NCAR's Dikpati on the extended solar minimum

From UCAR: Extended solar minimum linked to changes in Sun’s conveyor belt

BOULDER—A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the Sun’s conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the Sun’s equator and its poles. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of solar cycles and could lead to better predictions.

The study was conducted by Mausumi Dikpati, Peter Gilman, and Giuliana de Toma, all scientists in the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), and by Roger Ulrich at the University of California, Los Angeles. It appeared on July 30 in Geophysical Research Letters. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s sponsor, and by NASA’s Living with a Star Program.

The Sun goes through cycles lasting approximately 11 years that include phases with increased magnetic activity, more sunspots, and more solar flares, than phases with less activity. The level of activity on the Sun can affect navigation and communications systems on Earth. Puzzlingly, solar cycle 23, the one that ended in 2008, lasted longer than previous cycles, with a prolonged phase of low activity that scientists had difficulty explaining.

The new NCAR analysis suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be changes in the Sun’s conveyor belt. Just as Earth’s global ocean circulation transports water and heat around the planet, the Sun has a conveyor belt in which plasma flows along the surface toward the poles, sinks, and returns toward the equator, transporting magnetic flux along the way.

“The key for explaining the long duration of cycle 23 with our dynamo model is the observation of an unusually long conveyor belt during this cycle,” Dikpati says. “Conveyor belt theory indicates that shorter belts, such as observed in cycle 22, should be more common in the Sun.”

Recent measurements gathered and analyzed by Ulrich and colleagues show that in solar cycle 23, the poleward flow extended all the way to the poles, while in previous solar cycles the flow turned back toward the equator at about 60 degrees latitude. Furthermore, as a result of mass conservation, the return flow was slower in cycle 23 than in previous cycles.

magnetic flux

An NCAR model of magnetic flux below the Sun’s surface, developed by Mausumi Dikpati and colleagues, shows the extended reach of flux transport during the solar cycle that ended in 2008 (right), compared to the previous cycle (left). The larger loop is believed to be related to the extended duration of the cycle. (Image courtesy UCAR.) News media terms of use*

In their paper, Dikpati, Gilman, and de Toma used simulations to model how the solar plasma conveyor belt affected the solar cycle. The authors found that the longer conveyor belt and slower return flow could have caused the longer duration of cycle 23.

The NCAR team’s computer model, known as the Predictive Flux-transport Dynamo Model, simulates the evolution of magnetic fields in the outer third of the Sun’s interior (the solar convection zone). It provides a physical basis for projecting the nature of upcoming solar cycles from the properties of previous cycles, as opposed to statistical models that emphasize correlations between cycles. In 2004, the model successfully predicted that cycle 23 would last longer than usual.

According to Dikpati, the duration of a solar cycle is probably determined by the strength of the Sun’s meridional flow. The combination of this flow and the lifting and twisting of magnetic fields near the bottom of the convection zone generates the observed symmetry of the Sun’s global field with respect to the solar equator.

“This study highlights the importance of monitoring and improving measurement of the Sun’s meridional circulation,” Ulrich says. “In order to improve predictions of the solar cycle, we need a strong effort to understand large-scale patterns of solar plasma motion.”

About the article

Title: Impact of changes in the Sun’s conveyor-belt on recent solar cycles

Authors: Mausumi Dikpati, Peter Gilman, Giuliana de Toma, and Roger Ulrich

Publication: Geophysical Research Letters

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150 thoughts on “NCAR's Dikpati on the extended solar minimum

  1. Sure beats me how you gather data to model the interior of the sun when you don’t even know its composition. Besides, if you look at it too long it hurts your eyes.

  2. I will answer with a Winnie the Pooh poem:
    The more it snows
    the more it goes
    the more it goes on
    snowing
    And a quote from Archimedes I think it was:
    in greek
    Δος μοι πα στω , και ταν γαν κινησω
    give me a place to stand, and I can move the earth
    In other words, give me a model, and I can explain it all.

  3. I ran the BBC article on this a few days ago. There seems to be some disagreement between the various people guessing what is going on inside the Sun.
    “However, Dr David Hathaway, a solar physicist from Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, who was not involved in the latest study, argued that it was the speed and not the extent of the conveyor that was of real importance. The conveyor has been running at record high-speeds for over five years. Dr Hathaway said: “I believe this could explain the unusually deep solar minimum.”
    Remember these are models Dikpati et al are playing with. Actual abservations are sparse.

  4. Unusual use of the word “explain” by these solar scientists.
    It seems that if they can describe something that they don’t understand in terms of something else that they don’t understand, then the 1st non-understood thing is “explained” and the mystery now is centered around the other thing that they don’t understand.
    Come to think of it, I guess that’s just science.

  5. I vote to send Mann to location and report back on the situation. While I doubt he will return, he will say that the conveyor belt is shaped like a hockey stick.

  6. Clearly I am not an expert on the subject of the sun.
    Please help me remedy this a little and clear up some of my ignorance.
    How can they know what is happening under the surface of the sun with any level of certainty? I know they can look at it with different filters to see the sun in x-ray, ultra-violet, etc…. but how do they see inside what is happening down below? Or are they looking at the patterns on the surface and agreeing (through confirmation bias) to all assume the same thing that is happening below the surface?
    Have we sent any probes into the sun to measure what it actually happening?
    So how do they know that there is a current moving down there?

  7. These observations have no predictive value. That won’t come until they understand why the conveyor belt’s behaviour changes. Gravitational pull on the sun by the major planets might be the factor that controls the conveyor belt. Finding patterned connections between the two might go part of the way to explaining and predicting sunspot cycle minima and maxima and related weather on Earth.

  8. Geoff Sherrington says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:15 am
    “Sure beats me how you gather data to model the interior of the sun when you don’t even know its composition. Besides, if you look at it too long it hurts your eyes.”
    You do it at night ;o)

  9. Ms Dikpati had a model back in 2006 which predicted the past very nicely. There seems to be some doubt about whether its predictions for Cycle 24 (huge), are going to happen.

  10. Is this the same Dakpati that refuses to acknowledge that she blew her forecast of SC24 as being the highest SS count on record. Any scientist thusly married to their pet theories should have funding removed until the rose colored glasses come off. She’s still using models rather than observation, and that to me is poor science.

  11. I note that the WSO tilt data (see “When the sun goes TILT”) seems to indicate that something rather unusual happened during solar cycle 23 around 2003 that caused a hidden secondary peak at that time. Perhaps this event signaled the collapse of the normal minor polar circulation cell that is indicated in the diagram above.

  12. Interesting bit of modeling, but it ultimately explains nothing. The hypothesis is that the stretched-out meridional flow prolonged Cycle 23. The un-asked question is: what stretched out the meridional flow?
    Ed

  13. Geoff says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:31 am
    Ms Dikpati had a model back in 2006 which predicted the past very nicely. There seems to be some doubt about whether its predictions for Cycle 24 (huge), are going to happen.
    My thoughts exactly! Well spotted. It was considered bang-on going back almost 100 years of past Solar Cycles, they were so confident in their models ability to model SC24. They got it completely wrong I believe. The arrogance of these people knows no limits it would seem.

  14. Ken Hall says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:03 am
    Have we sent any probes into the sun to measure what it actually happening?

    I think the probe builders are having a bit of trouble processing the unobtanium they need to use for the casing.

  15. Presumably movements in the centre of mass of the solar system due to orbital harmonics of the planets would impact the angular velocity of the Sun about it’s axis. Conventional physics suggests that this would disturb the fluid components making up the orb. But does anyone really know what alchemy is going on under those bright wriggly bits?

  16. The further any particular science is from regular, direct and comprehensive observations, the whackier its theories seem to get.
    I often wonder whether we have got stellar physics colossally wrong, never mind cosmology. The latter in particular makes the current state of climate science look positively empirical.
    For example – your model shows that 90% of the matter you were expecting to find isn’t there. What do you do? Instead of revising your model you postulate a ubiquitous, undetectable substance called ‘Dark Matter’. Right.

  17. “I think the probe builders are having a bit of trouble processing the unobtanium they need to use for the casing.”

    That is what I was thinking too. Perhaps they should use difficulttogetholdofium instead, or inventedofthetopofmyheadium.
    I hear there is a run on survivetheplasmacoronasphereium so that might be a tad too expensive too.
    My question about a probe, was somewhat tongue-in-cheek-ium.

  18. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 3:34 am
    I think the probe builders are having a bit of trouble processing the unobtanium they need to use for the casing.

    They can emulate solar conditions inside accelerators and reactors by using magnetic bottles to trap the well-hot stuff safely.
    So they just need to build one of these inside out.

  19. Ed Fix says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:58 am
    Interesting bit of modeling, but it ultimately explains nothing. The hypothesis is that the stretched-out meridional flow prolonged Cycle 23. The un-asked question is: what stretched out the meridional flow?
    Ed, Dead right. It has struck me for years and years that climate scientist never, never get to the source. It’s always, ‘something does this’ but never ‘and it does it because of this and then this’. Never at source.

  20. Clearly, it’s caused by CO2.
    As has been pointed out (correctly) time and again, a “cold” object can cause a nearby “hot” heat source to get hotter. Man, with his universe-destroying CO2 emissions, is increasing the temperature of the earth which radiates some of its heat back towards the sun.
    This causes a small, but significant, heating of the solar surface above what Mother Nature intended and disrupts the natural circulatory systems there. Worryingly, although the effect is tiny, there will be feedback involved which will amplify the effect in time – more heating of the sun = more heating of the earth = more heating of the sun…..
    Having done some rough calculations on a postage stamp I estimate that, if we continue to produce CO2 at current rates, the end result will be for the sun to explode in about 5 billion years. But that’s assuming that our emissions stay constant. In fact they’re increasing so this catastrophe could happen at any time!!!!

  21. Ken Hall says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:03 am
    Clearly I am not an expert on the subject of the sun.
    How can they know what is happening under the surface of the sun with any level of certainty?

