why is it that

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by sculptor, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

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    Why is it that when the outer planets align, we have fewer sunspots?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    What Dave said.
    Sunspots do apparently have an 11 year cycle, to do with the magnetic field fluctuations, which also is thought to explain the much higher temperatures of the coronasphere.
     
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  7. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    For Shigs and Gittles I tried ddg...
    hit #2
    https://www.iflscience.com/space/alignment-of-planets-may-explain-suns-mysterious-cycle/
    ...references the Sun,Venus, Earth, and Jupiter alignment, not only the outer planets...though?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    But that article, written in 1969, goes on to say it is worthy of re-examination. And I have found this, from 2019:

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/hd-tsf052719.php

    which suggests the idea of tidal forces from the planets being responsible should be taken seriously.

    So this seems to be once more a live topic of investigation.
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/solar-activity/en/
    Sunspots are darker, cooler areas on the surface of the sun in a region called the photosphere.
    The photosphere has a temperature of 5,800 degrees Kelvin. Sunspots have temperatures of about 3,800 degrees K. They look dark only in comparison with the brighter and hotter regions of the photosphere around them.
    Sunspots can be very large, up to 50,000 kilometers in diameter. They are caused by interactions with the Sun's magnetic field which are not fully understood. But a sunspot is somewhat like the cap on a soda bottle: shake it up, and you can generate a big eruption. Sunspots occur over regions of intense magnetic activity, and when that energy is released, solar flares and big storms called coronal mass ejections erupt from sunspots.
    http://solar-center.stanford.edu/FAQ/Qspotsearth.html
    Sunspots are magnetic in nature. They are the places ("active regions") where the Sun's magnetic field rises up from below the Sun's surface and those magnetic regions poke through. Sunspots are darker than the surrounding areas because they are expending less energy and have a lower temperature. Sunspots often have poles ("polarity") like the south and north poles of magnets.

    Sunspots are formed continuously as the Sun's magnetic field actively moves through the Sun. The sunspots have lifetimes of days or perhaps one week or a few weeks.

    Here is one scenario that some scientists think explains how sunspots form. Imagine the magnetic field on the Sun as loops like rubber bands that wrap around the Sun, with one end attached to the south pole and the other end attached to the north pole. The Sun is rotating, and different parts of the Sun rotates at different speeds. As the Sun rotates, the magnetic loops wrap tigher and tighter (and get more and more twisted and complicated) until the magnetic field is wound up so tight that the fields ("rubber bands") snap! Where the magnetic field snaps is where active regions (and hence sunspots) on the Sun form.
    https://www.iflscience.com/space/alignment-of-planets-may-explain-suns-mysterious-cycle/
    The Sun's magnetic field influences many different Earthly phenomena, but we are not exactly sure how it works. Now, a new theoretical study suggests a planetary alignment could play a crucial role in it.

    Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Association in Germany have looked at the potential influence that planets might have on the Sun. In their simulation, the team discovered that when Venus, Jupiter, and Earth are aligned, they produce a small but significant force on the Sun that leads to complex changes in its magnetic field.

    We can imagine the Sun as an enormous dynamo. Stars are made of hot charged particles, the stellar plasma, and as they rotate on themselves these particles generate an intense magnetic field. The solar dynamo is influenced by the interior structures of the Sun, and it is responsible for the famous sunspots, dark patches on the surface of the Sun. The dynamo’s polarity reverses with an 11-year cycle, which made scientists very curious.
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    Obviously, the cause of Sun spots is magnetic field propagations and interactions. That is pretty certain.
    And just as obviously the planets [particularly when aligned] will have an effect on the Sun, as well as does extrasolar planets have an effect on their own star/s. Afterall this is one of the methods of detecting extrasolar planets...They produce a tug on their star.
    And while certainly the effects of tidal forces on the Sun, when planets are aligned, need be taken seriously, and their accumalitive effect on the Sun"and its magnetic fields, it is essentially the magnetic fields that cause the Sunspots.
    The same magnetic field lines are also thought to be the cause of the Sun's coronasphere being hotter then the surface.

    Perhaps probes like the Parker solar probe and others specifically to study the Sun, will reveal more certainty about our home star.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2020
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  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    The following is an excellent link on the Parker Solar probe and how our knowledge of our own star is being added to all the time.

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddar...s-around-solar-system-for-4th-solar-encounter

    extracts:
    "Early data from Parker Solar Probe's close pass by the Sun during the WHPI campaign shows a solar wind system more dynamic than what's visible in observations near Earth. In particular, scientists hope the full set of data — downlinked to Earth in May 2020 — will reveal dynamic structures, like tiny coronal mass ejections and magnetic flux ropes in their early stages of development, that can't be seen with other observatories watching from farther away. Connecting structures like this, previously too small or too distant to see, with solar wind and near-Earth measurements may help scientists better understand how the solar wind changes throughout its lifetime and how its origins near the Sun affect its behavior throughout the solar system.

    Parker Solar Probe's close-up views of solar wind structures are complemented by solar observatories on Earth and in space, which have a larger field of view to capture solar wind structures.



    Data from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory in Hawaii shows a jet of material being ejected near the Sun's south pole on Jan. 21, 2020. Coronal jets like this are one solar wind feature that scientists hope to observe more closely with Parker Solar Probe, as the mechanisms that create them could shed more light on the solar wind's birth and acceleration.



    "It would be extremely fortunate if Parker Solar Probe observed this jet, since it would provide information on plasma and the field in and around the jet not long after its formation," said Joan Burkepile, lead scientist for the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory K-coronagraph instrument at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory, which captured these images.

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    The Sun's "open" magnetic field — shown in this model in blue and red, with looped or closed field shown in yellow — primarily comes from near the Sun's north and south poles during solar minimum, but it spreads out to fill space converging near the Sun's equator.
    Credits: NASA/Nick Arge

    much more at link...............
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Here's another excellent article.......
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddar...s-around-solar-system-for-4th-solar-encounter

    extracts:
    "NASA scientists study and model the Sun to better understand what it does and why. The Sun has its ups and downs and cycles between them regularly. Roughly every 11 years, at the height of this cycle, the Sun’s magnetic poles flip — on Earth, that’d be like if the North and South Poles swapped places every decade — and the Sun transitions from sluggish to active and stormy. At its quietest, the Sun is at solar minimum; during solar maximum, the Sun blazes with bright flares and solar eruptions.

    Modeling the Sun is a tricky business because scientists don’t fully understand the internal churning that causes this magnetic flip-flop. Computer models use equations to represent the Sun, but the star manages to elude them. If the Sun were a machine, it would have countless knobs and dials whose functions and sensitivities remain unknown.

    Without fully understanding how the magnetic field, which drives solar activity, moves inside the Sun, scientists have to make some assumptions. The plight of solar modelers could be likened to that of weather forecasters — if they tried to forecast the weather by looking at just the upper atmosphere, and not the critical layers below".
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    All in all sculptor, a great question, and I hope you read all the links given to realise that while we do know heaps about the Sun, there is still heaps more where scientists can only assume, predict and model, according to the latest data.
     
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  12. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Amusing to see Paddo's reverse ferret, having started off pooh-poohing the idea.

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  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    As usual, you have it arse up....typical of retired chemists!

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    Perhaps you missed, "it is essentially the magnetic fields that cause the Sunspots" from post 6....
    Or is it that you are simply reticent to someone showing that
    is not quite correct?
    As an aid to your ignorance and to help you being a smart exchemist, this may help..................

    Not to say of course that I have not learnt more after some research into the matter, just as you have from my excellent links.

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  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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