Scientists propose planetary orbital alignments cause the sunspot cycle

My annual birthday-month fund-raising drive for Behind the Black is now on-going. Not only do your donations help pay my bills, they give me the freedom to speak honestly about science and culture, instead of being forced to write it as others demand.


Please consider donating by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below.


Regular readers can support Behind The Black with a contribution via paypal:

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:

If Paypal doesn't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

The uncertainty of science: Scientists today proposed a new model that says the orbital alignments of the planets, most especially Venus-Earth-Jupiter, act to initiate the eleven-year solar sunspot cycle.

As with the gravitational pull of the Moon causing tides on Earth, planets are able to displace the hot plasma on the Sun’s surface. Tidal forces are strongest when there is maximum Venus-Earth-Jupiter alignment; a constellation that occurs every 11.07 years. But the effect is too weak to significantly perturb the flow in the solar interior, which is why the temporal coincidence was long neglected. However, the HZDR researchers then found evidence of a potential indirect mechanism that may be able to influence the solar magnetic field via tidal forces: oscillations in the Tayler instability, a physical effect that, from a certain current, can change the behavior of a conductive liquid or of a plasma. Building on this concept, the scientists developed their first model in 2016; they have since advanced this model in their new study to present a more realistic scenario.

More details at the link. To put it mildly, this theory is far from proven. While they mention how it might also cause grand minimums and double-peaked maximums, they are somewhat vague in explaining this process. If valid, however, they should be able to use this model to predict future cycles, including the possible arrival of a new grand minimum in the coming decades.



  • Phill O

    It would be nice to see their data where the alignment is matched to the solar cycles.

    I am thinking something like the plot of solar cycles Bob republished each month.

  • Max

    Gravity is a very weak force. Magnetism (often caused by electric current) is much stronger. The recent findings about Jupiter is an example.
    Perhaps they are relative or the combination of the two has an unknown affect. For example, when the sun and the moon alignment occurs, high tide occurs on earth directly under the moon/sun, high tide also directly opposite of the sun/moon and earth (antigravity?) And low tide, where there should be no effect at all, at right (90°) angle (caused by increased gravity?)
    I don’t have the answers, only questions like why did they not include the 11.6 year cycle of Jupiter passing in front of Sagittarius like it just did before Solar minimum? Did passing in front of the center of the most concentrated mass our Milky Way galaxy act as a focusing lens on our sun?
    This stuff is fun.
    Hey Edward, propose $1 million grant to prove/disprove. You are very smart and have all the qualifications, including the extensive vocabulary, you will do us all proud!

  • Sean Long

    I cant wait for the Democrats to blame this on humans and propose a new carbon tax for it.

  • wodun

    When astronomy becomes astrology.

  • Edward

    Max suggested: “Hey Edward, propose $1 million grant to prove/disprove. You are very smart and have all the qualifications, including the extensive vocabulary, you will do us all proud!

    I did work in a solar astrophysics lab a couple of decades ago, during the design phase of some X-ray telescopes (Solar X-Ray Imager) to watch the sun from the currently aging series of GOES satellites. Maybe I can ask that lab if I can come back as a scientist. If I bring in a million dollar grant, they just might say yes. ;-)

  • Max

    Excellent! You needed more hobbies anyway. B-)

    I would start with assigning one of your graduate students to collect atmospheric pressure readings. Taken only during the new moon cycle every six hours for sunrise, noon, sunset, midnight, at various locations on the globe. Use only accurate measurements going back as far as the record will allow. Filter out weather events. There should be a rise and fall of air pressure coinciding with the tides.

    Next I would borrow one of those very sensitive gravity detectors. If gravity increases during low tide, is it is evident that there is a graviton? affect at right angles to the alignment. A key to a possible manipulation of gravity, and will answer many questions.
    This will also give you detailed readings of fluctuation of the tides during the Jupiter Venus alignment. If you do not detect the fluctuation, then it’s unlikely the gravity alignment is the cause of the sunspot cycle.
    (The people I work for have one of these detectors that measure gravity as it flies over the landscape. it’s sensitive enough to detect heavy mass ore bodies deep in the crust. Yes, not all elements have the same gravitational attraction) ( you also weigh more at the polls can you do at the equator)
    Next, correlate the satellite data recorded for magnetic flux of Jupiter and earth and the sun for a connection. Venus does not have a magnetic field worth mentioning so a change during the alignment could indicate only gravity is it play.

    Good luck, keep us posted.

    Point the gravity meter towards the sun. If it points dead center then we know gravity travels at the speed of light. If it points where the sun will be in eight minutes, then we know gravity is a instantaneous force operating like magnetism outside the speed of light barrier.

  • m d mill

    very interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *