Cyclic Catastrophism and the Sun’s Magnetic Field

magnetic butterfly

Fig. 1 Solar magnetic field butterfly diagram showing changes in magnetic field by latitude and time.                                                     (credit D. Hathaway /NASA/MSFC/)

Figure 1 shows the magnetic polarity of the Sun over 30 years. The blue and green colors within + or – 30 degrees latitude represent the integrated north and south polarity of the sunspots. As can be seen they begin striking around 30 degrees latitude and move toward the equator of the Sun throughout each eleven-year cycle. When the number of sunspots reaches a maximum, the overall magnetic field of the Sun, shown by the polarities at +/- 90 degrees latitude, reverses.

The polarities of the sunspots are measured by studying the polarization of iron spectra in their images. Solar scientists actually do not understand why the Suns overall magnetic field reverses every eleven years.  As discussed in a number of previous posts, e.g. the Kreutz Sungrazers are hundreds of asteroids in a unique orbit which formed from a great jet of hot gases that had been shooting from an ongoing nuclear fusion at 22 degrees south latitude on Jupiter from 6,000 years up to about one hundred years ago, now marked by the presence of the Great Red Spot.  Millions of these same asteroids have been spread over the entire solar system due to the combination of the jet speed, Jupiter’s rapid rotation and its orbital velocity. Fortunately one of these asteroids, named ‘comet’ 67P – Churyumov-Gerasimenko has recently been studied by the ESA Rosetta mission, originally suggested as a target by Klim Churyumov, a Ukrainian astronomer because its deflection of the solar wind implied it had a magnetic field.  These asteroids contain a unique combination of elements, primarily water because Jupiter is solid, frozen methane gas hydrate but with a nucleogenic composition of all the other known elements, including iron and nickel.  Because they form from condensing gases they are very low density but, as discovered by Rosetta’s Philae lander, have a hard surface and are very black. They all have a weak permanent magnetic field because they condensed while still within the magnetic field of Jupiter.

As these permanently magnetized asteroids approach the Sun, their south poles become oriented toward the Sun’s north magnetic pole and vice-versa. When they strike the surface of the Sun, this magnetism is detected in the resulting sunspots by earth telescopes using spectroscopy and polarimetry of iron.  Because the stream of asteroids originated from Jupiter, the solar inclinations change with an eleven-year cycle, with a maximum +/- 30 degrees due to the sum of Jupiter’s obliquity, inclination and the 22 degrees south latitude of the jet, i.e. the Great Red Spot.  The diagram, shows the magnetic polarization of the sunspots in this range.  The field at the poles (+/- 90 degrees) show the Sun’s dipole field. It shows that at the solar maximum, the greatest influx of magnetically polarized Kreutz sungrazer asteroids, the Sun’s dipole field is overwhelmed and and reverses. This shows that the observed magnetic field of the Sun is superficial and if there is a single permanent dipole magnetic field due to the Sun’s rotation, it is quite small.

In contrast, the currently accepted uniformitarion explanation of the Sun’s magnetic field reversals is summarized in Sky and Telescope magazine as follows:

“A well-behaved Sun flips its north and south magnetic poles every 11 years. A cycle starts when the field is weak and dipolar—basically, a giant bar magnet. But the Sun’s rotation is faster at its equator than at its poles, and this difference soon stretches the field lines like distended rubber bands around the solar surface. Frenetic activity ensues, with magnetic tangles producing sunspots, prominences, and sometimes flares and plasma explosions. All of that dies down when the Sun-wide magnetic field lines finally snap into simpler configurations, re-establishing the dipole field and beginning the next cycle.”

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As can be sen from this article, astrophysicists currently believe that all this activity, i.e. sunspots and magnetic fields, are generated from within the Sun, but they have great difficulty in explaining how the dipole field could originate in the interior, due to the high temperature and outward flux of energy, which would not allow the required circulation.  Equally puzzling is how such a circulation could be reversed every eleven years.

Fig. 2 Recent waning strength of solar cycles. ( Credit D. Hathaway / NASA / MSFC)

Fig. 2 Recent waning strength of solar cycles (credit D. Hathaway /NASA/MSFC/


The weak sunspot maximum which has characterized the current cycle with a max in 2014, raises the question as to why the sunspot activity has decreased.  A possible explanation is that the Sun has moved slightly out of the orbits of the Kreutz asteroids, due to the known combined gravitational effect of the giant planets.

Could the reduced flux of asteroids still been sufficient to reverse the Sun’s magnetic field.  It may just have been strong enough to cancel out the existing field. Cyclic Catastrophism maintains that this effect proves that the Sun’s magnetic field is superficial and not of great significance to the Earth.  However the weakness of sunspot activity can effect Earth’s climate, since the so-called Coronal Mass Ejections heat the Earth, particularly at the poles and pump-up the Earth’s magnetic field, which originates in the superconducting solid core by Faraday and Lentz ‘laws’.

This Cyclic Catastrophism epistle explains the Sun’s dipole magnetic field as superficial –  merely due to the influx of magnetized asteroids – little pieces of Jupiter’s magnetic field, and is not generated in the Sun’s interior.   This also explains why astronomers have difficulty finding other stars with magnetic fields.  Once the stream of asteroids from Jupiter becomes depleted, the Sun’s magnetic field will disappear completely.

The cyclic catastrophism sunspot hypothesis explains: (a) the downward motion of the surface material and its velocity within sunspots; (b) the cooling of the umbra material; (c) the presence of large amounts of water in sunspots; (d) the presence of iron in sunspots; (e) the periodicity of the sunspots and the butterfly diagram; (f) the origin of the Coronal Mass Ejections; (g) the makeup of the solar corona and its high non-thermal temperature; (h) the origin of the Sun’s magnetic ‘dipole’ field and its reversal; and (i) explains why astronomers have difficulty finding other stars with magnetic fields.


~ by Angiras on October 26, 2014.