Ian Wilson's Theory on the Planetary Influence on Grand Minima.

Ian Wilson, highly respected Australian scientist working in the area of planetary influence on solar activity has provided us with his paper outlining his theory on some possible drivers of solar grand minima. This area of science seems to be on the fringe where no matter what funds are available no real knowledge can claim with total confidence how the next cycle will pan out, let alone when the next Maunder type minimum might happen, its an open arena waiting for a credible explanation.
Landscheidt Cycles welcomes Ian’s paper which can be accessed through this link:http://plasmaresources.com/ozwx/wilson/Syzygy.pdf
Below is a graph from Ian’s paper showing the heliocentric latitude of Venus (solid line) and the mean distance of Jupiter from the Sun in astronomical units (dashed line), we welcome constructive debate.


10 comments on “Ian Wilson's Theory on the Planetary Influence on Grand Minima.

  1. Good question from lgl, reading Ian’s paper he is unsure why the medieval max occurred at the time of weak alignment and suggests countervailing factors (similar situation around 1990).

    Could the countervailing factor that Ian mentions be the non existence of the Neptune/Uranus factor during the MWP and once again be the reason for the late 20th century anomaly due to a weakening Neptune/Uranus factor?

    If we look at the N+U factor everything falls into line. The best lineups happen between 1279-1830, the Oort uses this lineup but steps out of the usual 179 year cycle and is part of another earlier group of lineups that are most likely 179 years apart, if you follow a solar system viewer it is very easily seen (check 1000 & 1013). The period between the Oort and Wolf (MWP) shows no significant lineup of N+U+J with S apposing until we get to 1279 and the pattern starts to re emerge.

    This pattern is now weakening as can also be seen in Carl’s original ssb graph, if the alignment was strong enough we would have fallen into grand minima in 1970 on the initial partial lineup as happened in the past 3 at least minima, so we have been spared and only received a mild cooling period followed by a mini modern maximum (a bonus that some speculate is due to man made warming). But we are now at the point of optimal lineup and should receive at least one cycle of much lower activity, and perhaps Ian’s work or Ulric’s theory also works in conjunction or stand out alone….I suspect we wont have a long wait to find out.

  2. Thank you for this absolutely excellent blog on this the most important issue of our time…

    I’ve been playing with some numbers :
    – The Sun carries ~20x total angular momentum ( Lspin + LSSB) compared to Earth. Distance Sun – SSB varies 10exp7 – 10exp9 meters and a fast SSB roundtrip could be ~1 year. At 10exp9 m you have LSSB ~ 10exp47 gm cm2/ s as Carl has calculated.

    – Assuming the iron core model with iron mass ~ 0.33 of Sun’s total mass (according to the missing neutrinos), 0.4 of Sun’s radius, the spin of the iron core alone at the outer shell spin rotation is 10exp 49. Now comes the interesting : Using the Soho difference images revealing the iron core in full glory, it turns out that it spins somewhat faster than the outer layer by an amount of ~5% in the sample movie I used. So modulating significantly this extra core spin component takes the same as LSSB !

    – I can’t see why some planet grouping should be favored at the expense of others. S + U + N carries bigger amounts of angular momentum than V + E. Why cant just the gravitational/angular moment transfer to the Sun be incorporated in the planetarium simulations ?

    -If this crude iron core model makes sense after submitted to tests I wouldn’t know of, assuming Carl’s LSSB changes is directly set off to the iron core leaving the shell spin constant, the only parameter lacking for a mousetrap model would be the friction between the iron core and the fluid/gaseous/liquid/plasma shell of light elements. This friction would probably be non-linear to the spin difference across the core-shell interface, maybe timedependant and consist of an initiation resistance and higher order terms for the magnetic dynamo.

    – After such a complete simulation with the iron core friction model properly initiated and calibrated, couldn’t a eventual cosmological linear component from the Milky Way/Ether be identified from the integrated planetary forcing ? And wouldnt we have a very reliable prediction for this century at least ?

  3. Thanks Elling, it seems a lot of scientists right off “tide theory” because of the minute tide that is calculated, but as you and Ian and Hung suggest it may not need a lot of gravity or change in spin momentum to cause much bigger events, I also wonder how something magnetic like plasma is affected by gravity or other planets magnetic fields. If you have any links on the iron core and Soho data please feel free to post.

  4. Geoff,
    the SOHO videos are here : http://www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/

    – I’m trying to get more precise data on the radius of the core, the density and the rotation speeds (not so obvious, the SOHO probe is probbaly itself lagging compared to the photosphere) However the film shows the core roughly completing ~60deg in ~60 hrs corresponding to 3.4exp-6rad/s. The reported photosphere spin is ~8exp-5rad/s. I’m trying to find out whether this one varies.

    – Now Carl’s SSB and Dr Landscheidt’s dT/dt diagrams all make sense : The Iron Core and the Fluid Shell always spin in the same direction but the differential spin across the interface can take on both signs.
    Slowly varying Torques are absorbed “synchronously” by the fluid shell and the iron core so the differential spin is not significantly influenced.
    Fast varying Torques are absorbed instantly in the rigid core.
    Fast positive Torques give rise to significant diffspin increases. After 11 years the shell catches up and the diffspin changes sign because of the shell’s inertia and the friction, hence the second part of the Hale cycle.
    Consecutive Fast negative Torques over several decades would slow down the system to very small diffspin values compared to some “average”.

    – What can it take to calibrate such a model for constants for friction and shell inertia ? A planetarium, complete with relativistic gravitationals and eclipse inclinations, a precise initiation ?

  5. I don’t know about “highly respected Australian scientist..”. About the only one who shows me any respect around here is my dog.

    The plot that is shown in this post, highlights the fact that the major “maunder minimum” cooling events seem to take place at Jupiter-Venus-Earth alignments that have Jupiter furtherest from the Sun and Venus is at its largest positive inclination with respect to the ecliptic. In other words, when the alignments of Earth-Venus-Sun are weakest and net graviational force of Jupiter is weakest.

    If you take a purely graviational/tidal approach, the dominant tidal
    influences on the Sun are those of Venus and Jupiter, with Earth in third place. However the dominant gravitational influence on the Sun, by far, is that of Jupiter.

    [I acknowledge that a simple gravitational/tidal picture is too simplistic]

    I believe that if you are going to use a tidal/gravitational model to try and explain the influence of the planets on the level of solar activity
    It would be one that involves Venus-Earth alignments for tidal “pull” at the surface at the Sun, coupled with Jupiter’s gravity tugging at 90 degrees to these tidal alignments.

    This would the only way that you could get a reasonable tidal torque acting on the Sun to produce a spin-orbit coupling.

    UNFORTUNATELY, and it is a big unfortunately, the net change in spin that can be produced by this mechanism is orders of magnitude short of what is needed to have any significant effect.

    At this stage, we have to admit that we do not have a viable physical mechanism for explaining the spin orbit coupling.

    But this should not stop us for trying to look for a viable mechanism as the synchronicity between the planetary motions and the solar cycle are so good that there must be a connection there somewhere.

  6. This reminds me so much of Dr. Charvatova’s 1988 & 1990 publications – listed in post #24 at

    Ian, can you explain briefly (for non-physicists) why the curves roughly follow U-N phasing?

    Also, do you think it is possible that the solar de Vries cycle might have something to do with the ‘discrepancy’ (i.e. MWP)?


    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  7. I forgot to provide the hook for …
    “… Our prediction methodology differs fundamentally from all the methodologies used by weather forecasters. It enables one to make weather forecasts with a daily discreteness for a 1 year period. About 75% of such forecasts proved to be correct.
    We believe that this methodology can also be used to predict natural and social phenomena, such as seismicity, volcano eruptions, economic crises, epidemics, population explosions, political coups and even wars.”
    NS Sidorenkov. 2005. Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions Vol. 24, No. 5, October 2005, 425-439.

    The paper contains some sections that make for sluggish technical reading, but there are also some real gems-of-insight scattered throughout the document.

    The following are the (2005) news releases that initially drew my attention to the research of NS Sidorenkov:
    He has been working on this since the 1960s.

    Dr. Wilson gave a related (2008) presentation, illustrating a possible link with SIM:

    This stimulated an interesting (2008) discussion at:
    The comments around Aug.1,2,&3 are particularly interesting.

    I didn’t know anything about any of the above-listed documents when I was working on a recent solar-terrestrial relations research contract, but I discovered nearly-absolute phase-concordances since about 1936 that are consistent with the above.

    To be absolutely clear: I am not making any claims about causation.

    However, I do find all of these “coincidences” very interesting.

    I’ve found lots of errors in Landscheidt’s work and I don’t agree with everything that is posted on this site (including recent articles). Nonetheless, I am very keen to follow the discussions that occur on this site.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

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