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Chapette

Planetary effects on flares and cycle. (Plus upcoming alignment.)

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Greetings from a rookie. I am about to promote my own theory, but I do this with respect and self-consciousness!

I have done some work on the statistical connection between flare activity and the motion of planets. This led to a publication and a preprint about modeling and forecasting the solar cycle, and a recent preprint about the timing of individual flares. By "flares" I'll refer to all Earth-facing M and X class flares.

The last four cycles, for which there are continuous records of flares, show a surprising increase in the count of flares towards the alignments of Jupiter and Saturn, and a decrease towards their quadratures, as seen in this plot (which I wish I knew how to resize):

c1a.png

This observation led to some data analysis and eventually to a model which describes solar activity in terms of flares, based on a coupling between the two giants' motion and an internal solar component, presumably of magnetic origin. A description of the model and its development can be found at my webpage here: http://www.chapette.net/solar.html

The peer-reviewed article itself is here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1702.00641

Let me paste the model's reconstruction of the last four cycles and the coming years. This reconstruction used as input only the data of cycle 21, the dates of planetary alignments, and the dates of the start of each cycle (you can find the details in the links above):

5_second_version_alt.png

The purple histogram is the model and the black is the observations. The reconstruction (again, with minimal input) can be called rather good, but let's now go to the fun part: predictions. The first prediction (uploaded in early 2017) had been the increase in activity in late 2017 - which happened.

The second prediction is planned to make or break the model within the next decade:

6a.png

Cycle 25 will be weak, spread out, and will consist of two distinct time ranges of activity. To read the details about this forecast, please go either to: https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.06545

or again to my webpage: http://www.chapette.net/solar.html

This forecast was uploaded last summer and predicted that the first flare of cycle 25 will most probably appear in "the weeks following late March 2020". This actually happened on 29th May. If it's not a coincidence, it is encouraging by space weather standards.

For completeness, let me add that knowing the actual date of the first flare led to an update of the prediction, without any significant changes, which is being written up.

 

And, about the relation to individual flares and possible contribution to forecasting them. More statistical analysis showed strong indications for non-randomness between the timing of flares and the relative motion of the five innermost planets.

For example, this is the distribution of flares as a function of the absolute heliocentric longitude between Earth and Venus:

200617_EVabs.png

For more quantitative tests, and also for more indications, please have a look at the very new preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.10694

A preliminary application of machine learning was also used to see if these relations can be useful in something, even if we don't know the underlying physics yet... it seems that they can. There is an interesting correct classification of 62% of the days in the last four cycles as having flares or not, without using any solar observable.

 

Finally, what about the next couple of weeks? :)

The six innermost planets are almost aligning. A quick look at alignments of 5 out of the 6 innermost planets (in the linked paper) is inconclusive. The cycle is at its start so we can't expect particularly strong activity; but if the first two weeks of July turn out unusual, it might have something to do with the above.

 

I'd look forward to any comments. I thought it better not to write here full descriptions of the related work, but leave this for the discussion if needed.

 

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Interesting. It is understood that magnetic forces(the "heart" of flares and sunspots) are exponentially stronger than gravity.

However, further analysis might be key in determining the link between gravitational pull, or planetary tides in this case, and electromagnetic disturbances on the Sun's surface.

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On 6/29/2020 at 6:20 AM, Christopher S. said:

Interesting. It is understood that magnetic forces(the "heart" of flares and sunspots) are exponentially stronger than gravity.

However, further analysis might be key in determining the link between gravitational pull, or planetary tides in this case, and electromagnetic disturbances on the Sun's surface.

That's right, I think that also comparative analysis with other observables (e.g. sunspots) might have something to show.

I will just mention that tangential tidal components are stronger than vertical ones, and when tidal effects on the Sun are rejected it's usually only about vertical ones.

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I think you might be on to something

I remember reading about the thermonuclear reaction that the carbon-nitrogen cycle proceeds at lower temperature but its dependence on temperature is related to the 3.5 power. On the other hand the hydrogen - helium cycle requires a higher temperature to get started but its dependence on temperature is related to the 14th power of temp. In the sun the internal temperature is thought to be close to that at which the H-He reaction is taking over from the C-N reaction.

All that was in a book called, "A star called 'The Sun'" written by George Gamow some time in about the 1960s I think.

The inference is that slight changes in pressure (tidal effects) which will slightly affect temperature will have a much more significant effect on the rate of reaction. Not sure where the trail of effects goes from there.

Also the relative tidal effects can be calculated from the mass of the planet and its distance from the sun. The relationship is M/D^2  For numbers referred to Earth the inner planets are:-

Mercury  0.369

Venus 1.558

Earth 1

Mars 0.046

Jupiter 11.745

Saturn 1.046

Uranus 0.039

Neptune 0.019

I have noticed over the years that charts of monthly sunspot number appear to have a small periodic variation which seems to have period of about 6 to 8 months (Venus orbit?). This is just from looking over the charts by eye, not an exact mathematical analysis.

Keep up the good work,

Jim.

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