    Ken,
    I also am no expert on solar physics.
    My prospective is that once the study of nature goes beyond what is directly perceivable via the evidence of the human senses, then you get to the most interesting part of science because it is more challenging. Human nature being what it is then I think no mystery of the universe, especially the sun, will withstand the human mind’s ability. My pro-human cheerleading ends. : )
    I estimate that the current situation wrt to unraveling the sun is it is a ‘constantly developing work-in-progress”. And probably the result of the effort is going to be non-linear with the amount of time or money spent.
    John

  22. These Birkeland words, speaking about his terrella EXPERIMENT (not a model) which applies also to the Sun, says it all:
    “if the globe is magnetised, even very slightly, the patches from which the disruptive discharges issue, arrange themselves then in two zones parallel with the magnetic equator of the globe; and the more powerfully the globe is magnetised, the nearer do they come to the equator “
    So, the “power” varies during the cycle and during bigger cycles.
    There are not any pantyhose´s loosen elastics here

  23. Laughing at Tallbloke and Ken. Really funny.
    Tallblokes site is worth visiting. I think that research into solar phenomena is going to take off in all directions following the unexpected (maybe not so) SC24 stall.
    I know that Theodor Landscheidt is not a favourite of Anthonys but his ideas, although not as refined as such, hold more water and display more predictive power than the recent predictions of our current solar experts.

  24. Ed Fix says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:58 am
    Interesting bit of modeling, but it ultimately explains nothing. The hypothesis is that the stretched-out meridional flow prolonged Cycle 23. The un-asked question is: what stretched out the meridional flow?
    Hi Ed I was interested in your graph that appeared in David Archibald’s latest book. We might be on the same page, I also ask the question why don’t they know why the conveyor belt changed.
    Maybe they should ask us?

  25. Mausumi…come on!, you already played and lost, it´s the turn for the other kids to play now!
    You said this was gonna be a big cycle, don´t change it now!

  26. H.R. says:
    August 17, 2010 at 2:27 am
    Geoff Sherrington says: “Sure beats me how you gather data to model the interior of the sun when you don’t even know its composition. Besides, if you look at it too long it hurts your eyes.”
    “You do it at night ;o)”
    That’s almost true. One of the standard techniques is to use an occulter disk (which could be the Earth or the Moon, or something much smaller and much closer) to block out the bright disk and let you see the interesting stuff going on at the rim.

  27. Filing this one under “Wild A$$ed Guesses”, with the sub-heading “supported by pretty charts, some code that makes a computer do really cool tricks, and lots of public funding”.
    Right? Wrong? Who knows. Can’t discount the ‘even a blind squirrel’ phenom.

  28. Ken,
    I think one important thing which is done is to measure the vibrations of the sun. Just as we use vibrations of the earth (from earth quakes) to determine the structure of the earth, so sun vibrations can be used to determine the structure of the sun.

  29. Dave Dardinger says:
    August 17, 2010 at 5:57 am
    An electrocardiogram?….The Sun is the ER already!

  30. Jim Hogg says
    “These observations have no predictive value. That won’t come until they understand why the conveyor belt’s behaviour changes. Gravitational pull on the sun by the major planets might be the factor that controls the conveyor belt. Finding patterned connections between the two might go part of the way to explaining and predicting sunspot cycle minima and maxima and related weather on Earth.”
    ————
    I agree.
    Just a thought though…. As I believe it, ‘plasma reactions ‘ require not only hugh gravitational forces to operate at the atomic level but also attendant, immense, magnetic fields for general containment (as in the Sun) . As most of our solar system planets (and several satellites) have magnetic fields; might there also be an effect magnetically, in addition to any gravitational effect of planitary alignment? Could this effect possibly affect the ‘conveyor belt(s)’ enough to cause problems.

  31. Katabasis says:
    August 17, 2010 at 3:52 am
    “For example – your model shows that 90% of the matter you were expecting to find isn’t there. What do you do? Instead of revising your model you postulate a ubiquitous, undetectable substance called ‘Dark Matter’. Right.”
    The “dark matter” craze is mostly a media misunderstanding of some standard astrophysics. Galaxies rotate under gravity. Nothing fancy, just ordinary Newtonian physics. The orbital speed at a given radius from the centre tells you how much mass there is inside that radius. But, based on the observed luminosity, the total mass of visible stars (the “light matter”) is too low to account for the velocity curves. So there must be more mass we don’t see (the “dark matter” or “missing mass”). This comprises the interstellar medium of neutral gas, dust, dark nebulae, planetary bodies, brown dwarfs (stars and sub-stars too faint to see), ordinary stars hidden by dust, neutron stars, black holes, and other junk. There’s nothing particularly mysterious about it – we know it’s there – and we don’t have to rely on any weird quantum particles or strange fields (though they cannot be entirely ruled out). The motions of clusters of galaxies display similar shortfalls, but again, the intergalactic medium, loose stars, fragmented satellite galaxies and so forth can explain this without recourse to science fiction. Which isn’t to say that the science fiction is necessarily all wrong, mind.

  32. Ken & Geoff,
    As Dave says, you can learn something about what is going on inside the sun by looking at modes of vibration of the sun. Google “helioseismology” to find out more. It’s not an exact science, because you have to solve something called an ‘inverse problem’ that does not have a unique solution.
    Also you can see the poleward flow at the surface, and deduce that there must be a return flow somewhere underneath.
    Having said that, it is all a bit speculative – especially how this would lead to a long minimum – and the healthy skepticism expressed on this thread is justified.

  33. There are two expert past studies on the subject of meridional flow modelling
    done by Hulburt Center for Space Research (by Wang , Lean and Sheeley)
    http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/1538-4357/577/1/L53/16614.text.html
    and and Max-Planck-Institut ( Solanki et al)
    http://www.aanda.org/index.php?option=article&access=standard&Itemid=129&url=/articles/aa/full/2004/42/aa1024/aa1024.right.html
    I of course would also recommend a look at the PF equation numbers (2×11.862 and 19.859) in the formula http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC17.htm
    which is in excellent agreement with results of above studies, and
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/LFC2.htm

  34. Enneagram says:
    August 17, 2010 at 5:47 am
    These Birkeland words, speaking about his terrella EXPERIMENT (not a model) which applies also to the Sun, says it all
    It does NOT apply to the Sun, so no need to dredge that up again.
    ——
    The latest helioseismology data [presented at SHINE 2010] indicate that there does not seem to be a conveyor belt at all, but rather several cells, both in latitude and more importantly at depth. What we observe at the surface does not seem to reflect very well what goes on deep within the Sun. SDO will in the coming years tell us more about the circulation(s).

  35. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:30 am
    I ran the BBC article on this a few days ago. There seems to be some disagreement between the various people guessing what is going on inside the Sun.
    “However, Dr David Hathaway, a solar physicist from Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, who was not involved in the latest study, argued that it was the speed and not the extent of the conveyor that was of real importance. The conveyor has been running at record high-speeds for over five years. Dr Hathaway said: “I believe this could explain the unusually deep solar minimum.”
    If I remember correctly, before that it was thought that the conveyor was running a little slower!

  36. Modelers really have a rough time in today’s politicized atmosphere (we have become such a jaded bunch). They are damned if they stick to their theories, and damned if they change mid way. I think this attempt at understanding the length of a cycle is worth putting out there and seeing what sticks to it and what falls away. I give her props, whether she is wrong or right.

  37. A question:
    If the conveyor system provides a thick, constant poleward flow on the surface of the sun, why is it that a given solar cycle’s spots tend to first appear far from the equator and then, over the length of the cycle’s active period [apparently] migrate toward the equatorial region?
    Are the spots [some kind of equivalent of] bubbles coming up from the very deep counter-flow?
    Of course, this still does beg the question of how the north and south polar regions are somewhat synchronized in their commencement of sunspot spot activities each cycle.
    Mike

  38. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:59 am
    What is it that Dikpati and Hathaway observe at the surface, that tells them the solar converyor has speeded up or has greater reach to the poles? At what wavelength(s) of light do these observations come from?

  39. rbateman says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:34 am
    What is it that Dikpati and Hathaway observe at the surface, that tells them the solar conveyor has speeded up or has greater reach to the poles? At what wavelength(s) of light do these observations come from?
    They track the movement of magnetic fields on the surface [in visible light magnetograms, 525 nm and 602 nm, respectively].

  40. MikeW says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:20 am
    If the conveyor system provides a thick, constant poleward flow on the surface of the sun, why is it that a given solar cycle’s spots tend to first appear far from the equator and then, over the length of the cycle’s active period [apparently] migrate toward the equatorial region?
    According to their model [and most solar physicists] the magnetic field is amplified during the travel on the belt at depth, Once it is strong some of it breaks out to the surface. As the belt continues its equatorward motion, the break-out will likewise.
    Are the spots [some kind of equivalent of] bubbles coming up from the very deep counter-flow?
    That is the idea.

  41. Dikpati says. “Conveyor belt theory indicates that shorter belts, such as observed in cycle 22, should be more common in the Sun.” “Recent measurements gathered and analyzed by Ulrich and colleagues show that in solar cycle 23, the poleward flow extended all the way to the poles, while in previous solar cycles the flow turned back toward the equator at about 60 degrees latitude.”
    Thought experiment: If the conveyor belt ‘normally’ turns back at 60 degrees, it should provide a large cross section for return flow and create a large ‘eddy’ at +60 to 90 degrees. In contrast, if the conveyor extends to near 90 degrees, the cross section area at the pole for return flow becomes constrained. Either the plasma return flows must really accelerate through the constrained sections at the poles or the average velocity of the outward flowing plasmas must decelerate to accommodate the constrained return flows. Think of it as an ‘orifice’ in a fluid flow pipe line. The higher the latitude, the smaller the diameter of the return orifice and vice versa.
    Does a ‘slow’ outward conveyor flow to high latitudes correlate with low sunspot counts, low coronal mass ejections, and lower UV radiation? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Or does the returning volume of plasma at the poles really accelerate to maintain steady state outward flows? This would seem to increase interior turbulence however, not conducive to the quiescent sun we are experiencing.
    What makes the ‘conveyor’ flow to higher latitudes? Normal variability in a chaotic but somewhat periodic system? Microscopic black holes orbiting the solar mass center? };>)
    And what does any of this mean for us mere earthlings? Stack up more dry firewood because the solar plasmas have headed for the poles??

  42. Mac the Knife says:
    August 17, 2010 at 8:02 am
    Dikpati says. “Conveyor belt theory indicates that shorter belts,
    The discussion may be moot as there does not seem to even be a conveyor belt, but several cells on top of one another going inward.

  43. ShrNfr:
    I vote to send Mann to the location
    ————
    Mann would not want to expose himself to danger so would prefer to go at night

  44. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:59 am (Edit)
    The latest helioseismology data [presented at SHINE 2010] indicate that there does not seem to be a conveyor belt at all, but rather several cells, both in latitude and more importantly at depth. What we observe at the surface does not seem to reflect very well what goes on deep within the Sun. SDO will in the coming years tell us more about the circulation(s).

