (10:56:19) :
No you didn’t. You misread the title at the top of table III and convinced yourself he was “cooking the books” when he wasn’t.
I did not misread anything. The flares he omitted were part of the same groups of flares he included. Go check yourself.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 11:40 am

Leif Svalgaard (03:39:20) “Question: is it [Log2(R+1]‘ or Log2[(R+1)’] or Log2(R’+1) ?”
[Log_2(R+1)]’ where _ indicates base and ‘ indicates differencing.
I’m quite sure you know some of the possibilities listed are ruled out (e.g. log of negatives, which certainly arise when differencing series), but I’ll throw the outside brackets on for the benefit of the scores who are eager to misunderstand (or simply lacking education).

vukcevic (04:56:49) “[…] nothing new, 160 years ago Wolf wrote to Carrington with calculations using inner planets masses and mean distances, which gave similar results.”
Certainly nothing new.
I like to do my own calculations to assess the claims of others.
The thing I found most interesting about the new indices was that the resulting graphs reminded me of the motion of my sea-kayak when paddling in wind conditions that pile up groups of waves that are sharply troughed & crested in the middle of long sets and flatter with lower-amplitude interference in between sets.
The effect on entrainment of the kayak is remarkable. In the middle of a set, I match frequency with little effort (aside from a bit of spatial steering). Then I am thrown from the set into the node where whether-or-not I phase-drift amongst the lower-amplitude waves depends on what drive-power I supply myself.
The analogy is certainly not accurate, but the point I’ve been trying to make is that it is patterns of phase-residuals that interest me …whether physical or not – it doesn’t have to be physical to be of interest computationally. I would argue that we need all university science grads (at least) equipped with solid understanding of phase-aware methods, which are not covered at all in the majority of current science programs.
Furthermore, canned routines in SPSS, SAS, & SPlus are insufficient — they don’t do enough with wavelets, let alone with complex wavelets, complex cross-wavelets & harmonic complex cross-wavelets.
The sunspot series & planetary series make nice subjects for learning what results look like for relatively ‘well-behaved’ curves. They provide a convenient testing opportunity for homemade software. Since a lot of people I deal with have no intuition whatsoever about what wavelet plots are showing, I am having to go extra miles with supplementary repeat-harmonic-smoothing visualization-aids to help folks see approximately (using their own computations, since most can handle boxcar-smoothing at a specified bandwidth) what cross-wavelet results show using the RAW series.
How do you get a research grant to study LOD/GLAAM/QBO/SOI/NAM/SAM/etc. using cross-wavelet methods when the folks controlling the money won’t make the slightest effort to understand what cross-wavelets do? One thing you can do is patiently teach them using ‘interesting’ examples.

January 25, 2010 11:51 am

tallbloke (10:56:19) :
he was “cooking the books
In case you do not want to go have a look, I’ll show here the X-ray emission for Nov. 2-4, 2003:
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/gxr1day/20031102.gif
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/gxr1day/20031103.gif
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/gxr1day/20031104.gif
and Hung’s table:
14S 56W X8.3 2003 Nov. 02 16:41:00 …
19S 83W X28.0 2003 Nov. 04 19:08:00 …
as you can see, he omits the two X-flares on November 3rd. The first one within the group near 19S, and the second one in a Northern one [which you may argue was not influenced by the planets, although the Sun would have to be clairvoyant to know that there would be a major flare the next day]
And for the April 2001 event:
21S 83E X1.2 2001 Apr. 03 2:53:00 3
21S 31E X5.6 2001 Apr. 06 18:59:00 3
21S 4W M7.9 2001 Apr. 09 15:06:00 3[…]
20S 85W X14.4 2001 Apr. 15 12:48:00
He omits the M9 flare on Apr. 5
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/gxr1day/20010405.gif
Which was also part of the same group, and larger than the Apr. 9th flare. He also omits the second M6 flare on Apr. 5, even though it was greater than most flares in his 1978 events.
‘Cooking the books’, indeed.

January 25, 2010 11:53 am

Leif Svalgaard (11:05:30) :
I did not misread anything. The flares he omitted were part of the same groups of flares he included. Go check yourself.
Leif Svalgaard (13:32:38) :
tallbloke (13:00:21) :
Did you read the title of table III?
So what? the flares he omit still belong to the same group he selects. Yet another example of how you’ll believe anything as long as it fits, and ignore the rest.
TABLE III.—PLANET AND SOLAR FLARE POSITIONS FOR MAJOR FLARE EVENTS WHERE THE LARGEST FINAL FLARE WAS APPROXIMATELY 30° FROM NEAREST HIGH-TIDE POSITION
Leif Svalgaard (12:12:18) :
Hung’s analysis seems less that kosher. For example, for the Nov 4th 2003 event he omits the X-flare on Oct. 22,

NOAA AR 10486 was located at S16 E08 and passed over the solar disk from 23 October to 4 November 2003
http://www.ias.ac.in/jaa/junsep2006/JAA22.pdf
Just how big was the x flare on the 22nd?

January 25, 2010 11:59 am

Paul Vaughan (11:40:55) :
I’m quite sure you know some of the possibilities listed are ruled out
You are missing the point: the day only has so many hours and you help the reader by being explicit, rather than have to figure it out. Most people will only cast a glance.
when the folks controlling the money won’t make the slightest effort to understand what cross-wavelets do? One thing you can do is patiently teach them using ‘interesting’ examples.
No, those folks are ‘busy’ [and some are even smart] and not prone to spend time being educated. You get them to support you by showing them an example [and only one] of a case where your analysis leads to an interesting and solid RESULT that is useful. Not by saying “I make no claim about the physics”. Find an example where you CAN make a claim that your methods leads to UNDERSTANDING.

January 25, 2010 12:04 pm

tallbloke (11:53:14) :
from 23 October to 4 November 2003
Often you see flares on the limb before you can see the spot.
Just how big was the x flare on the 22nd?
X1.0: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/dimages/gxr1day/20031022.gif
The flare happened as 2000 UT, so late in the day.

January 25, 2010 12:16 pm

tallbloke (11:53:14) :
from 23 October to 4 November 2003
There is a major flaw in Hung’s reasoning as far as prediction is concerned: If it is required that the final flare in a series be ~30 degrees [something], then you won’t know until the 30-degree condition is fulfilled AND there is a major flare there, if the flares on the many days before that will be caused by planets, so the foreknowledge you don’t have cannot be used to predict any of the flares.

January 25, 2010 12:27 pm

Leif Svalgaard (11:59:11) :
No, those folks are ‘busy’ [and some are even smart] and not prone to spend time being educated. You get them to support you by showing them an example [and only one] of a case where your analysis leads to an interesting and solid RESULT that is useful.

Given that NASA forced Ferenc Miscolczi to resign after he objected to his boss pulling his second paper off JGR’s submissions site for proving the non-existence of the enhanced co2 effect, we can see that NASA is wedded to the co2 global warming dogma. Thus they are unlikely to take kindly to our project.

January 25, 2010 12:30 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:16:15) :
tallbloke (11:53:14) :
from 23 October to 4 November 2003
There is a major flaw in Hung’s reasoning as far as prediction is concerned: If it is required that the final flare in a series be ~30 degrees [something], then you won’t know until the 30-degree condition is fulfilled AND there is a major flare there, if the flares on the many days before that will be caused by planets, so the foreknowledge you don’t have cannot be used to predict any of the flares.

Once again, you are confusing the analysis in table III with the predictions in appendix D.

January 25, 2010 12:40 pm

tallbloke (12:30:59) :
Once again, you are confusing the analysis in table III with the predictions in appendix D.
Once again, there are no predictions and there cannot be, since there has to be a flare first [and at the end of a series] in order to predict anything, as per the table.

January 25, 2010 12:55 pm

tallbloke (12:30:59) :
confusing the analysis in table III with the predictions in appendix D.
The analysis of table III is claimed to be the basis for the predictions of appendix D, but appendix D contains no predictions. Table V is a hindcast, showing actual flares, not predicted flares. There must be thousands of case when planets are within ‘range’, and at solar max there are always spots on the Sun, so a valid test would include thousands of cases in the half century covered by table III. No wonder, Hung’s ‘method’ is not used by anybody. Or are we all confused?

January 25, 2010 1:02 pm

[Sigh]
Appendix D
Trial Forecast of Solar Flares
The appearance of the previous largest known solar flares followed a pattern, which is described in
this report and again described briefly in the next paragraphs. It is hoped that this pattern can be used to
forecast future large solar flares. A practical way to test this possibility is to use the observed pattern to
make repeated trial forecasts in the coming months or years, and then compare the forecasts with the fact
that are subsequently observed. This appendix describes the first of such trial forecasts and comparisons.
Based on data from past events, when giant sunspot groups appear it is seen that the largest solar
flares (X9.0 and larger)
(A) are most likely to start when these sunspot groups rotate into a region where at least one of the
four tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, or Jupiter) is either overhead or underfoot (within
10° longitude)
(B) are also likely to start when these sunspot groups are at 28° to 32° longitude away from the
overhead or underfoot points of at least one of the four tide-producing planets
(C) are least likely to occur when these sunspot groups are at 36° longitude or further away from the
overhead or underfoot points of all these four planets

January 25, 2010 1:07 pm

tallbloke (12:30:59) :
confusing the analysis in table III with the predictions in appendix D.
From Table V one can see that there are planets ‘in range’ every day when a spot group crosses the disk. This is generally the case [with rare exceptions] for all groups, so there should be thousands of cases to look at, like here:
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2000,07,02
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2000,06,05
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2000,05,09
http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=1999,11,02

January 25, 2010 2:05 pm

tallbloke (13:02:51) :
Trial Forecast of Solar Flares [is it time for the Parrot Scketch again?]
Appendix D contains no table with predicted flares.
Now the proper way of predicting flares assuming his method works would be to compute a synoptic chart e.g. like this: ftp://solis.nso.edu/synoptic/level3/vsm/www_images/snsm.jpg of the Sun’s surface covering each rotation. The points [zones and belts] where the planets are overhead or underfoot will form a structure on the map [from the number of planets and the width he mentions, that structure will cover a good fraction of the map; if it covers 1% of the map, the method will be good, if 99% it will be useless. My estimate is some 25%]. The prediction is now that whenever a sunspot group appears within the structure it will flare. All these charts can be easily computed backwards and forwards in time for hundreds of years. Now plot all observed flares [we have many decades of data] on the chart for the time of the flare. Finally, compute the density [number of flares per 10 square degrees, say] and show that that density is much higher within the structure than outside [if it is only a bit higher, say 10% the method is no good]. You can do this for all flares, or only for flares larger than whatever you want. This would have been science.

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 2:05 pm

Leif Svalgaard (11:59:11) “Find an example where you CAN make a claim that your methods leads to UNDERSTANDING.”
I have those – & they have recently attracted some funding.
I wrote up the JEV-R thing first because it was the least interesting ‘result’ (in conventional-mainstream terms) in my draft-files. My aim was to “get it out of the way first”. Unfortunately, it “tied me up at committee” – (on something I didn’t want to spend time on) – lesson learned.
The challenge with the other (more conventional mainstream) work is that climate is so politically charged that some robust results are not exactly welcomed by (all) key gatekeepers.

January 25, 2010 2:15 pm

Paul Vaughan (14:05:42) :
some robust results are not exactly welcomed by (all) key gatekeepers.
The trick there is to ‘prostitute’ oneself and give specific gatekeepers what they want… some people do this, others can afford not to…

January 25, 2010 2:26 pm

Quote: Leif Svalgaard (22:05:18) :
quotes: Oliver K. Manuel (21:15:09) :
‘Did Leif forget that the camera used 171 Å filters to see emissions from iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X)’
“No, but that has nothing to do with what the dominant ions are. . . . . . Other filters are used . . to see the He(II) ions at 304 Å. The latter gives us a view at a temperature of ~70,000 K, but does not prove that the Sun consists entirely of Helium.”
OKM reply: Perhaps Leif noticed that Helium (He) and Hydrogen (H) comprise the fluid veneer of lightweight elements that covers the very top of the Sun’s atmosphere.
On the other hand, Iron (Fe) is in the rigid, mountainous material that the TRACE satellite recorded of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000:
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Look at the movie again, Leif, to see if you notice a difference between:
a.) The rigid, mountainous features of the Sun’s Iron-rich material, and
b.) The fluid, structureless Helium-rich material floating on the very top of the Sun’s atmosphere.
If you cannot “see” the difference, you may want to ask one of your students or research assistants to view the movie with you.
Thank you for acknowledging that the observation of light emitted by Helium “does not prove that the Sun consists entirely of Helium.”
The same is true for Hydrogen.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo

Paul Vaughan
January 25, 2010 2:55 pm

Paul Vaughan (14:05:42) “[…] some robust results are not exactly welcomed by (all) key gatekeepers.”
Leif Svalgaard (14:15:13) “The trick there is to ‘prostitute’ oneself and give specific gatekeepers what they want…”

Unpalatable – but simple.
Leif Svalgaard (14:15:13) “some people do this, others can afford not to…”
For those who can afford some degree of luxury: a matter of choosing battles wisely.
Thanks for the various notes.

