Before we get started, let's address a couple of basics:
For real people, if something works in theory, but not in practice,
it doesn't work.
For academics, if something works in practice, but not in theory,
it doesn't exist.
-- Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.
Essay on Tolerance, Voltaire, 1763
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which
is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in
everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination.
Anglo-Israel or, The British Nation: The Lost Tribes of Israel, Rev. William H. Poole, 1879
Never try to dismiss any correlation with the idiot's refrain
that "correlation is not causation."
That is an astonishingly stupid thing to say, as it is tantamount to saying that
"a clue is not a mathematical proof." Who claims that it is?
There is never causation without correlation.
Correlation provides important clues where causative mechanisms might be found.
Correlation is not causation, but you are more likely to find a cause in
a correlated variable than in an uncorrelated one. Search where there is
at least a trace of a putative connective tissue. If you think it was the
tomato that upset your digestion, start your controlled trial on tomatoes.
Correlation is not causation, but sometimes a finding is suggestive,
like a trout in the milk. It does not prove that the milk was watered,
but it makes you suspicious.
The "correlation is not causation" mantra is true as far
as it goes, but it tends to be used so as to argue that, despite many
correlations linking A with B being found in different circumstances,
these will somehow never suffice to strongly suggest a causal link between
A and B. On the contrary, correlation is a necessary feature of causation,
but not a sufficient proof. Correlation is not always causation, but it
helps find causes. Correlation is a pre-condition of causality.
Harlan True Stetson (1885-1964) was a Research Associate of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, where he was the Direcctor of the Cosmic Terrestrial Research
Laboratory at Needham from 1940 to 1950.
Effect of Sunspot Cycles on Long Distance Radio Signals
(Tele-Tech, Jan. 1947, Vol. 6, No. I, pp. 44-49.)
A survey of sunspot activity and critical frequencies over the period
1934-1946. Absorption in the E layer is an important factor in the
prediction of usable frequencies.
Radio wave propagation may always be expressed in terms of solar activity. Good high-frequency
conditions follow very closely the number, area and position of the sunspots. Thus, this
fundamental but important relation of radio communication to solar activity makes of special
interest the determination of the time of maximum sunspots.
From CQ Magazine, December 1947
The accompanying graph, Fig. 1, gives a comparison of the form of the sunspot curve
throughout the rise and fall centered about the last two maxima with curve C showing the progress
of the present cycle. It will be noted that for the last several cycles the alternate maxima
have, in general, been lower and flatter than the intermediate maxima such as was experienced in
1917 and 1937. Should the present rising sunspot cycle parallel closely thus far the cycle of
twenty years ago we might have anticipated the coming maxima to occur in the middle of 1948.
This current sunspot cycle, however, has already risen to activity which parallels more closely
the rise of 1937 than that of 1927 or 1928. The graph is drawn with the three months' moving
average which empasizes the secondary maxima that ride on the general carrier trend of the cycle.
We have had very might sunspot activity in the early part of 1947 (with excellent DX conditions--Ed.)
and if the intervals between the secondary maxima continue in the recognized pattern, we may
anticipate a minor slump in sunspot activity during the summer months of 1947 with another rise in
the late fall which may reach the actual maximum for the present cycle, somewhere between September
1947 and February, 1948. It is to be anticipated that for yearly values of sunspot numbers, the
year 1947 will prove to be the top year for activity in the present cycle.
The graph in Fig. 1 also emphasizes that the last several sunspot cycles have much more
nearly covered an interval of ten years rather than one of eleven years duration. The customary
tendency to adopt 11.2 years as the sunspot cycle can, therefore, lead to gross errors. The
value of 11.2 years arises only when the average of more than 150 years of sunspot records have
been taken into account. The sunspot numbers exhibited here are those of Zurich, utilizing
provisional sunspot numbers for the recent record.