    Looks like all bets are off for now then with dynamologer’s theories.
    David Hathaway was refreshingly frank about it in a recent interview.
    FLATOW: So are there really set cycles the sun goes through? Why does it go through these cycles? Why isn’t it just stable?
    Dr. HATHAWAY: Oh, yeah, great question. I wish I knew the answer. It goes through a cycle of about 11 years with sunspots, but again, about 11 years, it varies by, give or take, about one year. And the thing that really surprised us this time is that the last cycle, it took 12 years and three months before the next cycle really got started. And that’s -the late start is indicative of a small cycle, but it’s all related to magnetism, magnetic fields generated within the sun. That much we know for sure. The precise details on how it does that or – is, again, where the devil is. But we’re learning more about it.
    We’re sure of some aspects as far as how flows within the sun take the magnetic fields and drag them around and stretch them out and twist them up. But for the last decade, I thought we had it figured out, until this sunspot cycle minimum came around and there were a number of unexpected things that makes me believe that at least my understanding of how it worked, that I thought was correct for the last 10 years, is in error. So we were – it’s…
    FLATOW: So we thought we knew how the sun works, but we’re not quite sure.
    Dr. HATHAWAY: Yeah, certainly I’m not.

  45. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 8:48 am
    Looks like all bets are off for now then with dynamologer’s theories.
    Dr. HATHAWAY: Yeah, certainly I’m not.
    1) Hathaway is not a dynamo modeler.
    2) his geomagnetic peak theory didn’t work because he picked the wrong peak
    There is a class of dynamo models that are right on track for SC24.

  46. I suppose we should be grateful for the computer simulation failing to make predictions and now giving answers after the fact.
    How much could that have cost us, 5-10 million dollars?
    Whereas The ILC (International Linear Collider) is in the planning stage and the DOE is estimating it may cost 20 billion dollars.
    I say give them computer models instead, let them make press releases, and ignore them.

  47. And to further harp on my sad theme of crying over spilt milk,
    the continuous nuclear reaction which is supposed to be powering the sun, and all other stars, based on a theory started in 1923, has never been accomplished in a reactor.
    The figure spent on that theory is also in the billions and billions of tax dollars.

  48. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:14 am
    the continuous nuclear reaction which is supposed to be powering the sun, and all other stars, based on a theory started in 1923, has never been accomplished in a reactor.
    Of course it has [way back in 1932], but not in a sustained or controlled fashion [Hydrogen bombs]. The theory that put men on the Moon is from 1666.

  49. Paul Birch says:
    The “dark matter” craze is mostly a media misunderstanding of some standard astrophysics.
    I agree.
    There is nothing mystic about dark mater. It’s a matter of our observational limitations. We don’t know how many galaxies have collapsed into singularities and have become non luminous super massive objects.
    Our visible universe appears much like a sponge held together by filaments of active mater. The voids are said to have a lower density than the surrounding filaments of active mater. This may be true on average but it doesn’t mean that a supper massive object doesn’t reside within. It’s possible that the void exists because the mater has been consumed by the NLSMO.

  50. ShrNfr:
    I vote to send Mann to the location
    Seconded…. maybe he can find some interesting coronal proxies 😉

  51. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:35 am
    Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:14 am
    the continuous nuclear reaction which is supposed to be powering the sun, and all other stars, based on a theory started in 1923, has never been accomplished in a reactor.
    Of course it has [way back in 1932], but not in a sustained or controlled fashion [Hydrogen bombs].
    That is what I said. The point is how much it is costing us.
    And historical note for comparison: A tiny fraction of that amount of time and money was spent on cold fusion, before it was declared to be impossible.

  52. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:00 am
    –the continuous nuclear reaction which is supposed to be powering the sun–
    That is what I said. The point is how much it is costing us.

    The ‘offensive’ word was ‘supposed’.
    About the cost: it is tiny compared to what society is willing to spent on other things, e.g. Wars, Bailouts, etc.

  53. @Paul Birch:
    Thanks for the clarification, however I’m still very sceptical:
    “But, based on the observed luminosity, the total mass of visible stars (the “light matter”) is too low to account for the velocity curves. So there must be more mass we don’t see (the “dark matter” or “missing mass”).”
    There must?
    “This comprises the interstellar medium of neutral gas, dust, dark nebulae, planetary bodies, brown dwarfs (stars and sub-stars too faint to see), ordinary stars hidden by dust, neutron stars, black holes, and other junk.”
    I’d find the theory more palatable if this was all it was talking about with regard to the “missing matter”, though you’ve included at least one more theoretical construct in that list (black holes).
    “There’s nothing particularly mysterious about it – we know it’s there”
    We do? How?
    ” – and we don’t have to rely on any weird quantum particles or strange fields (though they cannot be entirely ruled out).”
    What is being proposed is very strange – even given the list you provide above it is a colossal ask to entertain the idea that this is what makes up 80% of the matter supposed to exist in the universe; the calculation for which is IIRC based on the Big Bang Theory, which is even more of a mind-bending LSD tripping whacky theory, and a First Cause argument to boot.
    What is being described appears to be artefacts of the underlying theory, not something based primarily on observation.
    Unless I’ve misunderstood you, you appear to be saying that the ‘popular’ concept of Dark Matter is completely wrong – so, to use Wikipedia as an example: “The largest part of dark matter, which does not interact with electromagnetic radiation, is not only “dark” but also, by definition, utterly transparent.” – is this completely wrong?
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter)
    Here’s what someone at NASA says about it: “The search for the nature of dark matter is a very active field in astronomy and physics. Scientists do not know what it is made of, but they are investigating a number of possibilities.”
    http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/teachers/galaxies/imagine/dark_matter.html
    We “know” it’s there, but don’t know what it is, or how to detect it, except by extreme inference.
    I’m sorry, I’m having great difficulty accepting this as in any way solid (slight pun intended). 😛

  54. At this point, I do not think it is clear, even with a history of over 300 years of solar observations, if we are observing the random processes of solar surface weather or a potentially predictable solar climate. This particular paper seems to suggest that the duration of solar cycle 23 may have been extended due to a collapse of a proposed northern polar minor circulation cell. Perhaps this was an irregular random event. The article, as presented, seems to lack any discussion of the state of what should be an equivalent southern polar circulation cell. It might be interesting to consider the possible consequences and probabilities of losing both cells at the same time.
    One might want to be on the lookout for something special happening on the sun whenever the presumed defunct northern circulation cell is resumes operation.

  55. It is appropriate to say that nuclear reactions are “supposed” to power the sun, as all science is provisional and we have limited data and need more instruments and more measurements. I have not offended.
    And the billions spent on this sustained nuclear reaction is not at all tiny. It is only tiny to the government who took it from the taxpayer.

  56. MartinGAtkins says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:41 am
    “[…]
    There is nothing mystic about dark mater. It’s a matter of our observational limitations. We don’t know how many galaxies have collapsed into singularities and have become non luminous super massive objects.
    Our visible universe appears much like a sponge held together by filaments of active mater. The voids are said to have a lower density than the surrounding filaments of active mater. This may be true on average but it doesn’t mean that a supper massive object doesn’t reside within. It’s possible that the void exists because the mater has been consumed by the NLSMO.”
    I disagree. From what i know, Zwicky used the Virial theorem to estimate the amount of matter necessary to explain the motion of a spiral galaxy, where inner and outer parts rotate around the center with the same periodicity – so the entire spiral galacy keeps its structure. He concluded that there has to be a large amount of unobserved or dark matter to explain this motion. AFAIK that was how the concept of dark matter got invented. It was necessary to fix a chasm between theory and observation.
    Also, your supermassive objects would have to be detectable by their gravity lens effect.

  57. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:12 am
    It is appropriate to say that nuclear reactions are “supposed” to power the sun, as all science is provisional
    It was ‘supposed’ to many decades ago, but no longer. In all science there comes a point where we stop saying ‘supposed’ and that point is way past for what powers the sun. We also do not say any longer: ‘the Earth is supposed to be round and not flat’.

  58. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:29 am
    “I’m in principle suspicious of claims that are ‘beyond doubt”.
    You are confusing ‘claims’ and established fact. In science, once evidence becomes overwhelming, it is no longer a ‘claim’, but a ‘fact’. Round Earth, Heliocentric solar system, Expansion of space, Evolution, etc. Now, for each of these you can always find hold-outs who dispute them, but that does not change anything.

  59. Computer models are useful to help flesh out a concept od illustrate something. They are no substitute for observation and experimentation; they are neither data nor experiments.

  60. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:41 am
    You are confusing ‘claims’ and established fact. In science, once evidence becomes overwhelming, it is no longer a ‘claim’, but a ‘fact’.

    To be very specific, the ‘claims’ regarding the thermonuclear sun with a dynamo generating the complex magnetic fields, and conveyor belts,
    graduated to scientific ‘fact’ in the ’20’s. No other hypothesis has been deeply considered, ever.
    Now a claim that becomes a fact without any possible chance of falsification is still a claim. A very expensive multi-billion dollar claim that cannot make predictions and is lacking in basic explanatory power. See tallbloke’s post.

  61. Didn’t their backcast “prove” their earlier model 98% accurate (at least until reality set in)? Anyway, it seems like it boils down to they just need more money so they can predict randomness.

  62. AH, dark matter. Yes 🙂
    I find it interesting, if not impossible, to think of matter without thermal radiation. Perhaps the fact that galaxies don’t seem to hold together under our most advanced theories of gravitation suggests to me perhaps revisiting our theory of gravitation over immense distances; rather than create some new thing, deus ex machina like.

  63. Ahem..
    My theory (which is mine) of Astrophysical Galactic Warping, or AGW as I like to call it
    Dark matter surrounds the galaxy, which, as we know should fly apart, there not being enough mass to generate enough gravity to hold it together. This dark matter, or Cop-Out**2 is it is known by experts in the field (abreviated to CO2) works in this manner.
    CO2 absorbs the gravity emitted by the galaxy and then re-emits it in both directions, thereby increasing by many-fold the amount of gravity in the galaxy, holding it together. Some pessimists suggests that this may eventually lead to a dangerous build-up of CO2, as the greater gravity will attract more CO2, which will in turn cause more build up of gravity in the galaxy, until a dangerous tipping point is reached and the galaxy will crush in onto itself, forming a black hole, into which massive amounts of research funding can be perpetually poured.
    /enough with the fun already, now back to work.