January 25, 2010 3:48 pm

Leif Svalgaard (14:05:12) :
tallbloke (13:02:51) :
Trial Forecast of Solar Flares [is it time for the Parrot Scketch again?]
Appendix D contains no table with predicted flares.

It contains a table with the flares that occurred after the prediction was made, along with a description of how the prediction turned out in comparison.
TABLE V.—PLANET POSITIONS RELATIVE TO POSITION OF SOLAR FLARE EVENTS
ASSOCIATED WITH SUNSPOT GROUP 960 IN JUNE 2007
[Recorded by satellites GOES10 and GOES11.]
(a) Large solar flares were forecasted to start between late June 3 and early June 5, 2007, when the
sunspot group 960 was rotated to overhead point of Mercury and Venus. They would also have been very
likely to start on June 7 or 8, 2007, when the sunspot group was rotated to the position overhead of Earth
and Jupiter.
As shown in table V, the largest solar flare (M8.9) for sunspot group 960 actually started at 5:06 a.m.
UT on June 4, within the first forecasted time period, but there was no large solar flare in the next
forecasted period (June 7 to 8). Instead, this second forecasted period was crowded with seven smaller
(C-class) flares. It appears that the decaying sunspot group could not produce a large solar flare but was
still strong enough to act with the tide to produce many smaller flares throughout this period.
(b) Based on the previous pattern, large solar flares would also have started when the sunspot group
was 28° to 32° from any of the four tide-producing planets. These happened from late on June 1 to early
on June 2, midday on June 5, midday and late on June 6, and midday on June 9.
Table V shows there were indeed solar flares in all of these time periods, when the sunspot group 960
was 28° to 32° from one or two of the four tide-producing planets. It is noted that the solar flare at
10:17 p.m. UT on June 1 happened as forecasted when the event position was 29° from Venus. However,
it was 25° from Mercury, not the forecasted 28° to 32° range. Separately, the M1.0 solar flare on June 9 is
most interesting because it happened at the time when the sunspot group had been significantly decayed
for 5 days since the last M flare, and a new M-class flare looked less and less likely. Yet it was correctly
forecasted based on the rules presented here when it started at 29° longitude from Jupiter at the start time
of the flare.
(c) Large solar flares would have been least likely to occur both before June 1 and after midday on
June 10, when the sunspot group was more than 36° longitude from all tide-producing planets.

January 25, 2010 4:02 pm

Evans (12:07:46) wrote: “To explain the physical processes of “magnetic reconnection” is to explain electro-magnetic processes…[rather an “Electric Double Layer process, a process that encompasses magnetic fields, electric fields, plasma flows, and charged particle acceleration of free electrons and ions in opposite directions.”]
Dr. Svalgaard (12:22:59) responded: “This is not an electric-magnetic process. And I thought we had already closed that discussion: The energy is a release of magnetic energy stored in the field. Every well-versed physicist knows this… You can forget about the double layers. There are sometimes observed in the debris from reconnection, but play no role otherwise.”
The following quotes are from the peer-reviewed paper: Magnetopause reconnection impact parameters from multiple spacecraft magnetic field measurements published 30 October 2009.
http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL040228.pdf
“Discrepancies between the measured components of E [electric field] and the corresponding components of v  B [magnetic field] after a careful error analysis signify a nonideal electric field. We intend to show in a subsequent paper that the Cluster electric field and particle flow data for this event satisfy the criteria for a parallel electric field.”
“With the instantaneous coordinate system and the parallel electric field established, one can place particle moments, such as velocities, pressures, and temperatures, as well as magnetic and electric field measurements…”
The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.
Further from the paper:
“Sufficiently accurate ion and electron moments and electric field measurements within this coordinate system delineate ion and electron diffusion regions.”
The electric field…delineate ion and electron diffusion regions.”
(Which is also at the heart of “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layer Process.”
Dr. svalgaard wrote: “There [double layers] are sometimes observed in the debris from reconnection…”???
The description in the paper puts this “parallel electric field” right at the heart of the process, the “X-line”, hardly just “debris”.
But to put it in clearer relief, the following is the caption for a schematic of “magnetic reconnection” from the peer-reviewed paper, Recent in-situ observations of magnetic reconnection in near-Earth space published 11 October 2008:
http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008GL035297.pdf
Figure 1. “(bottom [schematic, page 2 of 7] ) : “Zoom-in on the region around the X-line, with the ion and electron diffusion regions indicated by the shading and the rectangular box, respectively. The quadrupolar Hall magnetic field is pointing in and out of the plane of the figure. The Hall electric field is shown by the red arrows, while the blue arrows mark the oppositely directed jets in the outflow regions. Note that entry and acceleration occur all the way along the current sheet. Figure courtesy of Marit Oieroset.”
To see the schematic in Figure 1. it is on the second page of seven of the PDF, please go to the link above of the paper:
You’ll see that the “Hall electric field is shown by the red arrows” surrounds the X- line at the heart of the “reconnection” structure”.
Electric fields are certainly not periphery or simply “debris”. Actually, the “parallel electric fields”, where double layers get their name are right on both sides of the X – region.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “This is not an electric-magnetic process. And I thought we had already closed that discussion…”
Scientific discussions are never closed, but ongoing as observations & measurements come available.
Gee, Dr. Svalgaard, from the above quotes from the papers there sure is an “electric” part of the process, and a “magentic” part of the process, too.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Even the double layers that are at times postulated to occur in the Earth’s ionosphere are far from where the reconnection takes place, way out in the magnetotail.”
Funny, it seems the “parallel electric fields”, the structure that gives them their name, “double layers” because of electrons and ions lined up across from each other and form an “electric potential drop”, is central to the charged particle acceleration of the electrons and ions in opposite directions out the exhaust jets as noted in Figure 1.
And these processes have been observed & measured in the Earth’s magnetotail.
So, it would seem my original description, “a process that encompasses magnetic fields, electric fields, plasma flows, and charged particle acceleration of free electrons and ions in opposite directions”, matches up with the descriptions and schematic provided in the “magnetic reconnection” papers.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “You really should come to grips with modern space physics.”
Perhaps, Dr. Svalgaard, you need to reconsider.
Evans wrote: “and NASA hasn’t quite come to grips with that, or they have privately, but know any public clarification will upset the astronomy community — their most important constituency.”
Dr. Svalgaard responded: “I think there are other websites where you can peddle your conspiracy theories.”
You are twisting my statement. I was suggesting that there is a lot of political pressure involved which might make NASA hold back from any official pronouncements.
Although, we know NASA considers electro-magnetic processes in terms of the solar system’s plasma dynamics, as NASA discusses electromagnetic processes in their Stargazers website: To review here is the website:
http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/sun_earth_background.htm
Judging by your hostile reaction to my assertion of Electric Double Layers, I can see why NASA would be reluctant in this area, obviously, it is contentious and NASA can be cautious.
Dr. Svalgaard: “…where you can peddle your conspiracy theories.”
That comes across as nothing but an attempted smear rather than any constructive dialogue.
The evidence is clear and convincing for the assertion that “magentic reconnection” and Electric Double Layers are the same physical process.
I wonder, Dr. Svalgaard, if you are falling into a hole of your own making:
[snip]
Something to consider…

January 25, 2010 6:32 pm

Oliver K. Manuel (14:26:00) :
Thank you for acknowledging that the observation of light emitted by Helium “does not prove that the Sun consists entirely of Helium.”
The same is true for Hydrogen.

And for Iron.
The spectral line one choose to observe in says nothing about the composition of the bulk of the Sun.
There is no ‘rigid’ structure. It only looks so because the elapsed time is so short. How long would that rigid structure last, do you reckon?

January 25, 2010 6:35 pm

tallbloke (15:48:06) :
It contains a table with the flares that occurred after the prediction was made, along with a description of how the prediction turned out in comparison.
No prediction was made. I don’t see a table of predictions. To say that a very large sunspot group will flare is no prediction at all.

January 25, 2010 6:47 pm

James F. Evans (16:02:03) :
The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.
Nonsense, there can be double layers without magnetic fields.
The electric field…delineate ion and electron diffusion regions.”
Which is what reconnection requires and maintains. No ‘aka’ here.
Gee, Dr. Svalgaard, from the above quotes from the papers there sure is an “electric” part of the process, and a “magentic” part of the process, too.
Yes that was a typo. You have said ‘electro-magnetic’. This term is used by physicists almost exclusively about electromagnetic waves, e.g. light.
I was suggesting that there is a lot of political pressure involved which might make NASA hold back from any official pronouncements.
I have never heard about such and I work closely with many inside NASA.
The evidence is clear and convincing for the assertion that “magnetic reconnection” and Electric Double Layers are the same physical process.
Interestingly enough, no modern papers make that connection, in particular the paper you referred to above. And if the two processes are the same, then why your reluctance to simply just call them what everybody else does: ‘magnetic reconnection’? To keep using outdated terminology is just going to confuse you and your followers.
I wonder, Dr. Svalgaard, if you are falling into a hole of your own making
Your wonderment is not of my concern.

January 25, 2010 10:07 pm

Leif Svalgaard (18:32:25) quotes: Oliver K. Manuel (14:26:00) :
Thank you for acknowledging that the observation of light emitted by Helium “does not prove that the Sun consists entirely of Helium.”
The same is true for Hydrogen.
And Responds:
1. “And for Iron. The spectral line one choose to observe in says nothing about the composition of the bulk of the Sun.”
2. “There is no ‘rigid’ structure. It only looks so because the elapsed time is so short.”
3. “How long would that rigid structure last, do you reckon?”
– – – –
1. The relative intensity of spectral lines have been used for many decades to determine the composition of top of the Sun’s atmosphere.
I agree that those spectral lines say “nothing about the composition of the bulk of the Sun.”
Yes, and the TRACE camera was able to see rigid, mountainous features – unlike the fluid material at the top of the Sun’s atmosphere – when it used 171 Å filters to see light from Iron ions, Fe (IX) and Fe (X).
2. The rigid, iron-rich, mountainous material stayed in place while the fluid, iron-poor material rapidly vented upward.
How could you overlook that in this recording of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Do any other readers fail to see the motion?
3. The rigid iron-rich structures lasted a lot longer than the fluid iron-poor material that vented upward.
Seriously, Leif, I think you have a problem with your vision if you do not see the iron-poor material venting upward from iron-rich rigid structures in this TRACE recording of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Hang in there, Leif. Tell your NASA bosses that you deserve extra pay for effort!
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo

January 25, 2010 10:38 pm

Evans (16:02:03) wrote: “The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.”
Dr. Svalgaard replied: “Nonsense, there can be double layers without magnetic fields.”
A non-responsive answer because the issue is the presence of parallel electric fields, not whether all double layers have magnetic fields — and all double layers with flowing plasma will have magnetic fields:
“The moving plasma, i.e., charged particles flows, are currents that produce self-magnetic fields, however weak.” — Dr. Anthony L. Peratt, Los Alamos National Laboratory
A quote from the “magnetic reconnection paper: “The electric field…delineate ion and electron diffusion regions.”
Dr. Svalgaard replied: “Which is what reconnection requires and maintains. No ‘aka’ here.”
A flowing plasma double layer has an electric field that delinates an ion and electron diffusion region (an ion and electron acceleration region), so, yes, also known as is appropriate.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “You have said ‘electro-magnetic’. This term is used by physicists almost exclusively about electromagnetic waves, e.g. light.”
Apparently, NASA uses the term “electromagnetic” when discussing plasma dynamics:
“ELECTOMAGNETISM
In the late 1700s and early 1800s many scientists and philosophers believed that all forces of nature had the same source. This was especially easy to believe about electricity (see Electricity) and magnetism (see Magnetism). Both phenomena seemed to have two kinds of something – a positive and a negative charge or a north and a south pole. In addition, like charges and poles repel and unlike charges and poles attract. It was noted that compass needles could be affected by lightening strikes and Benjamin Franklin had reported that he had magnetized needles with a stored electric current. However, no firm evidence existed that linked electricity and magnetism until Hans Christian Oersted performed a critical experiment during a lecture in 1820.”
No mention of “light”, or electromagnetic waves, or more specifically the “electromagnetic wave spectrum” Just “electromagnetism”:
http://stargazers.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/electromagnetism.htm
If the term “electromagnetism” is good enough for NASA, I’ll use the term as well. And why does NASA refer to “electromagnetism”? Because as the above passage indicates “electromagnetism” expresses the concept that electric fields and magnetic fields interact with each other and on many occasions are both present in dynamic processes.
To put my use of “electromagnetism” in context, I’ll present the word in the passage I used it:
Evans (12:07:46) : “NASA can’t explain it [“magnetic reconnection”] because the causation process is fundamentally an electromagnetic process and astronomy is in denial about the fundamental importance of electric fields and plasma flow in space plasma phenomenon.”
(But apparently, NASA judging by their website understands and acknowledges “electromagnetic” processes are at work in space plasma within the solar system.)
So-called “magnetic reconnection”, [aka Electric Double Layers], as the peer-reviewed published papers attest is an electro-magnetic process, electric fields and magnetic fields, which interact with each other, so the use of the term “electromagnetism” as an adjective to describe the noun, “magnetic reconnection”, a process being a noun, is appropriate.
Evans wrote: “I was suggesting that there is a lot of political pressure involved which might make NASA hold back from any official pronouncements.”
Dr. Svalgaard: “I have never heard about such and I work closely with many inside NASA.”
Perhaps, the people you work with are not involved with that issue.
All I know is that when given a chance to publically comment on “magnetic reconnection” those researching it stated:
“It’s ubiquitous [“magnetic reconnection].
The problem is, researchers can’t explain it.”
“But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
And given your reaction to my use of the term Electric Double Layer and the published peer-reviewed papers which speak for themselves, observing & measuring electric fields and magnetic fields interacting, and even “parallel electric fields”, something is going on there.
Dr. Svalgaard: “Interestingly enough, no modern papers make that connection, in particular the paper you referred to above. And if the two processes are the same, then why your reluctance to simply just call them what everybody else does: ‘magnetic reconnection’?
One, I don’t accept the premise of your question, there are astrophysicists that use the term double layer, Dr. Anthony L. Peratt being one of them; but, also, the term “magnetic reconnection” obfuscates the true physical nature of the process, which is a process where magnetic fields and electric fields interact and are sustained by a flow of plasma, free electrons and ions, and has parallel electric fields and the process accelerates electrons and ions and generates electric currents.
Electric Double Layers is a more appropriate descriptive & explanatory term.
Leif Svalgaard (14:15:15) October 29, 2009:
Dr. Svalgaard presented Evans statement: “Frankly, the descriptions [of “magnetic reconnection”] are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’”
And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
Let me put my statement and Dr. Svalgaard’s response in proper context:
James F. Evans (13:35:15) Oct. 29, 09 : “…Frankly, the descriptions are consistent with a plasma ‘double layer’, as stated in the abstract: “The simulations reveal that the dissipation region develops a two-scales tructure: an inner electron region and an outer ion region.”
This “inner electron region and an outer ion region” is an exact description of a double layer. See double layer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
Dr. Svalgaard: “Of course, nobody doubted that for a second. These double layers are generated in currents resulting from plasma moving in a magnetic field.”
Why have you been so obdurate when you already have acknowledged that double layers are “magnetic reconnection”?

