Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition

Having enjoyed some peace and tranquillity [whilst the crowds were distracted watching the festival of professional fouls in Brazil] its now time to [slowly] return to blogging and explore a few ideas that have been stalled on the back burner for a while.

The starting point for this posting is the curious pattern displayed by the time between tides graph for Casey in Antarctica during August and September 2013.


There is an underlying rhythm of six hours between high and low water at Casey in Antarctica which is significantly disrupted by the lunar apogee and perigee.

It is not clear what force or forces actually drive ocean tides.

However, the observational evidence from Cristobal [Panama] clearly indicates that Newtonian Gravity does not drive oceanic tides and that mainstream tidal theory is pure fiction.


The next step in this thread is the curiously low level of solar activity during Solar Cycle 24.


Intriguingly, the pattern in solar activity during Solar Cycle 24 is remarkably similar to the pattern displayed by the time between tides graph for Casey in Antarctica during Lunar apogee.

This simple visual pattern recognition leads to the speculative train of thought that perhaps a common force is driving solar activity and oceanic tides on Earth and that the abnormally low solar activity during Solar Cycle 24 could be associated with the perihelion of a large planet [or dwarf companion] with an orbital period of around 200 or [maybe] 350 years.


Unsurprisingly, there is no supporting evidence for this speculation and this train of thought was relegated to the back burner waiting for inspiration or new observational evidence.

However, if there is any validity in this train of thought then it should be possible to associate solar activity with the perihelions and aphelions of the planets.

Therefore, as a simple proof of concept lets look at the large gas giants Jupiter and Saturn which are typically reported to have fixed orbital periods.


However, an analysis of the perihelion and aphelion dates for Jupiter and Saturn clearly shows that the orbital characteristics of these planets are not nearly as regular as the mainstream suggests.

Jupiter and Saturn

Source: AuxMaillesGodefroy – Planet Aphelion

Additionally, it should be noted that for Jupiter and Saturn perihelion always occur north of the ecliptic plane whilst aphelion always occurs south of the ecliptic plane.


This image shows the orbits, nodes, and perihelion/aphelion positions of the outer planets. Seen from the northern ecliptic pole.
The planets run counterclockwise.
The blue part of an orbit is north of the ecliptic plane, the pink part south.
Green dot: perihelion; Red dot: aphelion.

A simplistic visualisation can be created if the aphelion dates north of the ecliptic are assigned an [arbitrary] value of +1 whilst the perihelion dates south of the ecliptic are assigned an [arbitrary] value of -1.

Jupiter and Saturn Graph

The visualisation clearly indicates that the aphelion and perihelion dates [of Jupiter and Saturn] are not strictly synchronised and this underlying variability could well contribute to the natural variability observed in solar activity and the length of the Solar Cycles.

The visualisation also indicates that there are two periods [during the graphed period] when Jupiter and Saturn are [fairly] closely aligned.

The close aphelion alignment period [October 1957 through May 1959] would predict a period of unusually high solar activity whilst the close perihelion alignment period [January 1974 through August 1975] would predict a period of prolonged low activity.

Additionally, the period of [fairly close] opposition [July 1987 to September 1988] would predict a very rapid transition from solar minimum to solar maximum.

Sunspots from 1940
Overall, the aphelion and perihelion dates for Jupiter and Saturn appear to be fairly closely aligned with solar activity during the [approximate] 60 year period from 1940 to 2000.

However, that is not to say the other planets don’t influence solar activity.

The rapid orbits of the inner planets [Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars] would be expected to contribute [relatively] short term oscillations whilst the outer planets [primarily Neptune and Uranus] would provide longer term oscillations and possibly regime changes [as appears to have happened around the year 2000].

Furthermore, the +1 or -1 weighting mechanism is far too simplistic and each significant planetary body probably requires an individual weighting that varies as the planet moves from aphelion to perihelion.

Accordingly, this train of thinking makes no specific [or exaggerated] claims because it is a work in progress that is based upon a very limited data sample.

Comparison from 1940

Hopefully, someone vastly more knowledgeable [and with access to a meaningful dataset] may be inspired to further develop [or falsify] this train of thinking which is based upon very specific planetary data [although there may still be undiscovered planets and/or a binary companion for the Sun].

The concept of long term regime change is a real possibility because the magnetic axis of [both] Neptune [orbital period 164.8 years] and Uranus [orbital period 84.1 years] swivel as they orbit the Sun.

The Magnetic Universe – J B Zirker – 2009


Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Earth, Moon, Solar System, Tides. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pattern Recognition

  1. mkelly says:

    Bring back your post on Inventions and Deceptions- Gravitational Mass Attraction. Right wrong or indifferent it was something to think about. Don’t censor yourself.

  2. Arthur says:

    Solar Cycle Progression Page Has Changed
    As part of the Space Weather Prediction Center’s rollout of our improved website, the content from the Solar Cycle Progression page is being provided in a new way.

    Now only cycle 24 is shown…

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