  64. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:54 am
    To be very specific, the ‘claims’ regarding the thermonuclear sun with a dynamo generating the complex magnetic fields, and conveyor belts
    There are two different things there: the thermonuclear sun and the dynamo. There are not connected.
    graduated to scientific ‘fact’ in the ’20′s. No other hypothesis has been deeply considered, ever.
    The fusion theory was subjected to intense scrutiny in the 1990s, even to the point it was suggested it didn’t operate at all [at the present, at least], because of the ‘neutrino problem’. The fusion theory predicted a specific number of neutrinos, which was higher than what was observed at the time. With newer neutrino monitors in the 2000s, it was found that neutrinos oscillate between three flavors, and that the predicted flux was correct after all. This is the kind of evidence that helps elevate a theory to a fact.
    Now a claim that becomes a fact without any possible chance of falsification is still a claim.
    The neutrino observations were the falsification test, and the fusion theory passed with flying colors.
    The dynamo is a different matter. It is certain that there is a dynamo [that’s how the universe create magnetic fields from earlier magnetic fields], but we don’t know the details of how it operates. Those are being researched and we’ll eventually find out.

  65. …Expansion of space…
    An idea invented by Guth to get out of a hole the big bang was in. If we could, this instant, go the edge of expanding space what is on the other side of the edge? What is it expanding into? Space could have existed before the big bang, not get created when it occured. Also time could have existed before the big bang because we don’t know how long the singularity existed before “explosion”.
    Before anyone gets hyper I accept the big bang. Other than “Let there be light.” it is the only reasonable explanation at this time. I just think it needs some work.

  66. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 11:29 am
    With newer neutrino monitors in the 2000s, it was found that neutrinos oscillate between three flavors, and that the predicted flux was correct after all. This is the kind of evidence that helps elevate a theory to a fact.

    I understand, I hope accurately, that the new theory inre neutrinos says that this particle leaves the sun (as a byproduct of a nuclear reaction)
    as one ‘flavor’ of neutrino, and arrive at earth as another ‘flavor’ of neutrino.

  67. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 11:43 am
    I understand, I hope accurately, that the new theory in re neutrinos says that this particle leaves the sun (as a byproduct of a nuclear reaction)
    It is not a ‘new’ theory. The theory has predicted this from [almost] the beginning.
    i>as one ‘flavor’ of neutrino, and arrive at earth as another ‘flavor’ of neutrino.
    There are three flavors [or families] of elementary particles and of neutrinos. The fusion process only produce neutrinos of one family. However, it seems that neutrinos have mass [tiny] and that they therefore can oscillate between the three families and that we therefore only see one third of each. The original neutrino experiment [begun in 1968] was only sensitive to one of those families and therefore saw only a third. Newer monitors can see the other flavors and it all adds up to what it should. We check this by looking for neutrinos produced by nuclear power plants, and it all check out. There is no neutrino problem any more and the fusion theory can now resonably well be considered a fact.

  68. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 11:29 am
    It is certain that there is a dynamo [that’s how the universe create magnetic fields from earlier magnetic fields], but we don’t know the details of how it operates. Those are being researched and we’ll eventually find out.

    At this point in time this is the statement of an article of faith rather than a scientific pronouncement. I would agree with Leif that the overturning of material inside the sun due to temperature differentials will create magnetic fields. Whether or not these are the main cause and/or principle modulators of the sunspot cycles is now an ***OPEN QUESTION***
    Hurrah! I love mysteries and open fields of research 🙂
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:59 am
    there does not seem to be a conveyor belt at all, but rather several cells, both in latitude and more importantly at depth. What we observe at the surface does not seem to reflect very well what goes on deep within the Sun. SDO will in the coming years tell us more about the circulation(s).

    Good luck with the two day old hypothesis on “cells at various depths” Leif. Sincerely, it’s great to see you sweeping away the old and getting on with the new.

  69. Ken S says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:04 am (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:30 am
    “The conveyor has been running at record high-speeds for over five years. Dr Hathaway said: “I believe this could explain the unusually deep solar minimum.””
    If I remember correctly, before that it was thought that the conveyor was running a little slower!

    IIRC Hathaway said th southern solar hemisphere conveyor had slowed down. Anyway, as Leif says, conveyors are so yesterday, let’s get with the new.

  70. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    At this point in time this is the statement of an article of faith rather than a scientific pronouncement.
    No, that is the considered opinion of every scientist in the field. Not ‘article of faith’ anymore than Maxwell’s equations are.
    Good luck with the two day old hypothesis on “cells at various depths”
    This is the result of the GONG-experiment as reported by Frank Hill at SHINE. It is is, of course, only preliminary, and we need more data to pin down where the cells are and how they change with time. Keep your ‘in with the new’ where it belongs.

  71. Robert of Ottawa says:
    August 17, 2010 at 11:18 am
    That’s a Galactic Green House!, fantastic: You just took Arrhenius mistake to galactic levels. Now you’ll have to find a galactic pot and its lid to keep all that dark heat trapped in it!

  72. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    Newer monitors can see the other flavors and it all adds up to what it should.
    What you are saying is that the total amount of neutrinos, as required from a thermonuclear sun, are present.
    However, the type of neutrinos required for the thermonuclear model are not arriving to earth. So it must be said that the neutrinos that left the sun oscillated into a different flavor of neutrino, and arrived in the proper amounts, but not in the proper types.
    Do neutrinos oscillate into a different ‘flavor’ on their path to the earth?

  73. We are in an epistemological problem about how to disentangle a tangle. In order to achieve such a bliss we should turn our minds blank of any self indulging beliefs and begin from the start again.

  74. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm
    that is the considered opinion of every scientist in the field. Not ‘article of faith’ anymore than Maxwell’s equations are.

    Maxwell had some great insights, somewhat tempered by Oliver Heavyside’s reformulations.
    This is the result of the GONG-experiment as reported by Frank Hill at SHINE. It is is, of course, only preliminary, and we need more data to pin down where the cells are and how they change with time.
    It’s as exciting for us as you. We will soon be able to download data and see how these “cells” relate to planetary positions and their relative motion.
    Keep your ‘in with the new’ where it belongs.
    Hey, our hypothesis is a good deal older and better developed than your new one, and has been shown to make useful predictions, unlike your old and now obsolete theory, so take it easy with the putdowns.
    You said two days ago of this post:
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm
    for today’s solar system there is not enough energy in the planetary influences to have any effect. To overcome that hurdle the correlation has to be MUCH better.

    I have modified Roy Martin’s calculations to test for an electromagnetic influence rather than tidal and the correlation has got MUCH better. No ‘upstream power’ from the planets to the sun is required for the local organisation of energy at the solar surface to be affected by planetary positions, as has already been empirically proven. I’ll be posting about it soon so folk should keep an eye on my blog for the new results over the next few days.

  75. So what does their predict we can expect (duration and activity) from this cycle?
    Being able to make reasonably correct predictions is the sign of a robust model.

  76. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:57 am
    MikeW says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:20 am
    If the conveyor system provides a thick, constant poleward flow on the surface of the sun, why is it that a given solar cycle’s spots tend to first appear far from the equator and then, over the length of the cycle’s active period [apparently] migrate toward the equatorial region?
    According to their model [and most solar physicists] the magnetic field is amplified during the travel on the belt at depth, Once it is strong some of it breaks out to the surface. As the belt continues its equatorward motion, the break-out will likewise.
    Are the spots [some kind of equivalent of] bubbles coming up from the very deep counter-flow?
    That is the idea.
    _____
    Does the magnetic disturbance display any cyclonic or anticyclonic behavior? My minds eye pictures a giant magnetic stirring device whirling in the depths of the solar beaker creating a vortex.

  77. DirkH says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:18 am
    Zwicky used the Virial theorem to estimate the amount of matter necessary to explain the motion of a spiral galaxy, where inner and outer parts rotate around the center with the same periodicity
    A presumption that is not confirmed by observation. There is strong visual evidence that the inner stars are being ripped apart and shooting dust outward from the poles of the central mass.
    Observations of less complex massive bodies indicate that the rotational velocity is not at its highest at the disks widest plane but rather across the plane. The arms are the product of ejected matter from the poles of the black hole that later condense into stars with denser elements.
    Globular clusters are almost entirely made up of hydrogen. It is these that are being pulled by gravity to the central mass. They don’t rotate because gravity doesn’t rotate. Only when they approach the central mass do they start to collide with other light elements and they fall close to the event horizon. Some electrons are stripped and shoot out at the poles, others are consumed adding to the mass of the black hole. After that it all becomes a bit vague. 🙂
    Also, your supermassive objects would have to be detectable by their gravity lens effect.
    You can only use the gravity lens to detect local massive objects. The filaments are made up of millions of galaxies.
    http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/G/Galactic+Filaments

  78. Richard G says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    As in the Birkeland’ s Terrella EXPERIMENT. But that’ s to simple for minds entangled in a self indulging string universe. How could I get free out of me?

  79. My2Cents says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm (Edit)
    So what does their predict we can expect (duration and activity) from this cycle?
    Being able to make reasonably correct predictions is the sign of a robust model.

    Good question. Dikpati seems to have learned from previous mistakes (predicting solar cycle 24 to be the biggest ever) and is saying nothing definite. Conveyor belt theory seems to be old hat anyway according to Leif’s account of the latest GONG results.