January 26, 2010 12:00 am

Leif Svalgaard (18:35:43) :
tallbloke (15:48:06) :
It contains a table with the flares that occurred after the prediction was made, along with a description of how the prediction turned out in comparison.
No prediction was made.

Ching Cheh Hung: “This appendix describes the first of such trial forecasts and comparisons”
I don’t see a table of predictions.
Ching Cheh Hung: “the data are summarized in table V.”
Tallbloke: “It contains a table with the flares that occurred after the prediction was made, along with a description of how the prediction turned out in comparison.”
To say that a very large sunspot group will flare is no prediction at all.
Ching Cheh Hung: “(A) are most likely to start when these sunspot groups rotate into a region where at least one of the
four tide-producing planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, or Jupiter) is either overhead or underfoot (within
10° longitude)
(B) are also likely to start when these sunspot groups are at 28° to 32° longitude away from the
overhead or underfoot points of at least one of the four tide-producing planets
(C) are least likely to occur when these sunspot groups are at 36° longitude or further away from the
overhead or underfoot points of all these four planets
These three rules were good in the past, but will they hold true in the future? The first opportunity to
answer this question came when the very large sunspot group 960 rotated into the east limb of the solar
disk on June 1, 2007, and the precondition for the above three rules was met (giant sunspot group
appeared).”
The prediction was that the flare occurrences would be consistent with rules A, B, and C. And they did indeed turn out to be so, as detailed in Table V. Although Hung hasn’t had the opportunity to spend more time on this as far as we know, it looks like a promising line of investigation into the relationship between solar activity and the angular relationships between the sun and the orbiting planets.
Hung’s paper:
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/Citations.aspx?id=330
Further discussion in a less combative environment:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/what-is-the-solar-planetary-theory/

January 26, 2010 12:37 am

Oliver K. Manuel (22:07:32) :
How could you overlook that in this recording of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Do any other readers fail to see the motion?

I can see it. I know the clip is only 2 seconds long, but obviously it is time lapsed.
Does anyone know what period of time the clip covers? Several hours? Minutes?

anna v
January 26, 2010 1:30 am

Oliver K. Manuel (22:07:32)
2. The rigid, iron-rich, mountainous material stayed in place while the fluid, iron-poor material rapidly vented upward.
How could you overlook that in this recording of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Do any other readers fail to see the motion?

Being a woman and a fairly good cook, I would not presume to say that the surface caught by this instance of venting is solid ( if the times are real times).
Thick soups vent H2O loaded with traces of the soup and settle back and after a while the traces of the bubbling disappear.
I would like to see the same coordinates for the next day and over a year before I could call something solid. I mean the man on the moon is there smiling at us since forever and we have given names to the features, mare this and that. That is solid. There are no permanent features on the sun as far as I know.
Since the picture sees iron I do not know why you call the vent iron poor. It would be invisible. If I filter red, I see red, etc.
Yes, I see motion, but cannot extract what you think you are seeing just by looking at the link you provide. Something vented that carried iron. Are there no other filters for this event? Even in these three seconds I can see the secondary “bubbles” settling, this does not bode well for solid. When a volcano erupts the neighboring land does not change in seconds.
Interesting video. thanks.

January 26, 2010 3:12 am

Clive E Burkland (16:55:16) :
Vuk mentions a NASA report on a 27 day period in the solar wind, this might be different to the 20-30 day observation in TSI fluctuations outside of sunspot activity.
I remember a story on WUWT dealing with a 27 day frequency picked up on earth via grids used to measure lightning. They were suggesting it was a solar signal.
Has there been a comparison of both data sets?
Leif Svalgaard (18:01:50) :
Clive E Burkland (16:55:16) :
Has there been a comparison of both data sets?
I don’t think so. There are lots of physical parameters that vary with an approximate 27-day quasi-period, so any number of plausible reasons can be put forward, but would be of little practical significance, except on the very occasions where the current is really huge. (snip)
links to the original story…
http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=10921
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091111142518.htm
I had been hopeful that there would be a direct indication of the connection of 27 day lunar declinational cycle, having an effect on the atmosphere asw they all were in sync with the magnetic rotation of the sun’s fields.
But the jist of the article insinuates that it is solely an effect of the deflection of the VLF waves in the atmosphere and is not an indicator of the total power of lightning strikes varying in response to the solar rotation.
(article quote)
Waxing and waning, every 27 days
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 Earth’s ionosphere — the envelope surrounding 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 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 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. (/quote)

anna v
January 26, 2010 3:33 am

I was wondering about duration. Unfortunately the link does not have timing as this does http://www.spacew.com/m8ha.mpg, which lasts about a minute and a half.
So my questioning still holds. These are short time frames.

January 26, 2010 7:40 am

anna v (01:30:17) quotes Oliver K. Manuel (22:07:32)
“2. The rigid, iron-rich, mountainous material stayed in place while the fluid, iron-poor material rapidly vented upward.
How could you overlook that in this recording of a flare and mass ejection from solar Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000
http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Do any other readers fail to see the motion?”
And Responds:
1. “Being a woman and a fairly good cook, I would not presume to say that the surface caught by this instance of venting is solid (if the times are real times).”
2. “Thick soups vent H2O loaded with traces of the soup and settle back and after a while the traces of the bubbling disappear.”
3. “I would like to see the same coordinates for the next day and over a year before I could call something solid. I mean the man on the moon is there smiling at us since forever and we have given names to the features, mare this and that. That is solid. There are no permanent features on the sun as far as I know.”
4. “Since the picture sees iron I do not know why you call the vent iron poor. It would be invisible. If I filter red, I see red, etc.”
5. “Yes, I see motion, but cannot extract what you think you are seeing just by looking at the link you provide. Something vented that carried iron. Are there no other filters for this event? Even in these three seconds I can see the secondary “bubbles” settling, this does not bode well for solid. When a volcano erupts the neighboring land does not change in seconds.”
6. “Interesting video. thanks.”
– – – – – –
1. “I would not presume to say that the surface caught by this instance of venting is solid.” Nor did I.
“Solid” is not the word I used to describe the RIGID iron-rich mountainous structures. Magnetic fields may, for example, produce rigidity in iron.
2. “Thick soups vent H2O loaded with traces of the soup and settle back and after a while the traces of the bubbling disappear.” Exactly!
And the vented H2O is loaded with traces of soup, just as the vented fluid is loaded with traces of iron.
3. “I would like to see the same coordinates for the next day and over a year before I could call something solid.”
Me too! But the recording stopped. That is one reason why I used the word RIGID, not solid.
“. . . the man on the moon is there smiling at us since forever and we have given names to the features, mare this and that. That is solid.”
Lunar highlands are mostly white, solid rock. Lunar mare contain more lunar soils – finely crushed rock with their surfaces embedded with elements implanted from the Sun. Isotope analysis on lunar soils provided the first evidence of mass fractionation in the Sun itself: http://tinyurl.com/224kz4
“There are no permanent features on the sun as far as I know.”
And NASA wants to keep it that way!
Nothing is permanent, but the movie clearly shows that:
The features of iron-rich material are more permanent than those of the H/He-rich material that covers the top of the Sun’s atmosphere. That is not surprising. The features of iron-rich material here on Earth are more permanent than those of material made of lightweight elements like H and He-rich material!
Michael Mozina started a one-man campaign to expose this NASA secret in 2005, when I was lecturing on the composition of the Sun in Russia and Portugal.
Then I first saw this and other images of rigid, iron-rich solar material on Mozina’s web page:
http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/
4. ” . . . why (do) you call the vent iron poor. It would be invisible.”
No, the vented material is iron-poor, just as the vented H2O from your soup is soup-poor.
Vented H2O from soup contains traces of soup;
Vented material from Iron “mountains” contains traces of Iron.
5. I am pleased that you “see motion”. I cannot imagine why Leif can’t see this.
I agree: ” Something vented that carried iron.”
Contact Mozina and ask if there were “other filters for this event?”
I see secondary “bubbles” settling back into the rigid (not necessarily solid) Iron.
An excellent analogy: “When a volcano erupts the neighboring land does not change in seconds” and some material falls back on the erupting mountain.
6. Thank you for taking the time to look at the video. I owe it all to Michael Mozina for bringing this to my attention.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Studies

January 26, 2010 8:06 am

Oliver K. Manuel (22:07:32) :
Seriously, Leif, I think you have a problem with your vision if you do not see the iron-poor material venting upward from iron-rich rigid structures
Both seen in an iron line, so shows only that there is some [actually a minute portion – so you are correct about the iron-poor] in both, says nothing about poor vs. rich.
The real question is your notion of rigid. I asked you about the lifetime of the ‘rigid’ structures. You did not volunteer a satisfactory answer [have you ever?] so I’ll try again; this time with a multiple choice scheme to make it easy for you. Is the lifetime
1. seconds
2. minutes
3. hours
4. days
5. weeks
6. months
7. years
8. solar cycles
9 centuries
10. millennia
11. more
Your reply should be a number from 1 to 11. If you think that the lifetime is between two of the choices, it’s acceptable to reply with a fraction, e.g. 7.5.
James F. Evans (22:38:11) :
“The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.”
Double layers are two parallel layers of opposite electric charges. The electric field is perpendicular to the layers. The “parallel electric fields” that various articles talk about are electric fields parallel to the magnetic field, not to the layers.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “You have said ‘electro-magnetic’. This term is used by physicists almost exclusively about electromagnetic waves, e.g. light.”
“NASA can’t explain it [“magnetic reconnection”] because the causation process is fundamentally an electromagnetic process and astronomy is in denial about the fundamental importance of electric fields and plasma flow in space plasma phenomenon.”
Electromagnetism is the word used for the unified theories of electricity and magnetism. Magnetic reconnection is a magnetic process [can occur without electric effects – twirl a toy magnet]. Electric double layers are an electric process [can occur without a magnetic field].
Perhaps, the people you work with are not involved with that issue.
I would think so as they are involved with space physics. But which people do you work with that you are aware of the obstruction?
“But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
THAT we do know. But your description is flawed in every way: it is not simple, they don’t crisscross, it doesn’t trigger, and reconnection does not per se cause any ferocious explosion.
The cause of your confusion is that you ignore that when the field lines are frozen hard to the plasma [as in the solar corona], rotating the field lines at their foot points in the photosphere [by movement of the plasma there] causes the loop [and the plasma frozen onto it] to twist as well, thereby increasing the magnetic field and the magnetic energy [goes with the square of the field strength] energy in twisted loop. The twisting also bring opposite magnetic polarities closer together. This goes on until the field lines reconnect, releasing the large amount of magnetic energy stored in the twisted loop.
And given your reaction to my use of the term Electric Double Layer […] something is going on there.
It is my wont to educate people about subjects which I know well.
“And if the two processes are the same, then why your reluctance to simply just call them what everybody else does: ‘magnetic reconnection’?”
One, I don’t accept the premise of your question, there are astrophysicists that use the term double layer, Dr. Anthony L. Peratt being one of them

So he believes that double layers [aka magnetic reconnection] are magnetic reconnection? if so, he might follow the rest of modern science and use accepted terminology instead of klinging to an obsolete one. And you to.
Why have you been so obdurate when you already have acknowledged that double layers are “magnetic reconnection”?
No, double layers can form as the result of reconnection in the sense that reconnection creates regions with different plasma properties which can lead to a double layer, just as an automobile accident can lead to injuries, which does not mean that the accident and the injuries are the same things.
tallbloke (00:00:32) :
1. Hung cooked the books [as I have shown]
2. Used only a handful of event when thousands are available, thus not obtaining any significance
3. Did not make any real predictions, just said [after the event] what he would have predicted
4. His hypothesis, although of immense practical value if true – the holy grail, was not accepted and is not being used today [not even by him]
Further discussion in a less combative environment
Richard Holle (03:12:54) :
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 Earth’s ionosphere, suspiciously in tandem with the Sun’s rotation.
And that is the end of that problem.