An interesting factor in our study of radio wave propagation at the Cosmic Terrestrial Research
Laboratory, Needham, Mass., has been the comparison of night-time field strength intensity
measurements of the 5.0-mc carrier frequency as transmitted from Beltsville, Md., and received
in our laboratory. In general, there has been a very marked increase of about ten fold in
microvolts at the receiver at the present time as compared with night values recorded in 1943.
On the other hand, the noonday values have averaged progressively lower since the sunspot
minima of 1940, presumably this is due to increased E-layer absorption of F2-layer transmission.
When the diurnal curves of field intensities near the sunspot minima are drawn for the reception
of WWV they will show two maxima fields in the winter time, one following sunrise and the other
preceeding sunset. In general, the summertime reception is characterized by high nighttime
field strengths and low day fields. The effect of the rapid rise in sunspots during 1946 has
been to promote a continuance through the winter of 1946-47, of the summertime pattern reached
in August, 1946. This means that for frequencies about 5.0 mc the dayime fields have been far
below that which might normally be expected. Undoubtedly similar effects are noted in the
amateur 75-meter band.
Harlan T. Stetson
Cosmic Terrestrial Research Laboratory
Maxwell Oscar Johnson (July 18, 1892 to May 21, 1951)
Cycles in Weather and Solar Activity, 1950, Paradise of the Pacific Press
Cycles in Weather and Solar Activity is another attempt to account for apparent
cyclic variations in weather by correlating them with similar variations in sunspots or
solar radiation. Here, however, the suspected weather cycles are correlated not only
with solar variations but also with planetary positions. The author shows that the
records of New Haven yearly mean temperatures and rainfall in England correlate
reasonably well with yearly relative sunspots and with the synodic periods of certain
planets, and then theorizes that planetary positions cause the solar activity.
(from D. J. Portman,
"Cycles in Weather and Solar Activity.
Maxwell O. Johnson," The Quarterly Review of Biology 27, no. 1 (Mar., 1952): 136-137.
John Henry Nelson (Dececember 10, 1903 to May 23, 1984) was an engineer with RCA Communications in New York.
He was also Propagation Editor for 73 magazine until his death in 1984.
Shortwave Radio Propagation Correlation with Planetary Positions, RCA Review v12 n1, March 1951
Summary - An examination of shortwave radio propagation conditions over
the North Atlantic for a five-year period, and the relative position
of the planets in the solar system, discloses some very interesting
correlations. As a result of such correlations, certain planetary
relationships are deduced to have specific effect on radio propagation
through their influence upon the sun. Further investigation is required
to fully explore the effect of planet positions on radio propagation in
order that the highly important field of radio weather forecasting may
be properly developed.
Predicting the Future, Radio-Electronics June 1951
PREDICTING THE FUTURE from the motion of the planets, long the
basis of the ancient pseudo-science of astrology, has emerged from the
realm of superstition into the field of modern science. RCA engineer
John H. Nelson, writing in the RCA Review, reports evidence that the
magnetic storms on the earth which disrupt radio communications are
directly related to the positions of the planets.
also an amateur astronomer, was assigned years ago to the task of
studying the spots on the sun through a 6-inch telescope set up for
him on the roof of a downtown office building in New York City. He
failed to find enough correlation between the sunspots and the behavior
of radio communications to be able to make predictions of more
than a few days in advance, and in 1948 caused some comment in
astronomical circles by reporting that the size of the sunspots is a
"meaningless criterion" in predicting radio disturbances. The type of
sunspots, their age and activity, and their position on the sun are
the determining factors.