  80. Katabasis says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:09 am
    Paul Birch says: “But, based on the observed luminosity, the total mass of visible stars (the “light matter”) is too low to account for the velocity curves. So there must be more mass we don’t see (the “dark matter” or “missing mass”).”
    “There must?”
    Unless you want to deny something as basic and thoroughly well established as Newtonian gravity.
    Paul says: “This comprises the interstellar medium of neutral gas, dust, dark nebulae, planetary bodies, brown dwarfs (stars and sub-stars too faint to see), ordinary stars hidden by dust, neutron stars, black holes, and other junk.”
    “I’d find the theory more palatable if this was all it was talking about with regard to the “missing matter”, though you’ve included at least one more theoretical construct in that list (black holes).”
    Black holes are pretty firmly established by now – both observationally and theoretically. One can quibble about some of the physics, but there’s little ndoubt that objects heavier and more compact than neutron stars do exist.
    Paul says: “There’s nothing particularly mysterious about it – we know it’s there”
    “We do? How?”
    We can detect these forms of matter in various ways, particularly in own own galactic neighbourhood. For example, we can see where dust clouds block out light from beyond, so we know (to a high degree of confidence) that there must be stars we can’t see behind them. Stars far too faint to be observed in distant galaxies can yet be seen if they are nearby (within a few tenths of a light years).
    “What is being proposed is very strange – even given the list you provide above it is a colossal ask to entertain the idea that this is what makes up 80% of the matter supposed to exist in the universe; the calculation for which is IIRC based on the Big Bang Theory, which is even more of a mind-bending LSD tripping whacky theory, and a First Cause argument to boot. ”
    This is mixing up the astrophysical missing mass question with the cosmological critical mass assumption (this is a common confusion, especially in the media, but even among cosmologists). Observational evidence suggests that the universe is open, with a deceleration parameter ~1/10. Certain theoretical cosmologists don’t like that, and would prefer to believe that the unverse is either closed or at the critical boundary between the two, with q0=1/2. The universe seems to disagree, having apparently a density only a fifth or a tenth of what these theorists would like. By hijacking the genuine astrophysical dark matter concept, they are able to obscure the conflict with the observational evidence. There is, however, no good reason to suppose that this weirdified Dark Matter has any reality. The evidence for the low deceleration parameter has nothing to do with the gravitational effect of missing mass; it is largely based on the number of quasars and extragalactic radio sources at high red-shift, which depends upon the geometry of space-time. An open universe has a much greater volume at high red-shifts than a closed universe – and so we expect to see an exponential surplus of sources the further out we look. The analysis is complicated by the fact that further in distance is also further back in time, when the quasars were younger and active ones were probably more numerous. This complication means that the evidence is not quite watertight, giving the cosmologists a bit of wriggle room; we can’t absolutely rule out a universe of critical density.
    What is being described appears to be artefacts of the underlying theory, not something based primarily on observation.
    “Unless I’ve misunderstood you, you appear to be saying that the ‘popular’ concept of Dark Matter is completely wrong”
    It’s wrong in the sense that talk of “carbon emissions” is also wrong. Carbon emissions are soot. Carbon dioxide emissions are quite different, and have very different effects. In science, accuracy in speech and concept is important. Muddle up disparate notions (as in the popular Dark Matter fad) and you end up talking nonsense.
    I hope I’ve been able to clarify things a bit, and not just confused them further!

  81. We need very large telescopes in space or on the Moon, so we can monitor Solar Cycles on other stars.
    Of course everyone else will want it for monitoring everything else.

  82. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 8:48 am
    “Looks like all bets are off for now then with dynamologer’s theories. David Hathaway was refreshingly frank about it in a recent interview.”
    The penny has only just dropped for Hathaway. Here’s a quote from another rather puzzled scientist:-
    Eugene N. Parker – Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and the College; Enrico Fermi Institute – Eugene N. Parker – Special Historical Review article in Solar Physics, “…the pedestrian Sun exhibits a variety of phenomena that defy contemporary theoretical understanding. We need look no farther than the sunspot, or the intensely filamentary structure of the photospheric magnetic field, or the spicules, or the origin of the small magnetic bi-poles that continually emerge in the super-granules, or the heat source that maintains the expanding gas in the coronal hole, or the effective magnetic diffusion that is so essential for understanding the solar dynamo, or the peculiar internal rotation inferred from helioseismology, or the variation of solar brightness with the level of solar activity, to name a few of the more obvious mysterious macro-physical phenomena exhibited by the Sun.”

  83. @Zeke the Sneak. Do you ever do your act in clubs? If so, I’d love to know where so I could see it. You’re absolutely brilliant as a parodist.
    Unless you’re serious. In which case, my condolences to those who have to put up with you on a regular basis.

  84. If one wants to get speculative, try and imagine what might happen when two huge black-holes almost collide, given that each has an event-horizon where time-dilation has brought the local flow of time to a complete stop. Do these time-static event-horizons become deformed by tidal forces as the two objects come near? And what about the center of mass point between the two objects where the gravitational forces from both objects cancel out and thus time must flow at the normal rate? What if this point just grazes a normal event-horizon radius.

  85. Spector says:
    August 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm
    They might bounce off each other like billiard balls.
    Some say one of them could be so disrupted as to fly apart, the individual pieces transferring some of thier mass to light and losing thier singularity in a ginormous explosion. Quasar?

  86. Hmmm, so if the filament of a light bulb gets hotter it will put out more light and heat.
    Doesn’t this leave out what causes the filament to get hotter? Or, in the sun’s case, what drives the changes in the magnetic field and overall energy??

  87. Spector, if the horizon was at a stop it would no longer be a part of our time frame. You can only speculate that it becomes extremely slow. OOOPS, but then, that disallow BH completely dunnit??

  88. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:05 am
    Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:00 am
    –the continuous nuclear reaction which is supposed to be powering the sun–
    That is what I said. The point is how much it is costing us.
    The ‘offensive’ word was ‘supposed’.
    About the cost: it is tiny compared to what society is willing to spent on other things, e.g. Wars, Bailouts, etc.
    ____________________________________________________
    It would be very tiny if we start building nuclear power plants again to supply all our electricity and stop using coal and oil. I really rather see oil turned into plastics rather than burned.

  89. RE: kuhnkat: (August 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm) “Spector, if the horizon was at a stop it would no longer be a part of our time frame. You can only speculate that it becomes extremely slow. OOOPS, but then, that disallow BH completely dunnit??”
    The square-root function in the time dilation formula seems to suggest that an approaching photon would run out of distance to go in a finite amount of time.

  90. Ref – Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:59 am
    “The latest helioseismology data [presented at SHINE 2010] indicate that there does not seem to be a conveyor belt at all, but rather several cells, both in latitude and more importantly at depth. What we observe at the surface does not seem to reflect very well what goes on deep within the Sun. SDO will in the coming years tell us more about the circulation(s).”
    ____________________________
    Leif –
    Do we see similiar cells in the case of Jupiter or are you speaking of something totally new and different, preculiar to the Sun only?

  91. I am not a scientist so I hope I don’t make a fool of myself. Having been convinced by the plasma guys that the Sun is an electrical event and not a nuclear machine, I would speculate that it’s irregularity is driven by the electrical currents of our galaxy and not by the sun burping on hydrogen turning into helium. The image I have in my mind is that the sun is like one of hundreds of billions of x-mas lights, all of the stars in the galaxy plugged into invisible electric currents which drive their power plants. As an electric entity they are supposed to be more like capacitors, if I have understood that theory correctly. When a star blows up it is supposed to be the same as if the load to a capacitor has over loaded its potential and it burns it out. I am simplifying and I hope I am stating it like I read it.
    I am not convinced that there is 100% proof that black holes exist. The electric universe plasma models predict that the center of galaxies can be explained in plain electrical ways rather than rely on pulsars, black holes and quasars. It is true that by now our telescopes (functioning in various wavelengths) have witnessed stars in the centre of our galaxy rotating at very high speed around an “invisible” centre. However, this does not mean that they have “seen” the black hole at the centre. They have just seen very fast movements. Likewise with the increasingly sensitive observations of the Crab Nebula; they can certainly see massive streams of opposite directed beams of high energy flows, and they can see a very rapidly spinning “something”. The plasma guys would tell you that it cannot be the actual star spinning that fast because centrifugal force would tear it apart. They speculate that it is a super fast spinning electrical current in a body, a star, that is doing the spinning.


  92. Enneagram says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:07 pm
    We are in an epistemological problem about how to disentangle a tangle. In order to achieve such a bliss we should turn our minds blank of any self indulging beliefs and begin from the start again.

    BINGO
    the tangle cannot be disentangled. we should indeed refuse self deluding beliefs and consider ourselves always at the start!
    but alas, some folk are terrified of uncertainty
    and prefer their ideas and beliefs over observation and reality
    for their beliefs are known, whereas reality is unkowable

  93. fred houpt says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm
    I am not a scientist so I hope I don’t make a fool of myself.
    Fred, I’m a scientist and I’ll be the first one to agree that there is much we do not know!
    Regarding solar physics, our sun is the only star that we can literally “reach out and touch,” and the far distant bodies must be studied in the condition that they WERE, rather than ARE, due to the incredible distances. Despite these challenges, we are able to generate some very good theoretical physical models for beasties such as black holes etc. Accelerators such as Fermilab and Large Hadron Collider give us much data for what the universe might be doing out there.
    There are many unknowns, such as the composition and distribution of “dark matter” throughout the universe. Please see the Fermilab newsletter, this can be obtained for free subscription & contains a wealth of news about the latest discoveries of inner and outer space. I hope you find it interesting! Cheers, Chuck the Dr.P.H.
    http://www.fnal.gov/pub/today/

  94. Zeke the Sneak says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    However, the type of neutrinos required for the thermonuclear model are not arriving to earth.
    Neutrinos oscillate all time even over small distances, so 1/3 of the neutrinos expected from fusion is observed at Earth by a detector only sensitive to that kind, having changed their flavor trillions of times in between. Detectors sensible to all three flavors observe the expected flux.
    tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    Hey, our hypothesis is a good deal older and better developed than your new one
    Mine is not new and is developed on a viable physics basis. Your is not, that is the big difference.
    has been shown to make useful predictions, unlike your old and now obsolete theory, so take it easy with the putdowns.
    You have made no predictions at all, I have made a [so far] good prediction of the small cycle.
    I have modified Roy Martin’s calculations to test for an electromagnetic influence rather than tidal and the correlation has got MUCH better.
    What can be MUCH better than an ‘amazing correlation that leaves no doubt?
    My2Cents says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    So what does their predict we can expect (duration and activity) from this cycle?
    They make no new prediction, but I predict a maximum of 72 sometime in late 2013.
    Richard G says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm
    Does the magnetic disturbance display any cyclonic or anticyclonic behavior? My minds eye pictures a giant magnetic stirring device whirling in the depths of the solar beaker creating a vortex.
    Yes sunspots are rotating, and the magnetic field has ‘helicity’ that by the way does not change with the solar cycle. [you would not expect that as the sun still rotates in the same direction.
    Pascvaks says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm
    Do we see similiar cells in the case of Jupiter or are you speaking of something totally new and different, peculiar to the Sun only?
    We can’t see under the clouds of Jupiter, but such cells are observed on Venus and Earth.
    fred houpt says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm
    Having been convinced by the plasma guys
    You have been taken for a ride.

