Space Weather DISCOVERY: Sun’s COOLING DOWN linked to planetary alignment

Express

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04 June 2019, 10:33

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Scientists had long been stumped over the 11 year cycle of the Sun which goes through periods of higher and lesser activity. These roughly 11 year spells are called the solar minimum and solar maximum. During a solar maximum, the Sun gives off more heat and is littered with sunspots. Less heat in a solar minimum is due to a decrease in magnetic waves sent into space and fewer sunspots.

Why exactly the sun does this has remained a mystery – until now at least.Experts from the independent German research institute Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) believe they have found strong evidence that the planets of the solar system are playing their part in the Sun’s cycles – particularly Venus, Earth and Jupiter.The researchers analysed over a thousand year of solar activity to find the link.The gravitational pull of Venus, Earth and the massive Jupiter pull on the liquid plasma — known as the Tayler instability — on the surface of the Sun and alter it when these planets align and essentially combine gravitational forces every 11.07 years.

Lead author Frank Stefani said of the research published in the journal Solar Physics: “There is an astonishingly high level of concordance.“What we see is complete parallelism with the planets over the course of 90 cycles. Everything points to a clocked process.“When I first read about ideas linking the solar dynamo to planets, I was very sceptical.“But when we discovered the current-driven Tayler instability undergoing helicity oscillations in our computer simulations, I asked myself: What would happen if the plasma was impacted on by a small, tidal-like perturbation? The result was phenomenal.

“The oscillation was really excited and became synchronised with the timing of the external perturbation.”The Sun can effect the climate on Earth, with a prolonged solar minimum once leading to a “mini ice age”.The Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.

During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees Celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.NASA explains on its website: “All weather on Earth, from the surface of the planet out into space, begins with the Sun.“Space weather and terrestrial weather (the weather we feel at the surface) are influenced by the small changes the Sun undergoes during its solar cycle.”

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