January 26, 2010 8:37 am

Oliver K. Manuel (07:40:25) :
5. I am pleased that you “see motion”. I cannot imagine why Leif can’t see this.
Of course, everybody can see the motion [the CME and the flare], but that is not the issue, which is the rigid structures. Since a flare only lasts a few minutes, all the movie shows is that on a time-scale of minutes the surroundings didn’t chance much. It is like watching a movie of a white-painted airplane passing by and claiming that the clouds in the background are rigid structures. The movie of the airplane and the clouds is shot through a red filter, so it is clear that the airplane is red-poor and the clouds are red-rich, no?

January 26, 2010 11:30 am

Richard Holle (03:12:54) :
Clive E Burkland (16:55:16) :
“Vuk mentions a NASA report on a 27 day period in the solar wind, this might be different to the 20-30 day observation in TSI fluctuations outside of sunspot activity.”
My quote is nothing to do with the lightning research mentioned. It is an extract from a press conference given by NASA scientists I recorded in from internet in 2003 (held in 2000), when I first time got interested in SS cycle; here it is in full:
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/
Contact: Jane Platt (818) 354-0880
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 1, 2000
THE SUN’S MAGNETIC FIELD HAS A GOOD MEMORY
By compiling all the solar wind data gathered in the space age, NASA scientists have concluded that even though the solar magnetic field is constantly changing, it always returns to its original shape and position.
“We now know that the Sun’s magnetic field has a memory and returns to approximately the same configuration in each 11- year solar cycle,” said Dr. Marcia Neugebauer, a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “Current theories imply that the field is generated by random, churning motions within the Sun and should have no long- term memory. Despite this expectation, the underlying magnetic structure remains fixed at the same solar longitude.”
“It’s interesting that the solar magnetic field varies in strength and direction, but not in longitude,” said Dr. Edward Smith, senior research scientist at JPL.
The solar wind is composed of charged particles ejected from the Sun that flow continuously through interplanetary space. The solar wind carries part of the Sun’s magnetic field into space. Before completing this research, scientists knew that features of the solar wind reaching the Earth tended to repeat about every 27 days, said Neugebauer. The new information pinpoints the repetition interval at 27 days and 43 minutes and shows that the Sun has kept this steady rhythm, much like a metronome, for at least 38 years.
This pattern escaped previous detection because it is a very subtle statistical effect. There are many larger variations in the solar wind that come and go, which largely mask the underlying pattern. This repetitive behavior can’t be seen if these data are examined for only a few months or years, but it was revealed in this 38-year database.
“Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun,” Smith said.
“We’re trying to understand how magnetic fields are generated in the Sun, the planets and the stars,” said Neugebauer. “A better understanding of how the Sun generates its magnetic field will help us better understand the solar wind and space weather.”
Fluids conducting electricity under the Sun’s surface generate the magnetic field, Neugebauer explained, and the field’s apparent memory is most likely caused by a structure and process occurring deeper inside the Sun than previously believed. “There may be something asymmetric about the Sun’s interior, perhaps a deep-seated lump of old magnetic field,” she said.
The findings, published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, are based on all the solar wind data collected from the dawn of space exploration through 1998, both by Earth-orbiting satellites and interplanetary spacecraft. This includes about 335,000 hours of solar wind speed data and 250,000 hours of magnetic field data. Co-authors of the article, in addition to Neugebauer and Smith, are Drs. Alexander Ruzmaikin, Joan Feynman and Arthur Vaughn, all of JPL.
Additional information is available at:
http://spacephysics.jpl.nasa.gov/pr/longitude.htm
This study was funded under the Supporting Research Program of NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a NASA center managed by the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

January 26, 2010 11:43 am

vukcevic (11:30:15)
Just a passing observation:
“Fluids conducting electricity under the Sun’s surface generate the magnetic field, Neugebauer explained….”
contrasting with: “There may be something asymmetric about the Sun’s interior, perhaps a deep-seated lump of old magnetic field”

January 26, 2010 11:53 am

vukcevic (11:30:15) :
“This pattern escaped previous detection because it is a very subtle statistical effect.
This is old hat. And just a confirmation of an analysis of data since 1926: http://www.leif.org/research/Long-term%20Evolution%20of%20Solar%20Sector%20Structure.pdf
“It appears very likely that the period of the four sector structure is within a very few hundredths of a day of 27 days. […] sectors display a continuity in phase such as to suggest that we are seeing the same structure through all five sunspot cycles [1926-1973] […] The existence and persistence of a solar sector structure as discussed in this paper may suggest that the magnetic field itself or perhaps velocity fields – which may play a role in structuring the magnetic field – are fundamental features of the Sun rather than superficial perturbation of the ‘quiet Sun’. […] On the other hand: Using linear kinematic dynamo theory, Stix [1974] finds non-axisymmetric modes that are rigid structures drifting in longitude. Solar sector boundaries can therefore live much longer that the surface differential rotation would allow.”
This is one of this problems SDO is designed to look at.

January 26, 2010 11:53 am

vukcevic (11:30:15) :
“This pattern escaped previous detection because it is a very subtle statistical effect.”
This is old hat. And just a confirmation of an analysis of data since 1926: http://www.leif.org/research/Long-term%20Evolution%20of%20Solar%20Sector%20Structure.pdf
“It appears very likely that the period of the four sector structure is within a very few hundredths of a day of 27 days. […] sectors display a continuity in phase such as to suggest that we are seeing the same structure through all five sunspot cycles [1926-1973] […] The existence and persistence of a solar sector structure as discussed in this paper may suggest that the magnetic field itself or perhaps velocity fields – which may play a role in structuring the magnetic field – are fundamental features of the Sun rather than superficial perturbation of the ‘quiet Sun’. […] On the other hand: Using linear kinematic dynamo theory, Stix [1974] finds non-axisymmetric modes that are rigid structures drifting in longitude. Solar sector boundaries can therefore live much longer that the surface differential rotation would allow.”
This is one of this problems SDO is designed to look at.

January 26, 2010 11:58 am

vukcevic (11:43:59) :
Just a passing observation:
“Fluids conducting electricity under the Sun’s surface generate the magnetic field, Neugebauer explained….”

Which you have to interpret correctly: electrically conducting plasma [the fluid] flows across the magnetic field from the previous cycle dragged back into the Sun by either diffusion or meridional circulation, thus generating an electric current whose magnetic field becomes frozen into the plasma and rises to the surface to become the next solar cycle [with the opposite polarity].

January 26, 2010 12:30 pm

Leif Svalgaard (11:53:44)
“This is one of this problems SDO is designed to look at.”
I hope the launch goes ahead successfully and on time.
Thanks for the link; I have red the paper before. Some of natural effects attributed to the lunar phase (remember ‘lunatics exchange’) may be wrongly attributed to the Moon. If pigeons react to the solar storms, why not also the occasional large splodge of fat, throbbing with electric currents.

January 26, 2010 1:04 pm

vukcevic (12:30:54) :
If pigeons react to the solar storms, why not also the occasional large splodge of fat, throbbing with electric currents.
Check http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_24h.html and put on your tin-hat when there is a change in the sector structure…

January 26, 2010 2:06 pm

Leif Svalgaard (13:04:04) :
“Check http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/ace/MAG_SWEPAM_24h.html and put on your tin-hat when there is a change in the sector structure…”
Tin hat will a fat-lot of good do to you. Mine is a mu metal one, remember it is ‘magnetic field’ boyo.

January 26, 2010 2:20 pm

vukcevic (14:06:17) :
Mine is a mu metal one, remember it is ‘magnetic field’
I disagree, that would be pseudo-science. The real culprits are V-rays.

January 26, 2010 2:35 pm

Leif Svalgaard (14:20:55) :
“I disagree, that would be pseudo-science. The real culprits are V-rays.”
Nonsense, for V-rays you need at least sterling silver with sapphire or a similar gem-stone.

January 26, 2010 2:47 pm

vukcevic (14:35:57) :
Nonsense, for V-rays you need at least sterling silver with sapphire or a similar gem-stone.
well, what do you know, I’m wearing one like that. Also protects against t-rays and E-rays, and I working on an attachment for O-rays.

January 26, 2010 4:19 pm

vukcevic (11:30:15): Quotes a JPL/NASA News Report:
MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011 http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/
Contact: Jane Platt (818) 354-0880
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 1, 2000
THE SUN’S MAGNETIC FIELD HAS A GOOD MEMORY
By compiling all the solar wind data gathered in the space age, NASA scientists have concluded that even though the solar magnetic field is constantly changing, it always returns to its original shape and position.
=> “We now know that the Sun’s magnetic field has a memory and returns to approximately the same configuration in each 11- year solar cycle,” said Dr. Marcia Neugebauer, a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
=> “Current theories imply that the field is generated by random, churning motions within the Sun and should have no long- term memory. Despite this expectation, the underlying magnetic structure remains fixed at the same solar longitude.”
=> “It’s interesting that the solar magnetic field varies in strength and direction, but not in longitude,” said Dr. Edward Smith, senior research scientist at JPL.
The solar wind is composed of charged particles ejected from the Sun that flow continuously through interplanetary space. The solar wind carries part of the Sun’s magnetic field into space. Before completing this research, scientists knew that features of the solar wind reaching the Earth tended to repeat about every 27 days, said Neugebauer.
=> The new information pinpoints the repetition interval at 27 days and 43 minutes and shows that the Sun has kept this steady rhythm, much like a metronome, for at least 38 years.
=> This pattern escaped previous detection because it is a very subtle statistical effect. There are many larger variations in the solar wind that come and go, which largely mask the underlying pattern. This repetitive behavior can’t be seen if these data are examined for only a few months or years, but it was revealed in this 38-year database.
=>“Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun,” Smith said.
=> “We’re trying to understand how magnetic fields are generated in the Sun, the planets and the stars,” said Neugebauer. “A better understanding of how the Sun generates its magnetic field will help us better understand the solar wind and space weather.”
=> Fluids conducting electricity under the Sun’s surface generate the magnetic field, Neugebauer explained, and the field’s apparent memory is most likely caused by a structure and process occurring deeper inside the Sun than previously believed.
=> “There may be something asymmetric about the Sun’s interior, perhaps a deep-seated lump of old magnetic field,” she said.
The findings, published in the February 1 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, are based on all the solar wind data collected from the dawn of space exploration through 1998, both by Earth-orbiting satellites and interplanetary spacecraft. This includes about 335,000 hours of solar wind speed data and 250,000 hours of magnetic field data. Co-authors of the article, in addition to Neugebauer and Smith, are Drs. Alexander Ruzmaikin, Joan Feynman and Arthur Vaughn, all of JPL.
Additional information is available at:
http://spacephysics.jpl.nasa.gov/pr/longitude.htm
This study was funded under the Supporting Research Program of NASA’s Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a NASA center managed by the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
– – – – –
NOTE: Sections marked with =>
The real Sun explains these puzzles [“Superfluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate,” Journal of Fusion Energy 21 (2002) 193-198]
http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0501441v1
Deep-seated magnetic fields are only one of many puzzles for the Obsolete, Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled.
http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410569v1
Thanks, vukcevic , for confronting Leif with experimental facts.
I’ll bet he find a way to avoid those results too.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel

January 26, 2010 4:27 pm

Oliver K. Manuel (16:19:27) :
Thanks, vukcevic , for confronting Leif with experimental facts.
You forget [or conveniently overlook] that this finding is just a vindication of my earlier paper from 1975: http://www.leif.org/research/Long-term%20Evolution%20of%20Solar%20Sector%20Structure.pdf
where I speculate along the same lines.
I’ll bet he find a way to avoid those results too.
How about you not avoiding to answer the question I put to you?

Clive E Burkland
January 26, 2010 4:43 pm

Some evidence looks to exist for a semi permanent internal solar magnetic structure. Speculative comments could include a fixed point on a rigid internal core or perhaps a magnetic region that remains in place like Jupiter’s red spot.
Speculation is all we have except for a bunch of data sets, is this data too controversial to be cross checked or taken further?

