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-   -   'It's official: Solar minimum has arrived.' (https://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=12982)

infinitely free 29-10-2007 08:37 PM

'It's official: Solar minimum has arrived.'
Is this interesting, or what?


Sunspots have all but vanished. Solar flares are nonexistent. The sun is utterly quiet.

Like the quiet before a storm.
Solar Storm Warning 2011-2012

serpentoffire 29-10-2007 09:41 PM

About sun spots
A sunspot is a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings and has intense magnetic activity, which inhibits convection, forming areas of low surface temperature. Although they are blindingly bright at temperatures of roughly 4000-4500 K, the contrast with the surrounding material at about 5800 K leaves them clearly visible as dark spots. If they were isolated from the surrounding photosphere they would be brighter than an electric arc. Sunspots are often related to intense magnetic activity such as coronal loops and reconnection.

Sunspot numbers rise and fall with an irregular cycle with a length of approximately 11 years. In addition to this, there are variations over longer periods. The recent trend is upward from 1900 to the 1960s, then somewhat downward. The Sun was last similarly active over 8,000 years ago. The number of sunspots has been found to correlate with the intensity of solar radiation over the period - since 1979 - when satellite measurements of radiation are available. Since sunspots are dark it might be expected that more sunspots lead to less solar radiation. However, the surrounding areas are brighter and the overall effect is that more sunspots means a brighter sun. The variation is very small (of the order of 0.1%).

Although the details of sunspot generation are still somewhat a matter of research, it is quite clear that sunspots are the visible counterparts of magnetic flux tubes in the convective zone of the sun that get "wound up" by differential rotation. If the stress on the flux tubes reaches a certain limit, they curl up quite like a rubber band and puncture the sun's surface. At the puncture points convection is inhibited, the energy flux from the sun's interior decreases, and with it the surface temperature.

The Wilson effect tells us that sunspots are actually depressions on the sun's surface. This model is supported by observations using the Zeeman effect that show that prototypical sunspots come in pairs with opposite magnetic polarity. From cycle to cycle, the polarities of leading and trailing (with respect to the solar rotation) sunspots change from north/south to south/north and back. Sunspots usually appear in groups.
The sunspot itself can be divided into two parts:
  • The central umbra, which is the darkest part, where the magnetic field is approximately vertical
  • The surrounding penumbra, which is lighter, where the magnetic field lines are more inclined.
Magnetic field lines would ordinarily repel each other, causing sunspots to disperse rapidly, but sunspot lifetime is about two weeks. Recent observations from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) using sound waves travelling through the Sun's photosphere to develop a detailed image of the internal structure below sunspots show that there is a powerful downdraft underneath each sunspot, forming a rotating vortex that concentrates magnetic field lines. Sunspots are self-perpetuating storms, similar in some ways to terrestrial hurricanes.

Sunspot activity cycles about every eleven years. The point of highest sunspot activity during this cycle is known as Solar Maximum, and the point of lowest activity is Solar Minimum. At the start of a cycle, sunspots tend to appear in the higher latitudes and then move towards the equator as the cycle approaches maximum: this is called Spörer's law.

Today it is known that there are various periods in the Wolf number sunspot index, the most prominent of which is at about 11 years in the mean. This period is also observed in most other expressions of solar activity and is deeply linked to a variation in the solar magnetic field that changes polarity with this period, too.

A modern understanding of sunspots starts with George Ellery Hale, in which magnetic fields and sunspots are linked. Hale suggested that the sunspot cycle period is 22 years, covering two polar reversals of the solar magnetic dipole field. Horace W. Babcock later proposed a qualitative model for the dynamics of the solar outer layers. The Babcock Model explains the behavior described by Spörer's law, as well as other effects, as being due to magnetic fields which are twisted by the Sun's rotation.


serpentoffire 29-10-2007 09:47 PM

Sunspots and human history
Sunspots and human history

A. L. Tchijevsky, a Russian professor of Astronomy and Biological Physics, noticed during World War I that particularly severe battles followed solar flares. Since the sunspots were in a peak period during 1916-17, no doubt the war and its various battles were heavily stimulated by the energies which are boiling off the Sun. Intrigued by the connection of human behavior to solar physics, Tchijevsky constructed an "Index of Mass Human Excitability". He compiled the histories of 72 countries from 500 BC to 1922 AD to provide a strong database to articulate his correlations. After rating the most significant events, Tchijevsky found that fully 80% of the most significant human events, mostly related to war and violence, occurred during the 5 years or so of maximum sunspot activity.
Tchijevsky went on to observe that the 1917 Russian Revolution occurred during the height of Sunspot Cycle. Unfortunately, this was one of science’s most costly observations, it earned Tchijevsky almost 30 years in Soviet prisons because his theory challenged "Marxist dialectics".

