Planets’ Alignment May Successfully Explain Sun’s Peculiar Cycle

First Posted: Oct 06, 2016 05:16 AM EDT

A variety of Earth's phenomena are influenced by the Sun's magnetic field but there is no surety about the working process of Sun's cycle. A new theoretical study has proposed that the behavior of Sun's magnetic field and its cycle may be closely link to the planets' alignment.

A team of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf Association in Germany have made observations about the probable impact that planets may have on the Sun. It was discovered that when Venus, Earth and Jupiter are aligned, they create a small yet significant force on the Sun which leads to complex changes in Sun's cycle.

Sun can be considered as an huge dynamo. When stars made of stellar plasma, the hot charged particles, rotate on their axes create an intense magnetic field. The solar dynamo is affected by the interior structures of the Sun, and it is accountable for the sunspots and dark patches on the surface of Sun. The Sun's cycle has made the scientists and researchers curious as the dynamo's polarity reverses after every 11 years.  

"Interestingly, every 11.07 years, the Sun and the planets Venus, Earth, and Jupiter are aligned," lead author Dr Frank Stefani said in a statement. "We asked ourselves: Is it a coincidence that the solar cycle corresponds with the cycle of the conjunction or the opposition of the three planets?"

Many researchers had suggested in the previous times that the planets' alignment may have a crucial role to play in the Sun's cycle. A study was published in Solar Physics regarding the same but it did not pay much attention to the observational validity of this idea. It was majorly directed at the theoretical setup.

Researchers have established the fact that it is indeed the case. Although the combined impact of these planet's alignment is small, it can not be neglected. This alignment is responsible for creating a resonance in alpha effect, one of the Sun's magnetic fields which is involved in the sunspots, among other things.

According to the study, the planets' alignment combines their gravity to create a tidal-like effect on the Sun's plasma, thus disrupting its magnetic field by pulling it. This possibly plays a part in the Sun's cycle considering the fact that it may be enough to effect the whole dynamo effect.

The planets' alignment is a crisp explanation for the solar cycle's timing. However it is not the complete explanation for the complicated magnetic mechanism of the enormous star as it is singularly based on the theoretical considerations. It must be admitted that the findings are fascinating and the move will be to figure out more evidences that support this interesting hypothesis.

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