January 26, 2010 5:11 pm

Evans (22:38:11) wrote: “The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.”
Dr. Svalgaard (08:06:51) responded: “Double layers are two parallel layers of opposite electric charges. The electric field is perpendicular to the layers. The “parallel electric fields” that various articles talk about are electric fields parallel to the magnetic field, not to the layers.”
I accept your correction. Thank you, I’ll take that one back to the work bench.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Electromagnetism is the word used for the unified theories of electricity and magnetism. Magnetic reconnection is a magnetic process [can occur without electric effects – twirl a toy magnet].”
I’m sorry, but your “twirl a toy magnet” doesn’t carry any water. This is the second time you’ve used this “example”. The first time you presented this “example”, I asked for a scientific paper that discussed your “toy magnet” and you didn’t respond. So, I will request a second time, a scientific paper to support or illustrate your “toy magnet” proposition.
Failure to present a scientific paper suggests your “toy magnet” should stay put away in your childhood keep-sake box — it means nothing, does nothing.
Dr. Svalgaard: “Magnetic reconnection is a magnetic process…”
That is manifestly false — the papers reporting in situ satellite probe observations & measurements note both magnetic and electric forces interact with and are influenced by the the plasma flow and subsequent free electrons & ions and their acceleration and generation of electric current.
Again, your “toy magnet” is junk science.
That is why “magnetic reconnection” is an obfiscation because it neglects fundamental physical forces that are intimately involved with and influence the physical process.
The conceptual basis, the a priori assumptions of “magnetic reconnection” are not demonstrated by established plasma physics or magnetic or electic processes, only astrophysicists and astronomers maintain “magnetic reconnection” as an actual physical process.
How come none of the other branches of physics supports this interpretation of this process?
Basically, it’s trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, it just won’t fit.
That is why NASA researchers when given a chance to publically comment on “magnetic reconnection” stated:
“It’s ubiquitous [“magnetic reconnection”].”
“The problem is, researchers can’t explain it.”
“But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
All of the above quotes are from the NASA article.
I don’t work with anybody from NASA, but apparently they don’t share with you much, judging what you are stating, here, and what they are stating publically.
NASA statement: “But how? How does the simple act of crisscrossing magnetic field lines trigger such a ferocious explosion?”
Dr. Svalgaard: “THAT we do know. But your description is flawed in every way: it is not simple, they don’t crisscross, it doesn’t trigger, and reconnection does not per se cause any ferocious explosion.”
This is a hoot. “But your description is flawed in every way…”
No, Dr. Svalgaard, that is NASA’s statement, not mine (check out the link if you don’t believe me).
So, NASA’s understanding is “flawed in every way”???
Apparently, NASA doesn’t “know”.
But here is the clincher: from the same NASA report:
“Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations,” says Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Not some scribe’s error or some misinterpretation which you love to claim about NASA releases to discount them (I’ve seen that from you many times), but a quote form a named individual at NASA.
Really, Dr. Svalgaard, you have to do better than that to have any credibility.
So, Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has a flawed understanding of “magnetic reconnection”?
Ya, you know what is going on at NASA, alright…
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: ” But your description is flawed in every way: it is not simple, they don’t crisscross, it doesn’t trigger, and reconnection does not per se cause any ferocious explosion.”
All statements from NASA, Dr. Svalgaard.
Dr. Svalgaard: ‘It is my wont to educate people about subjects which I know well.”
Are you sure you aren’t just peddling the party-line? Because that’s what it seems like to me.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “No, double layers can form as the result of reconnection in the sense that reconnection creates regions with different plasma properties which can lead to a double layer.”
As, I said, the the supposed premises of “magnetic reconnection” as you and others conceive it, has no support in the empirical physical sciences.
But that’s nothing new, a good portion of astronomy and theoretical astrophysics is pseudo-science mumbo jumbo…
And the word is getting out — the emperor has no clothes.

January 26, 2010 6:43 pm

Clive E Burkland (16:43:45) :
Speculation is all we have except for a bunch of data sets, is this data too controversial to be cross checked or taken further?
In our 1975 paper we speculated on these things. At the time, the solar neutrino problem was still not resolved and a lot of work went into checking ‘unconventional’ solar models, e.g. with a very strong magnetic field in the core [which would have a lifetime exceeding the age of the Sun]. None of those attempts were successful, and when neutrino oscillations were finally discovered and verified by experiments here on Earth, the neutrino ‘problem’ instead turned out to be a wonderful vindication of the standard models without any exotic additions [like magnetic fields, or another favorite: a rapidly rotating core]. Helioseismology has since further showed that the standard model is extremely good. We must therefore on experimental grounds conclude that we have to work within the model. Luckily, the dynamo equations allow solutions that are non-axisymmetric [as we even remarked in our paper], so instead of being a puzzle, we can turn the finding on its head and use the result to constrain the models and make progress. SDO will give us much better data about the interior, so I expect rapid progress.
James F. Evans (17:11:23) :
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Electromagnetism is the word used for the unified theories of electricity and magnetism. Magnetic reconnection is a magnetic process [can occur without electric effects – twirl a toy magnet].”
Failure to present a scientific paper suggests your “toy magnet” should stay put away in your childhood keep-sake box — it means nothing, does nothing.
This paper may cause you to see the light and come to an elementary understanding of this: http://www.leif.org/EOS/20497-502.pdf
NASA should be ashamed to present such an oversimplified picture with the criss-crossed field lines. It was so bad, that I assumed it must had come from you. My bad.
But that’s nothing new, a good portion of astronomy and theoretical astrophysics is pseudo-science mumbo jumbo…
It must be frustrating for you to be so alone [expect for the exalted Dr. Peratt and his ilk] taking on the whole world.

January 26, 2010 8:29 pm

I’d rather stand with Dr. Peratt and those that respect the known laws of Nature (established physical relationships) than stand with you and your ilk.

January 26, 2010 8:39 pm

James F. Evans (20:29:17) :
I’d rather stand with Dr. Peratt …
Then you’ll stand and fall together: http://www.art-prints-on-demand.com/kunst/pieter_brueghel_d_ae/parabel_der_blinden.jpg

January 26, 2010 11:57 pm

No, Dr. Svalgaard, the physical reality will win out in the end — it always does. I’ll stand with the physical reality whatever that happens to be. That’s what science is about: Understanding Nature’s physical relationships.
Sorry, to have to rehash, but it’s necessary.
Evans (22:38:11) wrote: “The presence of parallel electric fields are exactly why Electric Double Layers are named as such because they have “parallel electric fields” at the heart of their structure.”
Dr. Svalgaard (08:06:51) responded: “Double layers are two parallel layers of opposite electric charges. The electric field is perpendicular to the layers. The “parallel electric fields” that various articles talk about are electric fields parallel to the magnetic field, not to the layers.”
Evans (17:11:23) : “I accept your correction. Thank you, I’ll take that one back to the work bench.”
“A double layer is a structure in a plasma and consists of two parallel layers with opposite electrical charge. The sheets of charge cause a strong electric field and a correspondingly sharp change in voltage (electrical potential) across the double layer. Ions and electrons which enter the double layer are accelerated, decelerated, or reflected by the electric field.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_layer_(plasma)
Dr. Svalgaard (18:43:29) wrote: “This paper may cause you to see the light and come to an elementary understanding of this: http://www.leif.org/EOS/20497-502.pdf
I’ll take the paper under advisement.
So, Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has a flawed understanding of “magnetic reconnection”? After all, he stated: “Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations.”
Dr. Svalgaard failed to respond.
If the physics of so-called “magnetic reconnection” is so well understood, how come the chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory makes such a statement as above?
Could it be that there is no quantified physical understanding, but only a loose conjecture based on magnetic morphology?
Since you know what is going on so well at NASA.
So far, I’ve presented two “magnetic reconnection”, aka Electric Double Layer, scientific papers based on in situ satellite probe observations & measurements.
Comparing the two papers findings with the Wikipedia entry for double layers (plasma) demonstrates that so-called “magnetic reconnection” and Electric Double Layers are one and the same thing.
Although, the a priori theoretical assumptions for “magnetic reconnection” are nonsense based on a flawed understanding of plasma physics and the relationship of electric fields and magnetic fields.
When you read the papers, at least at a superficial level, the physical processes are obscured — you have to read carefully and tease it out (and have some background in Electric Double Layers to know what to look for) to pin down what is actually happening — not a surprise since the authors probably know they are describing an Electric Double Layer and explicitly describing such an Electric Double Layer is not what the “magnetic reconnection” community wants to hear or have other people read and identify from their papers.
So, now I will present an Electric Double Layer peer-reviewed published paper:
Parallel electric fields in the upward current region of the aurora: Indirect and direct observations, published 2002 Physics of Plasma
http://www.space.irfu.se/exjobb/2003_erik_bergman/articles/PHP03685_ergun.pdf
Authors:R. E. Ergun,a) L. Andersson, D. S. Main, and Y.-J. Su
Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80303
C. W. Carlson, J. P. McFadden, and F. S. Mozer
Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
Dr. Svalgaard (18:47:55) wrote: “Interestingly enough, no modern papers make that connection, in particular the paper you referred to above.”
Now, this paper is surely modern. Of course, it doesn’t mention “magnetic reconnection”, but then again why should it since “magnetic reconnection” has no rigorous, quantified body of science to refer to or cite.
Abstract: “In this article we present electric field, magnetic field, and charged particle observations from the upward current region of the aurora focusing on the structure of electric fields at the boundary between the auroral cavity and the ionosphere. Over 100 high resolution measurements of the auroral cavity that were taken by the Fast Auroral Snapshot ~FAST! satellite are included in this study. The observations support earlier models of the auroral zone that held that quasi-static parallel electric fields are the primary acceleration mechanism. In addition to the statistical study, several examples of direct observations of the parallel electric fields at the low altitude boundary of the auroral cavity are put forth. These observations suggest that the parallel electric fields at the boundary between the auroral cavity and the ionosphere are self-consistently supported as oblique double layers.”
“FIG. 1. A cartoon model of the upward current region of the aurora. The
above model incorporates the concept of two regions of parallel electric
fields.” The caption uses the word “cartoon”, but the figure is a detailed schematic (well worth reviewing on page two of the paper).
Note the explanation of “parallel electric fields” in the body of the paper.
Compare the abstract of this double layer paper and the “magnetic reconnection” papers and first consider which is the more direct and straightforward abstracts and second whether they are describing the same physical process.
Where is the emphasis?
This paper’s abstract (and it continues in such a manner in the body of the paper) clearly articulates the Electric fields, magnetic fields, plasma flows, charge-seperated electrons and ions, electric fields, and last, but not least, acceleration of charge-seperated particles by electric fields generating electron currents and ion beams in opposite directions (constituting electric currents).
The game is up for the “magnetic reconnection” crowd, it’s just a matter of time because their own approach inescapably comes to the physical description that “magnetic reconnection” is an Electric Double Layer phenomenon, if in a more convoluted and tortuous manner.

January 27, 2010 4:49 am

James F. Evans (23:57:06) :
If the physics of so-called “magnetic reconnection” is so well understood, how come the chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory makes such a statement as above?
Is the physics of Double Layers understood? If it is and EDL is the same as MRC, then the physics of MRC is also understood. The reason Goldstein whines about things not understood is simply the usual hawking for more funding. And there are, of course, always some details that need to be worked out at the ‘micro level’. The biggest problem is figuring out what causes the resistivity to increase so fast. But given the experimental fact that it does, the rest of the MRC phenomenon follows. You [and Goldstein] could learn more about the modern understanding of MRC here: http://www.leif.org/EOS/Yamada-Reconnection-2007.pdf
So, now I will present an Electric Double Layer peer-reviewed published paper
The double layer in the aurorae is located in the aurora about 150 km up. The Magnetic Reconnection that causes the whole phenomenon takes places 50,000 km further out, in the tail of the magnetosphere. As I have said, MRC often [but not always] results in double layers.
“magnetic reconnection” is an Electric Double Layer
Apparently, you didn’t learn anything from http://www.leif.org/EOS/20497-502.pdf
but keep on studying it [and the Yamada paper]. It is worthwhile. Perhaps you could post progress reports as your understanding builds.