The "solar" connection to terrestrial events has been studied ever since then, but most of the focus has been on the sun itself or on the impact of the cycle on the climate, weather, agriculture, commodity markets, and other non-human phenomenon. Awareness of the human impact, which is far more significant than the well known impact of the Full Moon, has remained highly retarded. Modern humans, unlike the ancient cultures of Egypt, Sumer, Bhararti, Maya, and China, are highly reluctant to admit that their collective behavior is influenced strongly by the Sun. They prefer to believe that reason rules their societies.

There is a great deal of variation in the average monthly counts and these in turn make quite a variation in the size and width of the 23 sunspot cycles. Note that there are three sunspot cycle peaks which did not have monthly peaks in excess of 100 and there were at least five with monthly peaks which reached 250 or more. That is quite a range for a dynamic cycle and we should expect that the effects in the solar system and in the Earth will show a similar variation. Most likely "the shadow" of the solar cycles can be readily seen in thousands of chemical, mineral, biological, and economic data series which scientists make by studying plants, minerals, and human history. And most likely "the shadow" varies considerably.


Sunspots and economy

How strong is this historical connection between major economic downturns and the sunspot cycles? We can learn more about this connection of sunspots to economic downturns by directly graphing them together in chart below. Quite clearly, the chart shows us that there is a rather strong connection between major recessions and the peaks of the sunspot cycles. There was one major exception, the last Great Depression, the bottom year of which (1933) can be seen in the trough between sunspot peaks. The next Great Depression may parallel this exception nearly to a T.

Can this historical connection be used to predict stock prices? Is there a correlation between sunspot peaks and the Dow Jones Industrials? (Dow Jones Industrials: these are select stock prices often referred to as the DJI) There is no usable connection except as a harbinger of a coming break. There is zero correlation between daily price movements and average daily sunspot numbers. Is there a connection between long term historical trends in the prices and average monthly or annual trends in the numbers of the sunspots? Not really, the only direct connection that appears is as a "breaking" signal. During a sunspot peak, the speculative Bull Run bubbles in stocks "break" and an economic recession begins fairly soon thereafter. This often leaves the stock prices headed down even while sunspots are still rising. This destroys any statistical averages which can be used for prediction.

As can be seen in the graph, there is a decidedly strong parallel between recessions and the peaks. It has been consistent throughout most of the century with one notable exception. The bottom year of the Great Depression in 1932/33 was at the bottom of the sunspot cycle. The collapse of the stock market, however, paralleled right on the peak of the solar cycle in late 1929. Stock prices slid as sunspot numbers slid, and the economy wallowed as sunspot counts reached 0.

We may be paralleling the 1929 to 1933 era. There is probably a strong tendency in this era to continue to slide after the bubble break in 2000 for a few years until all of the speculation has been squeezed out of stock prices. From the Bears, we already know that this means stock prices generally must fall yet another 35% to 75% from their levels in June 2003, depending upon the industry and the company.

This will eventually probably be the outcome of the current 25 year long depression cycle and we are likely to catch up with this inevitability in 2006 and 2007. In the meantime, most likely we are currently still buoyed up by massive subsidy stimulation, 70 years of institutional barriers, and various social security buffers. This may be enough to create a very modest "faux" bubble amidst a "jobless" economic recovery.

infinitely free 30-10-2007 08:30 PM

Mmm! thanks serpentoffire

de_shit 01-11-2007 12:22 AM

The sun sucks. Its too bright. I love my transition lenses. They tell the sun to kiss my ass and tell its brightness to burn in the Christian rendition of a hell.

infinitely free 01-11-2007 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by de_shit (Post 177406)
The sun sucks. Its too bright. I love my transition lenses. They tell the sun to kiss my ass and tell its brightness to burn in the Christian rendition of a hell.


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