  95. neutrinos changing flavor is yet another epicycle, saving the appearance of some pet theory which does not match reality.
    here for example is some of the latest reportage:
    http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/neutrino-flavor-detection-OPERA.html
    not exactly confidence inspiring
    observed galaxy rotation curves do not match the theory, so they simply posit dark matter in the required place in the formula to save the theory.
    the flavor of neutrinos observed reaching the earth do not match theoretical predictions, so they simply say, “Oh, they change flavor before they got here.”
    yeah right.
    at least ptolemy was trying to match the theory to reality.
    not the other way around.

  96. Nolo Contendere says:
    August 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm
    What, me no. No brilliant parody here. You will have to go upthread for that. Or read Enneagram’s posts about “taking mistakes up to galactic levels” and untangling epistemological tangles (to acheive such a bliss).
    Or maybe you could go over here.
    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/page2.html
    Zeke

  97. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 9:02 pm
    tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm
    Hey, our hypothesis is a good deal older and better developed than your new one
    Mine is not new and is developed on a viable physics basis.

    Clearly not so, since the theory just fell off the end of its non-existent conveyor belt into the dustbin of history. Our theory is based on well know orbital mechanics rather than unproven and now falsified suppositions about the sun’s interior.

    You have made no predictions at all,

    That’s an untruth. I made a prediction of 50-55 SSN (that’s sun-spots not sun-specks) on your CA blog page over 18 months ago, and it is doing fine.
    I have made a [so far] good prediction of the small cycle.
    It’s true that the dynamolgers had the situation well covered, with predictions ranging fro the biggest cycle ever (Dikpati) to the smallest cycle ever (Petit?). The ‘mainstream consensus’ went for the big cycle. You were a notable exception.
    I have modified Roy Martin’s calculations to test for an electromagnetic influence rather than tidal and the correlation has got MUCH better.
    What can be MUCH better than an ‘amazing correlation that leaves no doubt?

    Resorting to twisting my words already Leif? I said it was an amazing analysis and that in my opinion it leaves no doubt that there is a link between planetary motion and the solar cycle.
    fred houpt says:
    August 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm
    Having been convinced by the plasma guys
    Leif responds:
    You have been taken for a ride.

    At least he wasn’t taken for a ride on a non-existent conveyor belt.

  98. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm
    “Mine is not new and is developed on a viable physics basis.”
    Clearly not so, since the theory just fell off the end of its non-existent conveyor belt into the dustbin of history.

    Get your facts straight. I do not work with conveyor belt, but with diffusion and/or a shallow dynamo. The big difference is the memory of the cycle: a few years [me] or a few cycles [Dikpati]. Don’t conflate [and certainly not deliberately the two].
    “You have made no predictions at all”
    That’s an untruth. I made a prediction on our CA blog page over 18 mnths ago, and it is doing fine

    Everybody would do this at the time when it was clear which way the wind was blowing. Mine was almost six years ago. That is a prediction.
    I have made a [so far] good prediction of the small cycle.
    You were a notable exception.
    Because I know what I’m talking about. You may want to refresh your memory on this: http://www.leif.org/research/Predicting%20the%20Solar%20Cycle%20(SORCE%202010).pdf
    Resorting to twisting my words already Leif? I said it was an amazing analysis and that in my opinion it leaves no doubt that there is a link between planetary motion and the solar cycle.
    And you say now that you have a MUCH better correlation than the one that was ‘amazing’.

  99. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm
    I do not work with conveyor belt, but with diffusion and/or a shallow dynamo. The big difference is the memory of the cycle: a few years [me] or a few cycles [Dikpati].

    Thanks for the clarification. So your method is able to predict “a few years” ahead. What is the “viable physics” basis for the relationship between the solar polar fields you base your predictions on and the production of energy in the sun please? Have you modeled this?
    “You have made no predictions at all”
    That’s an untruth. I made a prediction on your CA blog page over 18 mnths ago, and it is doing fine
    Everybody would do this at the time when it was clear which way the wind was blowing. Mine was almost six years ago. That is a prediction.

    “Which way the wind was blowing”? What wind? The solar wind? The wind of change where people realised the planetary theorists are onto something with their observations? Certainly nothing to do with ‘business as usual’ mainstream solar physics from NASA, Hathaway and Dikpati. In 1988 Theodor L predicted a collapse in solar activity to occur after the cycle following the 1993 conjunction of Neptune and Uranus. OK, he was one cycle out, but he was still broadly correct in his analysis of the effect of planetary alignments on solar activity. You certainly did a lot better than Dikpati or Hathaway and I give you credit for that.
    Resorting to twisting my words already Leif? I said it was an amazing analysis and that in my opinion it leaves no doubt that there is a link between planetary motion and the solar cycle.
    And you say now that you have a MUCH better correlation than the one that was ‘amazing’.

    You can’t read my words straight even when they are right in front of you can you? I’ve bolded what I said to help you out.
    The correlation Roy Martin worked on involved the assumption of the predominance of a tidal effect of the planets on the Sun. The correlation I have plotted matches the minima MUCH better, and leads me to think the mechanism affecting the timing and shape of the solar cycle is predominantly an electromagnetic effect produced on the solar surface and induced by the planetary alignment positions taking into account the curvature of the interplanetary magnetic field. This does not require large amount of energy to pass from the planets to the solar surface to be effective. I would like to see some data on the path followed by ‘flux ropes’ out into the IMF if you know of any.
    The overall amplitude of the cycles is I think affected predominantly by another mechanism, possibly related to the up and down motion of the sun relative to the gas giants. Jupiter, being the biggest planet in the middle of the system is part of both mechanisms. You believe the whole Sun is perfectly in freefall all the time. I don’t. Let’s just agree to disagree about that for now rather than debate the difference between idealised Newtonian mechanics and reality.
    I’ll be putting the preliminary result for the first mechanism up on my site later today.

  100. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:12 am
    Thanks for the clarification. So your method is able to predict “a few years” ahead. What is the “viable physics” basis for the relationship between the solar polar fields you base your predictions on and the production of energy in the sun please? Have you modeled this?
    It is the ‘induction equation’. The model is described nicely by Choudhuri and colleagues: http://www.physics.iisc.ernet.in/~arnab/prl.pdf
    “Which way the wind was blowing”? What wind?
    If SC24 were to be large it should have shown up strongly back in 2006 and 2007. That it didn’t was a strong indication that the next cycle would be weak and the sunspot prediction panel began to receive low predictions in increasing numbers as people began to realize that perhaps SC24 would be small. Also the ~100 year wave seemed to indicate low activity coming [my grandson figured that out by looking at http://sidc.oma.be/images/wolfaml_small.png ]. And Schatten [using basically my method] had already said:
    Solar Activity Heading for a Maunder Minimum? Schatten, K. H.; Tobiska, W. K.
    American Astronomical Society, SPD meeting #34, #06.03; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol. 35, p.817, May 2003
    Abstract
    Long-range (few years to decades) solar activity prediction techniques vary greatly in their methods. They range from examining planetary orbits, to spectral analyses (e.g. Fourier, wavelet and spectral analyses), to artificial intelligence methods, to simply using general statistical techniques. Rather than concentrate on statistical/mathematical/numerical methods, we discuss a class of methods which appears to have a “physical basis.” Not only does it have a physical basis, but this basis is rooted in both “basic” physics (dynamo theory), but also solar physics (Babcock dynamo theory). The class we discuss is referred to as “precursor methods,” originally developed by Ohl, Brown and Williams and others, using geomagnetic observations.
    My colleagues and I have developed some understanding for how these methods work and have expanded the prediction methods using “solar dynamo precursor” methods, notably a “SODA” index (SOlar Dynamo Amplitude). These methods are now based upon an understanding of the Sun’s dynamo processes- to explain a connection between how the Sun’s fields are generated and how the Sun broadcasts its future activity levels to Earth. This has led to better monitoring of the Sun’s dynamo fields and is leading to more accurate prediction techniques. Related to the Sun’s polar and toroidal magnetic fields, we explain how these methods work, past predictions, the current cycle, and predictions of future of solar activity levels for the next few solar cycles.
    The surprising result of these long-range predictions is a rapid decline in solar activity, starting with cycle #24. If this trend continues, we may see the Sun heading towards a “Maunder” type of solar activity minimum – an extensive period of reduced levels of solar activity. For the solar physicists, who enjoy studying solar activity, we hope this isn’t so, but for NASA, which must place and maintain satellites in low earth orbit (LEO), it may help with reboost problems. Space debris, and other aspects of objects in LEO will also be affected.
    I would like to see some data on the path followed by ‘flux ropes’ out into the IMF if you know of any.
    Flux ropes [as everything else] propagate radially outwards. The Sun keeps rotating, so the place on the Sun where the rope is rooted keeps moving so the rope gets ‘wound up’ around the Sun. In the outer solar system where the large planets are, the rope has been wrapped around the sun several times.
    You believe the whole Sun is perfectly in freefall all the time. I don’t.
    Newton and Einstein and every physicist in the world agree on this, you don’t. Fair enough, we can disagree. There are people who claim they have been raped by aliens, I disagree with them too.

  101. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:09 am
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:12 am
    I would like to see some data on the path followed by ‘flux ropes’ out into the IMF if you know of any.
    Flux ropes [as everything else] propagate radially outwards. The Sun keeps rotating, so the place on the Sun where the rope is rooted keeps moving so the rope gets ‘wound up’ around the Sun. In the outer solar system where the large planets are, the rope has been wrapped around the sun several times.

    Excellent! That confirms my approximation thanks. At the orbit of Jupiter with an average solar wind speed the IMF has curved around a lot less than a whole revolution though.
    You believe the whole Sun is perfectly in freefall all the time. I don’t.
    Newton and Einstein and every physicist in the world agree on this, you don’t. Fair enough, we can disagree. There are people who claim they have been raped by aliens, I disagree with them too.

    Some ‘mainstream Climatologists’ liken those who disagree with them to holocaust deniers. You, as a ‘mainstream solar physicist’ liken people who disagree with you to those who claim to have been raped by aliens.
    You are at a similar level to them. Down in the gutter.
    Newton himself knew his equations of motion don’t apply to highly mobile fluid bodies like the Sun. That’s why he specified ‘inelastic’ in his descriptions of his laws of motion as applied to massive objects. If he were here he would wince with embarassment at your perversion of his theory.
    Get thee to a library.