January 27, 2010 3:33 pm

Dr. Svalgaard, I appreciate the paper provided.
As I said at the time you provided it, “I’ll take the paper under advisement.”
Your response to this reasonable acknowledgment was: “Apparently, you didn’t learn anything from http://www.leif.org/EOS/20497-502.pdf
I have reviewed the paper, it’s an interesting paper published in 1989.
The most remarkable feature of the paper is the “horseshoe” figure.
The case of the approaching horseshoes:
Figure 2 (page 2) in the paper presents the magnetic field lines and how they change as the horseshoe magnets approach each other.
The fundamental question is why do the magnetic fields’ morphologies change as the horseshoes approach each other?
Science doesn’t know.
It is an interesting question, perhaps of fundamental importance, if Science is to understand the physical properties of a magnetic field beyond merely describing it as a vector force field.
Yes, you and others label this process as “magnetic reconnection”, but that doesn’t explain what is happening; at best it is a description, but not a physical explanation.
This case of the approaching horseshoes is also interesting because it isolates the magnetic fields, there is no plasma, no charged particles in motion, other than what exists within the magnets, themselves.
So, again, what are the physical dynamics that operate to cause the magnetic fields to change as observed (if not measured) in figure 2 of the paper provided?
It seems to be a process of exclusively magnetic dynamics. (Putting aside the important question of what causes the emanation of magnetic fields from the ends of the horseshoe magnets and how does the shape of the horseshoe magnets, themselves, influence or control the morphology of the magnetic fields emanated from the ends of the magnets?)
An example of an isolated force (in this instance the magnetic force) is important and valuable for understanding its physical properties.
Although, a cursory assessment might possibly suggest that “something” is “flowing” from one horseshoe magnet to the other.
This raises a problem for Science: Generally it is considered that magnetic fields do not “flow” from one magnetic object to another.
Why?
Because if there is a “flow” then there must be “something” to flow.
The magnetic force has not been treated this way in the customary understanding of its dynamics.
The magnetic force has been treated, primarily, as an emanation of physical bodies such, as electrons and ions in motion and the physical relationships between these bodies as they are in motion.
But if it flows, there must be an “it”.
If this line of inquiry, based on the proposed flow of magnetic fields, as shown in the horseshoe example, is to bear intellectual fruit (find a physical basis and understanding of such), the “it” must be isolated and its individual physical characteristics identified.
This is not new to me. This “it” has been labeled by others, some prominent, as a “magnetic monopole”, an actual physical particle, rather, than a force, a process that causes objects to act at a distance.
But it has not been a concept generally recognized in the scientific mainstream.
Science does not at present recognize the existence of a “magnetic monopole”.
Dr. Svalgaard, I have read where you have lightly mused upon this proposition and referred to classical experiments (1930’s) and more recent experimental claims for evidence of “magnetic monopoles”.
I think I have gone far enough.
What, if anything, do you put into the proposition that magnetic fields “flow”, from one horseshoe magnetic to the other as they approach each other, and this describes (if not explains) why the magnetic fields reconfigure as the horseshoe magnetics approach each other?
Calling it “magnetic reconnection” hardly describes it, much less explains this phenomenon.
And, of course, there are many who hold no stock in the concept that magnetic fields “flow” at all, much less that there is any “magnetic monpole” which flows (and it would be entirely reasonable to be one of those individuals that puts stock in this hypothesis).
I, myself, am just laying out the case as a cursory impression from the paper.
Also, Dr. Svalgaard, how do you describe the case of the approaching horseshoes, both in description and most important in physical explanation?
The distinction may be subtle (between description and explanation), but it is important if Man is to understand and ultimately control this phenomenon of Nature.

January 27, 2010 3:46 pm

Also, it must be added, if this idea of flowing magnetic fields is wrong, then what is the alternative physical explanation(s) for the case of the changing magnetic fields of the approaching horseshoes?
Dr. Svalgaard, I would appreciate your input regarding these important scientific questions.

January 27, 2010 7:42 pm

James F. Evans (15:33:19) :
Your response to this reasonable acknowledgment was: “Apparently, you didn’t learn anything from
I would have thought that you would first study the paper, before shooting your mouth off with “The game is up for the “magnetic reconnection”.
it’s an interesting paper published in 1989.
Maxwell’s equations [the laws of magnetic and electric fields] have not changed since 1861.
The fundamental question is why do the magnetic fields’ morphologies change as the horseshoes approach each other?
Science doesn’t know.

Of course, science knows. Maxwell [even Faraday] could have drawn that figure.
Also, Dr. Svalgaard, how do you describe the case of the approaching horseshoes, both in description and most important in physical explanation?
Magnetic [and electric] fields obey the Superposition Principle, that is: the resulting effect of a collection of charges or magnetic poles is simply the [vector] sum of the effect of each charge or pole. The magnet has two poles, so the magnetic field is the sum of the field from each pole. Two magnets have four poles and the resulting field at a given point in space is the sum of the fields from all four poles. You can visualize the shape of field by drawing magnetic field lines that are tangential to the direction of the field. In Figure 2b there is a point in the middle where the field strength is zero. This is where reconnection takes place [no field line needs to be ‘cut’ as there is no field there].
The topology of the field [ http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/open?pubNo=lrsp-2005-7&page=articlese1.html ] is what is changed by reconnection, and this can happen with or without a plasma or any explosions. The horseshoe example is without plasma, but is reconnection, nevertheless. On the dayside of the Magnetosphere there is reconnection between the solar wind’s magnetic field and the Earth’s magnetic fields, without any acceleration of particles or explosive effects [basically because Earth’s magnetic field does not contain many particles there. On the nightside is where all the action is, because there is a significant plasma population.
Man is to understand and ultimately control this phenomenon of Nature.
As I have been trying to show is that the diligent work [and I can say with some pride that Svalgaard-Mansurov effect is evidence of magnetic reconnection as I pointed out in my 1968 discovery paper [ http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/bh2_5.html scroll down to section 8 ‘Observational Tests]] by hundreds of plasma and space physicists over the past 50 years has led to understanding of this Universal Process of Nature, although there is always more to learn [especially in high-density plasmas [controlled fusion].
flowing magnetic fields is wrong
Magnetic fields do not ‘flow’ from one pole to the other, just like electric fields do not flow from from charge to an opposite charge. Magnetic fields are actually an effect due to Special Relativity. A simple explanation can be found here: http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/rel_el_mag.html
There is so many wonderful things to learn. Real science is rich and is arguably the highest achievement of the human mind.

January 27, 2010 11:38 pm

Evans (23:57:06) wrote: “If the physics of so-called “magnetic reconnection” is so well understood, how come the chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory makes such a statement as above?”
Dr. Svalgaard (04:49:45) responded: “Is the physics of Double Layers understood? If it is and EDL is the same as MRC, then the physics of MRC is also understood.”
Yes, the physics of Double Layers is understood based on decades of experimental research in plasma physics laboratories. And, it is well known and accepted that electromagnetic phenomenon is scale-independent to at least 14 orders of magnitude (no upper limit on electromagnetic phenomenon’s scale independence has been established).
So, if you accept, as I do that the physics of EDL and MRC is the same, then, yes, the physics of MRC is also understood.
And since the physical process under discussion follows the physics of Electric Double Layers, it should be called what it is: An electromagnetic Electric Double Layer.
But, the “magnetic reconnection” community holds that MRC has different set of a priori (assumptions) physical principles and relationships than Electric Double Layers: That is why Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, stated: “Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations.”
Really, Dr. Svalgaard, you are the beacon of truth and enlightenment, and everybody else who disagrees with you is ignorant, or stupid, or dishonest.
Dr. Svalgaard, “Goldstein whines about things not understood is simply the usual hawking for more funding.”
This is a serious accusation (I suppose that he is a public figure) that Goldstein is lying about not understanding “magnetic reconnection” in a corrupt attempt to gain more funding.
No, Dr. Svalgaard, it is you who is being disingenuous and smearing Goldstein at the same time (and, of course, all those at NASA who hold the same view as Goldstein).
Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is being honest because “magnetic reconnection” as hypothesized by those pushing its acceptance as a theory don’t understand it or have a physical explanation for it. So-called “magnetic reconnection” is a description that hasn’t been quantified or physically explained.
You see, I stated: “The fundamental question is why do the magnetic fields’ morphologies change as the horseshoes approach each other? Science doesn’t know.”
And Dr. Svalgaard responded: “Of course, science knows. Maxwell [even Faraday] could have drawn that figure.”
Drawing a figure is a descriptive activity, not an explanatory activity (although, description is a necessary first step to explaining a physical process or relationship).
Newton described gravity, he specifically declined from offering a hypothesis which explained gravity (action at a distance).
Dr. Svalgaard (19:42:08) stated: “Magnetic [and electric] fields obey the Superposition Principle [“The principle, obeyed by many equations describing physical phenomena, that a linear combination of the solutions of the equation is also a solution.
An effect is proportional to a cause in a variety of phenomena encountered at the level of fundamental physical laws as well as in practical applications. When this is true, equations which describe such a phenomenon are known as linear, and their solutions obey the superposition principle.”]… In Figure 2b there is a point in the middle where the field strength is zero. This is where reconnection takes place [no field line needs to be ‘cut’ as there is no field there]”
Mathematical equations are descriptive not explanatory.
Ah, so, “no field line needs to be ‘cut’ as there is no field there”.
This description falls directly in line with accepted electrical science, plasma physics principles, that magnetic fields have no beginning or end, they are “solenoidal”, are closed, they don’t “reconnect” because they can’t be “cut” which contradicts the premise for why the process/physical relationship should be called “magnetic reconnection”.
Maxwell’s simple and universal equation, i.e., ∇ · B = 0 dictates that all magnetic fields are closed.
Or in integral form (Gauss’ law for magnetism) given by

A
B
· dA = 0 (2)
and the vast body of experiments that led to it.
Unless, you are proposing that Maxwell’s equations are wrong and I know you aren’t for you have rejected the “magnetic monopole” hypothesis.
Therefore, there can be no beginning or end to a magnetic field
anywhere. And this contradicts the “magnetic reconnection” hypothesis.
Most undoubtedly, that is why Melvyn Goldstein, chief of the Geospace Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, stated: “Something very interesting and fundamental is going on that we don’t really understand — not from laboratory experiments or from simulations.”
So-called “magnetic reconnection’s” a priori assumptions violate known and accepted physical laws as validated by repeated physical experiments in plasma physics laboratories. Goldstein likely knows this, but due to the insistence of people like you (the astronomical community) that this process is “magnetic reconnection” uses the term, but can’t bring himself to lie about understanding its physical processes.
The phrase “magnetic lines of force,” as coined by Faraday,
is misleading. The only force that is uniquely associated with a
magnetic field is the one that is applied to a compass needle to
force it to align with the field’s direction. If and when electrical
charges pass through a magnetic field, other types of forces
result, but these are due to the interaction between these moving
charges and the field, as described by the equation of motion of
Lorentz, i.e.,
d
dt
(mv) = q(E + v × B).
On the other hand, Electric Double Layer’s physical principles and relationships fit within all known constraints of established physcial laws as verified in plasma physics experiments.
As I have stated, so-called “magnetic reconnection” is a misnomer and should not be used. The proper name for this process under discussion is Electric Double Layers.
As I stated before and it bears repeating: “The game is up for the “magnetic reconnection” crowd, it’s just a matter of time because their own approach [because they can’t avoid the discussion and acknowledgment of electric fields] inescapably comes to the physical description & explanation that “magnetic reconnection” is an Electric Double Layer phenomenon, if in a more convoluted and tortuous manner.”
Don’t believe me?
Undoubtedly, the two “magnetic reconnection” papers I have presented (courtesy of Dr. Svalgaard) report observation & measurement of electric fields and even potentially parallel electric fields at the heart of the “magnetic reconnection” physical relationship. Electric fields are caused by double layers, charged particles seperated into rows with electrons lined up one side and ions lined up on the other side from each other to form a “voltage drop” or electric field between the rows of electrons and ions.
This is a double layer electric field which in space plasmas serve to accelerate free electrons and ions in opposite directions as observed & measured by in situ satellite probes.
Magnetic fields by themselves don’t do anything, there must be reference to currents or current sheets that are not shown in typical schematics for “magnetic reconnection” since curved magnetic fields cannot exist without them.
So-called “magnetic reconnection” are Electric Double Layers, not just in name only, but by the way the fundamental physical forces and particles interact.
This is not a matter of deduction, but of induction (if that, then this).
Checkmate.

January 28, 2010 5:46 am

James F. Evans (23:38:08) :
Checkmate
“Gegen der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.”

January 28, 2010 6:13 am

James F. Evans (23:38:08) :
[…]magnetic field is the one that is applied to a compass[…]
When you copy-n-paste from something you don’t understand, at least clean up the line breaks. You give away the cult you belong to by so parroting D.E.Scott. Perhaps you should just have provided this ‘informative’ link http://www.plasma-universe.com/Plasma_Universe_resources
or this riveting one: http://www.electric-cosmos.org/ouruniverse.htm
Check out the fascinating claim that “Might the flowing hair of Venus, as that planet is depicted in many ancient myths and drawings actually have been the glowing ions of twisting Birkeland currents”.
As an antidote, you should try: http://homepage.mac.com/cygnusx1/anomalies/ElectricSky_20080322.pdf
But I have little hope that you’ll recover, so shall leave you in your current checkmated state.

Pamela Gray
January 28, 2010 6:31 am

That last quote reminds me of Danny Kay in “The Court Jester” when he speaks “German” to the soldier questioning him. Funniest movie ever made. And I don’t know what he said either but it’s a great scene.
While the debate here is way over my head, the debate style has been vigorous in both knowledge and oneupsmanship. However, I call it like I see it. 4 marks to Leif in this last round.

phlogiston
January 28, 2010 8:14 am

Lief Svalgaard
“Magnetic fields are actually an effect due to Special Relativity.”
Can magnetic/electrical effects on an object be considered analogous in some way to the Coriolis force (e.g. relativistically?)
I seem to remember Karl Popper saying that the claim of a hypothesis (e.g. EU) to “explain everything” is not a strength but a weakness, that it is thus probably unfalsifiable and not scientific (thus explaining nothing).

