Nicola Scafetta: Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing?
Nicola Scafetta, ACRIM & Duke University, USA
Numerous empirical evidences suggest that planetary tides may influence solar activity. In particular, we show that: (1) the well-known 11-year Schwabe sunspot number cycle is constrained between the spring tidal period of Jupiter and Saturn (9.93 yr), and the tidal orbital period of Jupiter (11.86 yr); (2) a measure of the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter reveals quasi 11.07-year cycles that are well correlated to the 11-year Schwabe solar cycles; (3) there exists an 11.08 year cyclical recurrence in the solar jerk-shock vector, which is induced mostly by Mercury and Venus; (4) a centered frequency at 10.87 yr beats with the two Jupiter and Saturn tides producing and hindcasting all known major oscillations of solar activity throughout the Holocene (last 10,000 years) such as the Oort, Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and Dalton minima, as well as the 17 115-year long oscillations found in a detailed temperature reconstruction of the Northern Hemisphere covering the last 2000 years and the quasi millennial cycles observed in both climate and solar activity; (5) numerous evidences also suggest that multiple planetary forces are modulating the solar activity at the monthly-annual scale. These results suggest that solar activity is modulated by gravitational and electromagnetic harmonic forcings due to the presence and movement of the planets.
However, Newtonian classical physics has failed to explain the phenomenon because tidal forces on the sun appear to be too weak. Herein we hypothesize the existence of a significant nuclear fusion amplification of the tidal gravitational potential energy dissipated in the Sun, such that planetary tides could produce irradiance output oscillations with a sufficient magnitude to influence solar dynamo processes. We explain how a first order magnification factor can be roughly calculated using an adaptation of the well-known mass-luminosity relation for main-sequence stars similar to the Sun. This strategy yields a conversion factor between the solar luminosity and the potential gravitational power associated to the mass lost by nuclear fusion: the average estimated amplification factor is about 4 million. We use this magnification factor to evaluate the theoretical luminosity oscillations that planetary tides may potentially stimulate inside the solar core by making its nuclear fusion rate oscillate. By converting the power related to this energy into solar irradiance units at 1 AU we find that the tidal oscillations may be able to theoretically induce an oscillating luminosity increase from 0.05-0.65 W/m2 to 0.25-1.63 W/m2, which is a range compatible with the ACRIM satellite observed total solar irradiance fluctuations. Thus, the Sun, by means of its nuclear active core, may be working as a great amplifier of the small planetary tidal energy dissipated in it. The amplified signal should be sufficiently energetic to synchronize solar dynamics with the planetary frequencies and activate internal resonance mechanisms, which then modulate and interfere with the solar dynamo cycle to shape solar dynamics at multiple scales. We also briefly argue the possibility that other mechanisms associated to electromagnetic forces are present as well.
Scafetta N., 2012. Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 81-82, 27-40.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.04.002. PDF