  102. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:32 am
    Excellent! That confirms my approximation thanks.
    How is that? it means thatit doesn’t matter where the planets are, everywhere they look back at the sun, they’ll see a flux tube, or conversely a flux tube will always have a planet outside so it doesn’t matter where the planet is.
    “You believe the whole Sun is perfectly in freefall all the time. I don’t.”
    You missed this bit: Newton and Einstein and every physicist in the world agree on this.
    You liken people who disagree with you to those who claim to have been raped by aliens.
    In this particular case, yes.
    You are at a similar level to them. Down in the gutter.
    Newton himself knew his equations of motion don’t apply to highly mobile fluid bodies. […] Get thee to a library.
    Better, supply a link. Newton’s laws are universal.
    [REPLY – But she told me she was over 8654323! ~ Evan]

  103. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 am
    Curvature at the orbit of Jupiter will be somewhere in the region of 60 degrees from the radial.
    Much larger. Close to 88 degrees.
    Sunspots move more slowly around the sun than its average rotation rate don’t they Leif?
    No, generally not. You have not specified what ‘average’ means. The correct answer depends on what you mean.

  104. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 am
    Curvature at the orbit of Jupiter will be somewhere in the region of 60 degrees from the radial.
    Much larger. Close to 78 degrees. [sorry for the typo].
    At Saturn, about 84 degrees.

  105. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:42 am
    tallbloke says:
    Some mainstream climatologists liken those who disagree with them to holocaust deniers. You liken people who disagree with you to those who claim to have been raped by aliens.
    In this particular case, yes.

    The height of your horse is only matched by the depths you’ll stoop to.
    tallbloke says:
    “You believe the whole Sun is perfectly in freefall all the time. I don’t.”
    You missed this bit: Newton and Einstein and every physicist in the world agree on this.

    As I said, Newton himself knew his equations of motion don’t apply to highly mobile fluid bodies like the Sun. That’s why he specified ‘inelastic’ in his descriptions of his laws of motion as applied to massive objects. If he were here he would wince with embarassment at your perversion of his theory. You can’t and won’t answer this point, which is why you try to drive the argument into the gutter instead.
    Better, supply a link. Newton’s laws are universal.
    Yes, they universally apply to inelastic bodies, as he stated, not objects like the Sun. It’s surprising people so clever in some respects are so stupid in others. The effect of specialisation I suppose. Bet you can’t point to any relativistic proof that the sun behaves as an inelastic body either.
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:36 am
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 am
    Curvature at the orbit of Jupiter will be somewhere in the region of 60 degrees from the radial.
    Much larger. Close to 78 degrees. [sorry for the typo].
    At Saturn, about 84 degrees.
    Thanks, I’ll double check when I do the calcs. I also need to calculate how much difference in angle there is between low and high solar wind speeds. I think this will tighten up the looser parts of the synchrony between JEV alignments and the solar cycle timings.
    The preliminary plot (uncorrected for solar windspeed variation) is up at:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/roy-martin-venus-earth-jupiter-solar-cycle-analysis/#comment-1951

  106. tallbloke says:
    August 17, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 17, 2010 at 6:59 am
    there does not seem to be a conveyor belt at all, but rather several cells, both in latitude and more importantly at depth. What we observe at the surface does not seem to reflect very well what goes on deep within the Sun. SDO will in the coming years tell us more about the circulation(s).
    Good luck with the two day old hypothesis on “cells at various depths” Leif. Sincerely, it’s great to see you sweeping away the old and getting on with the new.
    ~~~
    Wasn’t there recently a simular such proposal for the Earth’s dyanamo upon finding cells? hmm have to find that article.
    “Californication,” best thing Red Hot Chili Peppers ever did.

  107. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 2:22 am (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 am
    Sunspots move more slowly around the sun than its average rotation rate don’t they Leif?
    No, generally not. You have not specified what ‘average’ means. The correct answer depends on what you mean.

    The average rotation rate at the latitude the sunspot is at.

  108. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 5:29 am
    As I said, Newton himself knew his equations of motion don’t apply to highly mobile fluid bodies like the Sun.
    Yet gravity works to keep the gaseous Jupiter in orbit around the gaseous Sun. Gravity from the Moon and the fluid Sun raises the tides in the fluid oceans. Please, Newton’s laws are valid for all bodies.
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 6:02 am
    The average rotation rate at the latitude the sunspot is at.
    Presumably then also at the surface [it varies with depth]. We can measure rotation rates in two ways: 1) follow the spot across the disk in which case there is no difference, or 2) using the Doppler shift. Earlier measurements gave an indication that the Doppler rate was very slightly different [a few percent]. Our measurements at Stanford http://www.leif.org/research/Rotation%20of%20the%20Sun.pdf showed that there is no such difference to within 1%. In any event, for anything magnetic the sunspot rate would be the one to use.
    The observers at Mt Wilson still maintain [ http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/465/1/L65/5053.text.html ] that the plasma rotates 2% slower than the magnetic field. The usual explanation for the discrepancy is that while the Doppler techniques measure the velocity at the surface, the tracers such as sunspots are anchored in a faster-rotating layer deeper down. But to within 2% one can say there is no difference.

  109. This comment from spaceweather.com:
    WEAK IMPACT: There was no green snow in Antarctica last night. The CME expected to hit Earth’s magnetic field on Aug. 17th either missed or delivered such a feeble blow that no one noticed the resulting geomagnetic disturbance. The next opportunity for auroras is Aug. 24th when an incoming solar wind stream could provoke polar geomagnetic storms. Stay tuned.
    But isn’t it just as likely that the energy was absorbed into the ionosphere? We have been told that unusual conditions prevail that allows that to happen. So, if it didn’t show up on the surface, isn’t it likely its building up in the ionosphere?

  110. katesisco says:
    August 18, 2010 at 9:13 am
    But isn’t it just as likely that the energy was absorbed into the ionosphere? We have been told that unusual conditions prevail that allows that to happen. So, if it didn’t show up on the surface, isn’t it likely its building up in the ionosphere?
    No, because we have spacecraft out in front of the Earth way outside the ionosphere, and it didn’t see the CME either.

  111. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 8:41 am (Edit)
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 5:29 am
    As I said, Newton himself knew his equations of motion don’t apply to highly mobile fluid bodies like the Sun.
    Yet gravity works to keep the gaseous Jupiter in orbit around the gaseous Sun. Gravity from the Moon and the fluid Sun raises the tides in the fluid oceans. Please, Newton’s laws are valid for all bodies.

    The gross gravitational cApabilities are not at issue. Your poor understanding of Newton’s laws with respect to the angular momentum of rigid inelastic bodies is not at issue either. What is at issue is the fact that the Sun is anything but a rigid inelastic object. It’s a big hot wobbly ball of plasma and molten stuff, which has a highly irregular orbit only a couple of times its own diameter. This sets up differential forces across its sphere, even in a weightless environment where the sum total can be described correctly as freefall. And because it is a big wobbly ball of plasma which CAN’T TRANSMIT ALL THOSE DIFFERENTIAL FORCES INTERNALLY, waves will be set up which travel around its circumference. Any engineer with some knowledge of fluid mechnics should be able to tell you that.

  112. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 9:44 am
    What is at issue is the fact that the Sun is anything but a rigid inelastic object. It’s a big hot wobbly ball of plasma and molten stuff, which has a highly irregular orbit only a couple of times its own diameter. This sets up differential forces across its sphere
    The last sentence is where you go wrong [apart from the nonsense that Newton’s law don’t apply universally]. The Sun is in free fall and does not feel any forces, just like an astronaut in the space station doing somersaults: http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=RjvmXLyrtjM&feature=related
    Now, I know it is hopeless to educate you on this.

  113. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 10:02 am
    tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 9:44 am
    What is at issue is the fact that the Sun is anything but a rigid inelastic object. It’s a big hot wobbly ball of plasma and molten stuff, which has a highly irregular orbit only a couple of times its own diameter. This sets up differential forces across its sphere.
    The last sentence is where you go wrong [apart from the nonsense that Newton’s law don’t apply universally].

    Newton’s laws (plural) apply universally to rigid, inelastic objects, just like he stated, but not to objects like the Sun. It’s easy to prove this with a Newtonian thought experiment, since you like those. Line up three pool balls touching each other. Now shoot a fourth directly at the front of the line. The ball stops dead and the back ball of the chain of four shoots off in the same direction with about the same velocity.
    Now replace the centre ball with an equal mass of bread dough rolled into a ball. What happens is that the energy transmitted from the incoming ball is mostly lost in plasticly deforming the dough, and the back ball hardly moves away from the pack.
    Now replace the centre ball with an elastic rubber ball. What hapens is the rubber ball deforms from the force transmitted by the front ball, and then springs back into shape, pushing the back ball on its way. Some energy is lost in the process as heat and inertial motion, so the back ball still doesn’t move away at the same rate as on the first occasion, and after a delay.
    The Sun has strong surface gravity, so it will pull itself spherical again after the differential forces affecting it have an effect, like the rubber ball being squashed and rebounding. This is why the heliosiesmologists detect signals which coincide with subharmonic periods of planetary motions.
    The Sun is in free fall and does not feel any forces.
    Ah, back to the old mantra.
    Now, I know it is hopeless to try to educate you on this….
    I normally get the calculator hot on winter evenings when there is nothing better to do, but since I need to move forward with the hypothesis sooner than that, I’ll do the math and post it on my blog. Then you can demonstrate mathematically where I got it wrong, or accept that when it comes to knowledge about the fluid mechanics of elastic objects, you are thicker than a navvie’s butty.
    By the way, your astronaut analogy doesn’t work because s/he is in orbit about his/her own centre of mass, unlike the Sun, which is in orbit about the centre of mass of the solar system, which includes the other objects in it.

  114. there is no such thing as “physical law”, only theories which model what we observe
    what we like to call “physical laws” do not apply universally, they approximate what we observe
    newtons laws for example work great locally and as ideally simplified models which approximate our observations. but, i.e. , it is difficult to derive the advance of the perihelion of the orbit of mercury with them, and even then i have not heard of a derivation that matches observation. and newtons laws completely fail to describe what observe on scales larger than the solar system, or in complex systems. i.e. galactic rotation curves or tightly orbiting massive object. there are many more examples. newtons “laws” probably still apply in all these situations, but there is probably something else involved making a larger effect.