January 28, 2010 8:42 am

Electro-Magnetism and electromagnetic waves are reality. Electric Universe and Frozen Magnetic Fields are most unlikely to be so.

January 28, 2010 8:51 am

phlogiston (08:14:46) :
Can magnetic/electrical effects on an object be considered analogous in some way to the Coriolis force (e.g. relativistically?)
The Coriolis force is not an effect of Einstein’s special or general relativity, but can be said to be an effect of Galilean relativity in the sense that a rotating frame of reference is not inertial, but we generally reserve the word ‘relativistic’ for the Einsteinian sort.
I seem to remember Karl Popper saying that the claim of a hypothesis (e.g. EU) to “explain everything” is not a strength but a weakness, that it is thus probably unfalsifiable and not scientific (thus explaining nothing).
EU is nonsense on its face [to wit Evans’s posts] and is easily falsified. Its ‘cousin’, Plasma Universe, is a misunderstanding and misappropriation of Alfven’s ideas, using Alfven’s stature as a cover. Alfven’s cosmology has not held up to the progress we have made over the past 50 years, so is only of historical interest today, and some claims of PU foollowers would have made Alfven laugh [or perhaps cry], e.g. the hair of Venus being twisting Birkeland currents – http://www.integral.soton.ac.uk/~sguera/good1/venus.html ].

January 28, 2010 9:06 am

Quote Leif Svalgaard (16:27:04) :
“You forget [or conveniently overlook] that this finding is just a vindication of my earlier paper from 1975. . . . where I speculate along the same lines.”
Really? There was once something Leif didn’t completely understand?
Like the mysteries of the Sun’s magnetic fields discussed in this 2000 NASA report:
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/releases/2000/sunmagfield.html
Which mystery did Leif explain in his 1975 paper:
1. “We now know that the Sun’s magnetic field has a memory and returns to approximately the same configuration in each 11- year solar cycle” ?
2. “Current theories imply that the field is generated by random, churning motions within the Sun and should have no long- term memory. Despite this expectation, the underlying magnetic structure remains fixed at the same solar longitude” ?
3. “It’s interesting that the solar magnetic field varies in strength and direction, but not in longitude” ?
4. “The new information pinpoints the repetition interval at 27 days and 43 minutes and shows that the Sun has kept this steady rhythm, much like a metronome, for at least 38 years” ?
5. “This pattern escaped previous detection because it is a very subtle statistical effect. There are many larger variations in the solar wind that come and go, which largely mask the underlying pattern. This repetitive behavior can’t be seen if these data are examined for only a few months or years, but it was revealed in this 38-year database” ?
6. “Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun” ?
7. “We’re trying to understand how magnetic fields are generated in the Sun, the planets and the stars” ?
8. “Fluids conducting electricity under the Sun’s surface generate the magnetic field, Neugebauer explained, and the field’s apparent memory is most likely caused by a structure and process occurring deeper inside the Sun than previously believed” ?
9. “There may be something asymmetric about the Sun’s interior, perhaps a deep-seated lump of old magnetic field” ?
The compact, energetic neutron star that moves around as the Sun is jerked in routine cycles about the center-of-mass of the solar system explains each of these mysteries of the Standard Solar Model, as well as Earth’s constantly changing climate and the solar neutrino puzzle.
See: “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun”, Energy and Environment 20 (2009) pages 131-144 http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Studies

January 28, 2010 9:08 am

Vuk etc. (08:42:09) :
Electric Universe and Frozen Magnetic Fields are most unlikely to be so.
Correct on the first part, wrong on the second. Whenever the conductivity is high enough such that the electric field in the frame of reference moving with the plasma is zero, dB/dt is zero and B cannot change but must move with the plasma. Frozen-in magnetic fields are observational facts, responsible, e.g. for bringing the Sun’s magnetic field out to the Earth and beyond. Alfven waves are possible because of frozen-in magnetic fields. What Alfven was railing against half a century ago, was uncritical use of the concept in situations where it was not applicable. Today we know when and when not to apply his concept of frozen-in magnetic fields.

January 28, 2010 9:38 am

Vuk etc. (08:42:09) :
Frozen Magnetic Fields are most unlikely to be so.
In Alfven’s 1970 Nobel Prize lecture [where his main topic actually was his theory of the origin of the solar system] he notes that the ‘Frozen-in picture is often completely misleading’. He did not say that Frozen-in fields did not exist.

January 28, 2010 10:23 am

Oliver K. Manuel (09:06:55) :
“You forget [or conveniently overlook] that this finding is just a vindication of my earlier paper from 1975. . . . where I speculate along the same lines.”
Really? […]
Like the mysteries of the Sun’s magnetic fields discussed in this 2000 NASA report

How about you actually reading the two papers in question:
http://www.leif.org/research/Long-term%20Evolution%20of%20Solar%20Sector%20Structure.pdf
http://www.leif.org/EOS/1999JA000298.pdf
The compact, energetic neutron star
Is complete nonsense. In the not even wrong category.

January 28, 2010 11:10 am

Leif Svalgaard (09:08:04) :
” Whenever the conductivity is high enough such that the electric field in the frame of reference moving with the plasma is zero, dB/dt is zero and B cannot change but must move with the plasma.”
Maxwell’s equation for Faraday’s law states: delta E= -dB/dt
It only says that E will appear if B varies. But one should not forget that the Faraday’s static B comes from Ampere’s model of a permanent magnet, which cannot be applied to plasma.
Gilbert’s model, probably would be more appropriate if you whish to ‘believe’ in frozen-in fields.
See recommendations by your neighbours at the Stanford Magnets Co. on:
http://www.stanfordmagnets.com/magnetization.html

January 28, 2010 11:18 am

Vuk etc. (11:10:16) :
Maxwell’s equation […] which cannot be applied to plasma.
Maxwell’s equations are universally valid.

January 28, 2010 11:55 am

Leif Svalgaard (11:18:29) :
Maxwell’s equations are universally valid.
Of course they are. Perhaps I should rephrase: It should not be applied in a backwards argument in a plasma assumption : No collisions must mean that conductivity is high, so electric potential has to be zero, if so than dB/dt =0, hence B has to be static.
No resistivity is ever zero (even in superconductivity), so it cannot be assumed that E cannot arise, so that dB/dt must=0.
B is never fixed (quantum mechanics, magnetic momentum) so dB/dt is consequently never zero, hence no frozen in magnetic field.

January 28, 2010 12:38 pm

Vuk etc. (11:55:13) :
B is never fixed (quantum mechanics, magnetic momentum) so dB/dt is consequently never zero, hence no frozen in magnetic field.
Irrelevant. What matters is what happens on the time and length scales of interest which are macroscopic. E.g. the time scale of a solar rotation and a length scale of several AU. And just to remind you, in the solar wind the mean path between collisions is greater than the distance to the Sun, so a solar wind proton that arrives at Earth has not collided with anything since it left the Sun.
Even Alfven ‘believed’ in Frozen-in field [in fact invented the concept]. He also fought to make people realize that the field on occasion ‘thaws’, e.g. during reconnection events.
It is not useful to keep dancing around your misconceptions. The facts have been explained to you so many times in so many posts that you should have grasped them by now. And, if not, there is little hope you ever will, so perhaps not hijack every thread as a personal [never-ending] education of you.

January 28, 2010 1:13 pm

Leif Svalgaard (05:46:53) :
Evans (23:38:08) summed up: “Checkmate.”
Dr. Svalgaard (05:46:53) fumed: “Gegen der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.”
How come it doesn’t surprise me that you speak German…
Yes, I have referred to the peer-reviewed and published paper: Real Properties of Electromagnetic Fields and Plasma in the Cosmos, published 2007, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON PLASMA SCIENCE, VOL. 35, NO. 4, by Donald E. Scott, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. (Retired)
http://members.cox.net/dascott3/IEEE-TransPlasmaSci-Scott-Aug2007.pdf
Scott’s work has been endorsed by, among others:
Gerrit L. Verschuur, PhD, University of Manchester. A well-known radio astronomer and writer, presently at the Physics Department, University of Memphis.
Lewis E. Franks, PhD, Stanford University, Fellow of the IEEE (1977), Professor Emeritus and Head of the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts (Retired)
Anthony L. Peratt, PhD, USC, Fellow of the IEEE (1999), former scientific advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and member of the Associate Laboratory Directorate of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest professional association advancing innovation and technological excellence with more than 375,000 members in more than 160 countries; 45 percent of whom are from outside the United States. Many members work in the area of plasma physics and experimental plasma physics (they actually work in plasma physics laboratories making observations & measurements and performing plasma physics experiments).
Dr. Svalgaard (08:51:01) wrote :”You give away the cult you belong to by so parroting D.E.Scott.”
Dr. Svalgaard (08:51:01): “Its ‘cousin’, Plasma Universe, is a misunderstanding and misappropriation of Alfven’s ideas, using Alfven’s stature as a cover.”
Dr. Svalgaard, I see you revert to your same old modus operandi when backed into a corner: Dr. Svalgaard is the beacon of truth and enlightenment, and everybody else who disagrees with him is ignorant, or stupid, or dishonest.
Notice what Dr. Svalgaard doesn’t say in his spasmodic response: Nothing about his false accusation that Mr. Goldstein is lying about not understanding “magnetic reconnection”; nothing about electric fields being at the heart of “magnetic reconnection” as observed by in situ satellite probes, really Electric Double Layers which he has already admitted to several times, by now, in one form or another.
Dr. Svalgaard, this latest attempted smear in the face of your previous admissions to the physical reality of Electric Double Layers comes off as arrogant and quite frankly — desperate.
This is an embarrassing performance by Dr. Svalgaard, perhaps his handlers should pull him back before he does anymore damage to astronomy’s ideas in the court of public opinion.
Dr. Svalgaard (06:13:01) wrote: “…the progress we have made over the past 50 years [in astrophysics]…”
Actually, it is you, Dr. Svalgaard that promote ideas that are 50 years old and discredited by laboratory plasma physics experiments and now in situ satellite probe observation & measurements.
So-called “magnetic reconnection” is an old idea that proceeded wide-spread knowledge of the dynamics of space plasma: In 1961, Dungey proposed “magnetic reconnection”, an idea that Giovanelli conceived in 1946 to explain solar flaring. Again, and again, you propagate old, discredited ideas like the solar wind being just “hot gas”.
Dr. Svalgaard (09:08:04) wrote: “Whenever the conductivity is high enough such that the electric field in the frame of reference moving with the plasma is zero, dB/dt is zero and B cannot change but must move with the plasma. Frozen-in magnetic fields are observational facts…”
Nonsense.
“When, in his acceptance speech of the 1970 Nobel Prize in physics, Alfvén pointed out that this frozen-in idea, which he had earlier endorsed, was false, many astrophysicists chose not to listen. In reality, magnetic fields do move with respect to cosmic plasma cells and, in doing so, induce electric currents. This mechanism (which generates electric current) is one cause of the phenomena that is described by what is now called plasma cosmology.
Alfvén said, “I thought that the frozen-in concept was very good from a pedagogical point of view, and indeed it became very popular. In reality, however, it was not a good pedagogical concept but a dangerous ‘pseudo pedagogical concept.’ By ‘pseudo pedagogical’ I mean a concept which makes you believe that you understand a phenomenon whereas in reality you have drastically misunderstood it.”
Of course, Dr. Svalgaard has already admitted the presence of electric currents in space plasma.
Dr. Svalgaard, the problem with your clinging to “frozen in” magnetic fields is that it has been repeatedly experimentally demonstrated that plasma, including space plasma, is not a perfect conductor of electricity, and, thus, magnetic fields can not be “frozen in”. The concept of “frozen in” magnetic fields would only work if space plasma was a perfect conductor — it is not, as stated above, this has been conclusively demonstrated in plasma physics laboratories and is not in dispute by any knowledgable authorities.
Again, Dr. Svalgaard, you ignore demonstrated and accepted plasma physics science to maintain and propagate your flawed and discredited ideas.
Dr. Svalgaard wrote: “Magnetic fields are actually an effect due to Special Relativity.”
Quantum Mechanics would not agree — but invoking Special Relativity is just way to introduce another non-falsifiable concept into your grab bag, so you and others in the astronomy coummunity can continue to maintian your menagerie of non-falsifiable objects and processes, such as the discredited “magnetic reconnection”.
The process in question is an Electric Double Layer and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put “magnetic reconnection” back together again.

