A new study has suggested that the sun's 11-year solar cycle is determined by the alignment of planets. The tidal forces of Jupiter, Earth and Venus directly influence the solar magnetic field, thus causing solar maximum and solar minimum. Experts believe that the new research report will help to learn more about why the sun has a regular solar cycle.
The tidal force exerted by these planets causes changes in plasma on the surface of the sun. These forces will be higher when there is a maximum alignment of the three planets and it usually happens every 11.07 years.
It should be noted that the sun goes through an 11-year solar cycle regularly and at this moment, we are in the solar minimum part of the cycle, where the solar activity will be the lowest.
However, during the solar maximum periods, coronal mass ejections will take place, and these solar storms could create havoc on the earth by malfunctioning technologies like the internet and GPS.
"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," Frank Stefanie, a physicist of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Germany, and the lead author of the study in a recent statement.
Even though these forces exerted by planets are too weak to create drastic changes in the sun's interior, researchers believe that there could be an indirect mechanism that connects planetary alignment and the sun's solar cycle. As per scientists, a physical effect that could change the behaviour of plasma, known as Tayler instability could be responsible form solar cycles that happen at regular intervals.
"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 synchronized with the timing of the external perturbation," added Stefani.
Earlier, self-proclaimed seismic researcher Frank Hoogerbeets had claimed that critical planetary alignments are causing earthquakes on the earth. Hoogerbeets argues that he is using a sophisticated system called SSGI (Solar System Geometry Index) to understand planetary alignment, and it will help to predict potential tremors on the planet. However, experts have dismissed Hoogerbeets' claims stating that no technology is capable of predicting earthquakes with precision.
This study was published in the journal Solar Physics.