  115. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    Newton’s laws (plural) apply universally to rigid, inelastic objects, just like he stated
    Show me where he stated that.
    back ball still doesn’t move away at the same rate as on the first occasion, and after a delay.
    This has nothing to do with Newton’s laws of motion: http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/history/newton3laws.html
    The Sun has strong surface gravity, so it will pull itself spherical again after the differential forces affecting it have an effect
    What differential forces? where do they come from? There are tidal forces from the distant planets, but they have no great effect. You seem to attach some significance to the notion that the orbit of the Sun has a size ‘only’ a few solar radii, as if the smaller the size, the bigger the effect. Can yo verify that for me? That you think it is the ‘tight’ orbit that does it? rather than if the orbit were huge.
    Then you can demonstrate mathematically where I got it wrong
    Newton did that centuries ago.
    s/he is in orbit about his/her own centre of mass
    The astronaut is in orbit about the Earth.

  116. Leif Svalgaard says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm
    You seem to attach some significance to the notion that the orbit of the Sun has a size ‘only’ a few solar radii, as if the smaller the size, the bigger the effect. Can yo verify that for me? That you think it is the ‘tight’ orbit that does it? rather than if the orbit were huge.

    I could refer you to one of Theodor L’s papers, but you won’t read it with any worthwhile level of diligence, so I won’t bother.
    Basically, in a large orbit, the level of difference in the angular momenta of gridded measurement packets on the near and far sides of the object will be minimally different. In a tightly orbiting object whose radius of orbit changes rapidly (the Sun) the differences are significant.
    The astronaut is in orbit about the Earth.
    Let me know when you’ve finished farting about with frames of reference and then we’ll discuss it.

  117. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm
    Basically, in a large orbit, the level of difference in the angular momenta of gridded measurement packets on the near and far sides of the object will be minimally different. In a tightly orbiting object the differences are significant.
    Sounds like complete voodoo. Where did you get that? The words are normally used in quantum-mechanical analysis of molecules.
    Tidal effects [and angular momemta] are larger, the larger the difference in distance between the near and far sides is. The tighter [smaller] the orbit is, the smaller are these effects, disappearing completely when the size has shrunk to zero.
    Perhaps T.L. had something backwards here.
    and then we’ll discuss it
    sounds very much like the anguish from someone backed into a corner. Come out and face it.

  118. tallbloke says:
    August 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm
    Newtonian thought experiment, since you like those. Line up three pool balls touching each other. Now shoot a fourth directly at the front of the line. The ball stops dead and the back ball of the chain of four shoots off in the same direction with about the same velocity.
    Try using a little english on your cue ball and that stop dead thing wont happen Tallbloke. Not a good way for you to be left for the next shot. I mean I mean laid up next to your object ball and all like that. Things getting heavyy around here again.

  119. for the record i find both leif’s and tallbloke’s work very interesting.
    I take leif’s main point as that known magnetic forces operating in/on the sun dwarf in size the gravitational effects in/on the sun of any planetary or solar movements.
    the above assertion is noncontroversial as far as said forces are calculated.
    what remains uknown is how the sun actually operates. that’s a large unkown.
    it could be possible that very small changes in the sun caused by sundry gravitational effects have a disproportionate effect relative to their size. why not keep looking into it?
    even if the specific dynamo model advocated by leif turns out to match observation for intsance, the dynamo itself still lacks an explanation…how is it generated, why and how is it cyclical?

  120. peterhodges says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm
    even if the specific dynamo model advocated by leif turns out to match observation for instance, the dynamo itself still lacks an explanation…how is it generated, why and how is it cyclical?
    The basic physics is the ‘induction equation’. The model is described nicely by Choudhuri and colleagues: http://www.physics.iisc.ernet.in/~arnab/prl.pdf , An alternative mdel that will also work is http://www.leif.org/research/Percolation%20and%20the%20Solar%20Dynamo.pdf

  121. peterhodges says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm
    why and how is it cyclical?

    The Riga experiment might provide some clues.
    “Scientists in Riga at the Institute of Physics at the University of Latvia are continuing to work on a much more physical mock-up of the core.
    Their model consists of two concentric steel cylinders, three metres high and 80 centimetres in diameter, filled with molten sodium.
    A propeller drives the sodium down through the inner cylinder in a helical flow.
    The metal returns up the outer cylinder, and electric currents create a magnetic field.
    “Sodium has – by a factor of 50 – better electro-conductivity,” the University’s Dr Agris Gailetis told Science In Action. “Sodium is moving 10,000 times faster.
    “But of course our system is much, much smaller… but altogether, these factors are making our experiment not very different from conditions inside the Earth.”
    However, bizarrely, the oscillations that the Riga experiment have produced have been found to be more like the regular 22-year-variations in the Sun, rather than the random ones in the Earth.
    The reality of the core remains far more complex than concentric cylinders. The flow there is probably turbulent and chaotic.
    “The Riga experiment didn’t, per se, undergo reversal,” said Dr Andy Jackson, who specialises in computer models at Leeds University in the UK.
    “But it does generate a magnetic field which is oscillatory – but it’s oscillatory in a very regular sense, whereas the Earth is more of a random process.” ”
    My bold, note the precedence.

  122. peterhodges says:
    August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm
    it could be possible that very small changes in the sun caused by sundry gravitational effects have a disproportionate effect relative to their size. why not keep looking into it?

    Why not indeed? Especially when all the tantalising near correlations keep popping out. That’s what my blog is all about, emerging ideas for sharing and developing.

  123. RE: Leif Svalgaard says: (August 18, 2010 at 10:02 am) “The Sun is in free fall and does not feel any forces, just like an astronaut in the space station doing somersaults…”
    While this is true, the Sun is subject to minor tidal forces that vary with the degree of planetary conjunction and powerful dynamic internal forces that all have a zero net sum relative any other celestial body.

  124. Leif Svalgaard says: (August 18, 2010 at 10:02 am) “The Sun is in free fall and does not feel any forces, just like an astronaut in the space station doing somersaults…”
    Saying something is in free fall is not the same as saying there are no forces acting upon it, and you should know that as a physicist. Just as the Sun exerts tidal forces on each planet, each planet exerts tidal forces upon the Sun, which both distort its shape and cause it to orbit around a common center of mass. Without these movements that planets exert upon their primaries, astronomers would not be able to detect planets orbiting other stars.
    That the center of mass is displaced from the Sun’s center of gravity, and the Sun’s gravity imposes a rather significant relativistic distortion upon local timespace, there will be frame dragging effects imposed upon the sun’s conveyor system.

  125. Svalgaard,
    “What differential forces? where do they come from? ”
    I’m not commenting on what tailbloke has in, but you are missing a key difference between classical gravity and GR. An extended body like the sun in a dynamic solar system will experience differential forces. A big difference between Newtonian gravity and general relativity is that in the former the gravity field is instantaneous and in GR gravity propagates at the speed or light or slower. The sun is more than 4 light seconds in diameter, so different parts of the sun will be experiencing gravity from the planets when they were at different positions, not from the same position instanteously. We’ve discussed this before.

  126. Spector [and others] says:
    August 19, 2010 at 7:34 am
    While this is true, the Sun is subject to minor tidal forces that vary with the degree of planetary conjunction and powerful dynamic internal forces that all have a zero net sum relative any other celestial body.
    these effects are well known and can be accurately calculated. They are tiny, tiny, tiny. The tidal bulge caused by Jupiter is 0.4 millimeter [about 1/64th of an inch] high.
    I don’t know what ‘powerful dynamic internal forces’ you are talking about, but there are powerful forces related to the convection of solar material, that overturns Texas-sized chunks at speeds of 500,000 millimeters per second.

  127. http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/dark_matter/index.html
    The nature of dark matter is unknown. A substantial body of evidence indicates that it cannot be baryonic matter, i.e., protons and neutrons. The favored model is that dark matter is mostly composed of exotic particles formed when the universe was a fraction of a second old. Such particles, which would require an extension of the so-called Standard Model of elementary particle physics, could be WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), or axions, or sterile neutrinos.

  128. Enjoyed this Smackdown UFC bout. Some truly withering put-downs.
    ‘…..The tidal bulge caused by Jupiter(on the sun) is 0.4 millimeter [about 1/64th of an inch] high…’
    I’m not sure you could measure the tidal bulge in my bath when I get in it to this degree of accuracy let alone the Jupiter’s effect on the Sun. I’m not a Scientist though…but this doesn’t seem to jive.
    Looking forward to Tallbloke posting his recent musings over here at WUWT.
    We will see if the sandcastle can with stand being peed on from a great height. Leif
    reminds me of the guy who gets hauled in from the swimming pool by the life guard into the office
    Life Guard: …..”You are banned because you deliberately peed in the pool”
    Leif: “…But it was an accident!”
    Life Guard: ..”Off the HIGH BOARD!!!”

  129. johnnythelowery says:
    August 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    I’m not sure you could measure the tidal bulge in my bath when I get in it to this degree of accuracy let alone the Jupiter’s effect on the Sun. I’m not a Scientist though…but this doesn’t seem to jive.
    You are correct that one could not measure a 0.4 millimeter tidal bulge on the Sun [that is, of course, the whole point] because it is so very tiny. But one can calculate how large it should be. Already Isac Newton knew how to do this. An approximate formula is bulge = (mass Jupiter/mass Sun) * (radius Sun /distance Sun to Jupiter)^3 * (radius Sun). Insert numbers and you get the 0.4 millimeter. If you use the Moon-Earth system, the formula yields 368 millimeter, a thousand times as large. The reasons for the three factors in the formula are:
    1st: the bigger the mass of Jupiter, the larger the bulge
    2nd: the further away Jupiter is, the smaller the bulge [gravity falls of as inverse square of distance, which means that differences in gravity fall of as the inverse cube
    3rd: the wider the sun is, the larger the bulge

  130. Well….amazing. ….and Thanks. Hope you were amused by my prior post. How did SHINE go? Anything stand out?

  131. No? My apologies then. I value this site because of the quality of people here like yourself and enjoy the back and forth even if it’s well over my head. Anyway, here’s a joke which involves physics of a sort….
    ‘… long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During one battle, the French captured an English colonel. They took him to their headquarters, and the French general began > to question him. Finally, as an after thought, the French general asked, “Why do you English officers all… wear red coats? Don’t you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?”..
    In his bland English way, the officer informed the general that the reason English officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot, the blood won’t show, and the men they are leading won’t panic. And that is why, from that day to …this,
    all French Army officers wear brown pants!..

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