January 28, 2010 1:20 pm

Quote: Leif Svalgaard (10:23:52) : “The compact, energetic neutron star
Is complete nonsense. In the not even wrong category.”
Arrogance is neither an answer nor an excuse for ignorance.
Please quiet your mind and try to mediate on the puzzle that the 2000 NASA report offered you:
a.) “Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun”,
and the wise words of British philosopher Herbert Spencer (1820-1903):
b.) “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation”,
While looking at this TRACE satellite recording of:
c.) A solar flare and mass ejection from Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000: http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Good luck!
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
Emeritus Professor of
Nuclear & Space Science

January 28, 2010 1:34 pm

Leif Svalgaard (12:38:26) :
“What matters is what happens on the time and length scales of interest which are macroscopic. E.g. the time scale of a solar rotation and a length scale of several AU. And just to remind you, in the solar wind the mean path between collisions is greater than the distance to the Sun, so a solar wind proton that arrives at Earth has not collided with anything since it left the Sun.”
It is no surprise that collisions are so rare (at 1 AU). I estimate that there are around 5x10E19 atoms of Nitrogen end Oxygen put together in 1cm cube of air, or about 36x10E19 protons. Compare that to less than 10 solar wind protons (and ions) in the same volume.
Where density is much higher in the solar corona, there are collisions, so no ‘frozen-in’ field, this means electric currents (no Electric Universe please, it is also a bad hypothesis), the field is ‘maxwellian’ propagating at speed of light. But according to Parker and co., we have to assume that as the distance increases field starts to freeze up, propagation slows down to the speed of the solar wind, so after beta =1, there is a cataclysmic change in the laws of physics. What a nonsense!
L.S.
“The facts have been explained to you so many times in so many posts that you should have grasped them by now. ”
Those are not facts, just a belief or consensus of the ‘current science’.
You neatly avoided my statement: No resistivity is ever zero (even in superconductivity), so it cannot be assumed that dB/dt must=0. The B vector is never fixed (quantum mechanics, magnetic momentum) so dB/dt is consequently never zero.
I am happy to conclude no dB/dt is ever = 0 (false foundation stone of Parker’s hypothesis that it is) and therefore no frozen-in magnetic field.

January 28, 2010 2:26 pm

Vuk etc. (13:34:43) :
Your demonstration that “frozen in” magnetic fields is a false concept, lays it out in impeccable reasoning and mathematical logic.
Hannes Alfven had the intellectual integrity to acknowledge his mistake in the most public of forums, his Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
That is the true spirit of Science…too bad others can’t take that example and lesson to heart…

January 28, 2010 3:59 pm

Oliver K. Manuel (13:20:40) :
Arrogance is neither an answer nor an excuse for ignorance.
Please quiet your mind and try to mediate on the puzzle that the 2000 NASA report offered you:
a.) “Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun”,

Calling a spade a spade is hardly arrogance, but on to the solar magnetic fields now:
In our 1975 paper we note: “The existence and persistence of a solar sector structure as discussed in this paper may suggest that the magnetic field itself or perhaps velocity fields are fundamental features of the Sun rather than superficial perturbations of the ‘quiet Sun'”, but also recognize that our result [nicely confirmed by the Neugebauer et al. 2000 paper] would be consistent with a class of non-axisymmetric dynamo theories. So, there is less ‘mystery’ than suggested by the hype of NASA’s PR-drum.
For the rest, your hypotheses are not only internally inconsistent, but also contradicted by measurements, so no wonder you don’t get many takers.
Vuk etc. (13:34:43) :
Where density is much higher in the solar corona, there are collisions, so no ‘frozen-in’ field, this means electric currents (no Electric Universe please, it is also a bad hypothesis), the field is ‘maxwellian’ propagating at speed of light.
Even in the photosphere and below the field is largely [but not perfectly] frozen-in [to wit the convection moving the magnetic field around], and changes in the field does not propagate at the speed of light, but at the Alfven speed. BTW, Alfven invented the concept in support of his [long abandoned] theory that sunspots were magnetic ‘smoke rings’ travelling [with the Alfven speed] through the interior of the Sun from one point on the surface to its antipode in the course of the solar cycle, explaining Hale’s polarity laws.
Those are not facts, just a belief or consensus of the ‘current science’.
Current science is what works and leads to the smallest number of anomalies, so that is what prevails.
You neatly avoided my statement: No resistivity is ever zero
I explained why it was not relevant. It is enough that resitivity is small enough not to have any effect on the time/length scales of interest.
James F. Evans (13:13:55) :
How come it doesn’t surprise me that you speak German…
Apart from the disturbing undertone of that remark, most educated persons in Europe speak or understand German [even Einstein did :-)], and French, and even English.
And for rest of your post(s), I think we have disposed of those in a sufficient manner already.

January 28, 2010 6:18 pm

This statement can’t be passed:
Dr. Svalgaard (08:51:01): “Its ‘cousin’, Plasma Universe, is a misunderstanding and misappropriation of Alfven’s ideas, using Alfven’s stature as a cover.”
This has to be elaborated:
Plasma Universe is not a misunderstanding or misappropriation (stealing) of Alven’s ideas, nor did Dr. Anthony Peratt use Alfven’s stature as a cover.”
This is a patently offensive remark and an outright falsehood.
Anthony L. Peratt, PhD, USC, Fellow of the IEEE (1999), former scientific advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy and member of the Associate Laboratory Directorate of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. Anthony L. Peratt and Hannes Alfven were close colleagues and friends before Alfven passed away in 1995. Alfven mentored Dr. Peratt and the two worked together when Peratt was a Guest Scientist, Alfvén Laboratory of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden (1985).
Dr. Peratt didn’t “misunderstand” or steal Alfven’s ideas.
Hannes Alfven wasn’t like that anyway — he wanted to share his knowledge far and wide.
Please read the May ’88 article and interview that Dr. Anthony L. Peratt wrote for his close friend and mentor, Hannes Alfven, 1970 Nobel Prize winner, physics (1908 – 1995):
Many of Dr. Antony L. Peratt’s scientific papers on Plasma Universe subjects were written well before Alfven passed away in 1995.
Dr. Peratt and Hannes Alfven collaborated closely together on Plasma Universe concepts and the supporting scientific principles gathered from plasma physics experimental work — both Alfven and Peratt were experimentalists, who worked in the laboratory.
There was no misunderstanding or stealing involved in Peratt’s and Alfven’s friendship and professional collaboration.
Your false and outrageous statement is obscene.
It is more a reflection on your own integrity (or lack thereof) than on anybody else’s.
You’ve claimed to be a friend of Alfven’s. I don’t believe that for a second. No friend would make such a patently false and disgusting comment designed to smear Dr. Peratt and to diminish a friend’s scientific contribution.
Dr. Svalgaard, you really have no bounds, do you?

January 28, 2010 6:33 pm

James F. Evans (18:18:53) :
Your false and outrageous statement is obscene.
Coming from you I consider that a compliment.

January 28, 2010 6:46 pm

James F. Evans (18:18:53) :
misappropriation (stealing) of Alfven’s ideas
You may want to brush up on your English. One of the meanings of to misappropriate is ‘to appropriate to a bad or incorrect use’. But your outburst speaks for itself.

TIM CLARK
January 28, 2010 7:01 pm

Leif,
Your recent Leave of Absence left you sorely missed. Then I see you on a dead thread debating irrelevant points. Let it go. You either enjoy these pointless debates, or are perfectionary obsessive-compulsive. Either way, save your intellect (and sanity) for the majority on this blog who accept your idiosyncracies and anticipate your insight. Please!

January 28, 2010 7:14 pm

TIM CLARK (19:01:54) :
are perfectionary obsessive-compulsive
I do have a streak of that, but you are right, it is rather pointless. One problem is that those folks try to hijack every thread with their nonsense. I try to make them stay over here on this dead thread …
Sometimes they escape, to the detriment of WUWT. But perhaps it is time to them wither on the vine.

TIM CLARK
January 28, 2010 7:21 pm

Let me be clear, I concur that a dead thread is the place for this. But don’t wear yourself out. It’s been boring for you but the sun will do something interesting soon, and NASA will say it’s unprecedented. I know plant physiology, but the sun is too bright for me.

Pamela Gray
January 28, 2010 7:26 pm

The following quote from Leif,
“The Coriolis force is not an effect of Einstein’s special or general relativity, but can be said to be an effect of Galilean relativity in the sense that a rotating frame of reference is not inertial, but we generally reserve the word ‘relativistic’ for the Einsteinian sort…”
left me drooling in my philosophical mind. It was mind candy. Better than chocolate and red wine. It made me want to read again Einstein’s many biographies as they relate to his thought experiments and the “conversations” he must have had with Newton and Galileo, among others, as he sought to understand the physical cosmos.
I don’t know Leif and have not read his biography (you MUST write one). But your unique, purely logical mind leaves me breathless. And your debate style, though others may disagree, is devoid of meanness or arrogance. It is purely logical. Reminds me of the family friend who once opened a hospital door for my grandma and I, Walter Brennen, who said from the script, “No brag, just fact.” I can easily hear you say such a thing.

January 28, 2010 7:29 pm

TIM CLARK (19:21:34) :
but the sun will do something interesting soon, and NASA will say it’s unprecedented.
Yeah, and we need to keep them honest. To counter their hyped PRs, where scientists are stumped, shocked, shaking their heads, gnashing teeth, and generally completely mystified.

January 28, 2010 8:03 pm

Pamela Gray (19:26:48) :
the “conversations” he must have had with Newton and Galileo, among others, as he sought to understand the physical cosmos.
There is a delightful book by Harald Fritzsch ISBN 0-231-11821-X ‘The curvature of spacetime (Newton, Einstein, and Gravitation) 2002. Fritzsch explains relativity and other concepts of modern physics through an imaginary conversation between Newton, Einstein, and a fictitious contemporary particle physicist called Haller. It lets Haller teach Einstein and Newton [and us] the current status, experimental and theoretical, of modern physics, in much the same way Galileo did in his time with his ‘Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems’.
Highly recommended [paperback].

Pamela Gray
January 28, 2010 8:13 pm

Thanks Leif. Must get that book. Just finished reading Candice Pert’s “Molecules of Emotion”, again, which goes off on a tangent in the end but nonetheless is an excellent read. It is the third time I have read my copy. Good books are worth reading many times.

January 29, 2010 1:11 am

Leif Svalgaard (15:59:03) :
“It is enough that resitivity is small enough not to have any effect on the time/length scales of interest.”
Thanks, so we may conclude that quoting dB/dt =0, either here, Parker’s book and elsewhere, is not correct.
Thus, the solar wind is, if you wish ‘frozen-in’ but not entirely.
James F. Evans (14:26:51) :
“Your demonstration that “frozen in” magnetic fields is a false concept, lays it out in impeccable reasoning and mathematical logic.”
I wouldn’t argue with that (not for the moment), but do not assume I am converted to the EU views either.

January 29, 2010 2:37 am

In reflection, I stand on my prior comment (18:18:53).
Dr. Svalgaard (19:14:23) wrote : “One problem is that those folks try to hijack every thread with their nonsense.”
Title of the post: New tool for solar flare prediction
The mechanism or process of a solar flare is relevant to the post.
So-called “magnetic reconnection” (really Electric Double Layers) was first conceived in 1946 as an explanation for what triggers a solar flare.
It has also been proposed that explosive Electric Double Layers are the physical explanation for solar flares (Alfven and Carlquist, 1967).
See scientific paper: Title: The Alfven-Carlquist double-layer theory of solar flares
Authors: Hasan, S. S. & Ter Haar, D.
Journal: Astrophysics and Space Science, vol. 56, no. 1, June 1978
Given the theoretical difficulties of so-called “magnetic reconnection” as outlined in the above disussion thread and the in situ observation & measurement support for the presence of astrophysical Electric Double Layers, it is reasonable to discuss Electric Double Layers as the actual physical process & explanation in all situations where “magnetic reconnection” is alleged to occur.
Challenging a supposed mechanism for solar flares by presenting scientific papers and analyzing the papers and comparing those papers to other conflicting scientifc papers and discussing known scientific principles is standard scientific practice.
Putting forth scientific evidence and argument for what phyiscal process causes a solar flare is appropriate to the instant post.

January 29, 2010 4:30 am

Quote Leif Svalgaard (19:14:23) :
“One problem is that those folks try to hijack every thread with their nonsense. I try to make them stay over here on this dead thread …”
Thanks, Leif, for explaining that your intentions are “to make them (critics of the Standard Solar Model) stay over here on this dead thread …”
Do you have a committee to assist you?
Or are you that clever at avoiding experimental facts on your own?
I can appreciate the fear in high places that Climate-gate may evolve into NASA-gate or even NAS-gate.
If you ever decide to change professions, I again recommend that you meditate on the puzzle that the 2000 NASA report offered you:
“Why the Sun’s magnetic field behaves in this way is a puzzle, but the answer must lie deep within the Sun”.
The Sun’s deep-seated magnetic field is the source of all solar flares, including those that the TRACE satellite recorded coming from Active Region AR 9143 on 28 August 2000: http://tinyurl.com/y9sobnu
Best wishes,
Oliver K. Manuel

JonesII
January 29, 2010 6:18 am

G.Varros:
One way to do your own little visual experiment is to take a nice flexible mouse cord and simply twist it with your two hands
Wonderful simplicity!, and if powered it is the same but scaled phenomenon.

JonesII