Engineer Nelson turned to the planets for his
research inspired by suggestions from the late Ellsworth Huntington of
Yale and Henry Helm Clayton. He studied hundreds of daily propagation
reports compiled by technicians at RCA's receiving station at Riverhead,
L. I., and from overseas stations of Radio France and Sweden's Telegraph
Administration. These he tried to correlate with the positions of
From these studies Mr. Nelson concluded that the planets
disturb the sun; and the sun in turn affects electromagnetic conditions
on the earth. From daily plots of the courses of the six inner planets
he observed that disturbances on the earth occur more frequently
when two or more planets form a right angle (with the sun as apex),
or form a straight line with the sun. The most disturbed periods are
the twelve months preceding and following the positioning of Saturn and
Jupiter in such a configuration. The most severe
disturbances occur when Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Earth are in critical
relationship near points of the Saturn-Jupiter configuration. When
Saturn and Jupiter have moved away from their configuration, the earth's
magnetic activity decreases, although the smaller planets cause storms
of shorter duration. The quietest periods occur when Saturn, Jupiter,
and Mars are equally spaced around the sun by 120°. The figure shows
the positions of the planets during the great 1946 magnetic storm.
Not all planetary configurations coincide with magnetic storms, but studies of
the Riverhead records show that storms are about ten times more
frequent during a configuration than on ordinary days.
can be predicted as much as two years in advance. By combining planetary
observations with daily inspection of the sun's surface, Mr. Nelson
has been able to predict good and bad radio weather with 85% accuracy
Planetary Position Effect on Short-Wave Signal Quality, Electrical Engineering 71n5, May 1952
Cosmic Patterns - Their influence on Man and his Communications, American Federation of Astrologers, 1974
This book deals with one of the most controversial questions in the field
of solar system science: Do the planets play a part in the development
and behavior of sunspots and magnetic storms? The author, who has spent
almost 30 years doing detailed research in this field, has produced
very strong evidence that the planets do, when in certain arrangements,
cause changes in the particular solar radiations that are associated
with magnetic storms in the atmosphere of the earth.
John Nelson was employed to study sunspots by RCA Communications,
the largest short-wave radio communication organization in the world,
because sunspots were believed to be the cause of magnetic storms which
from time to time would disrupt short-wave radio communications. The
short-wave radio industry needed a reliable magnetic storm forecasting
service so that advance preparations could be made for these periodic
disruptions. (There were steps that could be taken by communications
engineers to alleviate the effects of the magnetic storms on the
short-wave radio circuits and for this reason a reliable forecasting
service for the industry was needed.)
His planetary alignment work was successful and its usefulness both to
astronomers and users of the forecasts, the opposition of the astronomers
dropped to negligible proportions after a few years. Nelson has been
under considerable pressure from various groups to produce an extensive
report on his work rather than the periodic progress reports that he
has made from time to time in the form of formal papers. This book is
the result, and it is hoped that it will generate enough interest in
the subject to prompt other researchers to investigate the area further.
It was during the observation of sunspots that Mr. Nelson became convinced
that, besides their activity, other forces acting upon the sun also
affected magnetic weather conditions upon the earth's surface. This
conviction led him into research involving the exact position of planets
with respect to the sun.
By plotting the course of the six inner planets of the solar system on
a daily basis, Mr. Nelson found that:
1. When two or more planets are at right angles to each other, or in
line on the same side of the sun - or in line with the sun between them -
magnetic disturbances occur more frequently on the earth's surface.
2. That the most disturbed 12 months period will be those preceding and
following the positioning of Saturn and Jupiter in such a configuration
with relation to the sun.
3. That the most severe disturbances occur when Mars, Venus, Mercury and
the Earth are in critical relationship near points of the Saturn-Jupiter
4. When Saturn and Jupiter have moved away from their critical
relationship, there is a corresponding decline in the severity of magnetic
weather, although storms of shorter duration result from the critical
combinations of smaller planets.
5. That the least disturbed periods occur when Saturn, Jupiter and Mars
are equally spaced by 120 degrees.
J.H. Nelson received acclaim from people all over the globe - from those
who are interested about what is happening in the earth's ionosphere. The
acclaim is the result of Mr. Nelson's achievement of 85% accuracy in
predicting magnetic storms affecting radio signals. In this book, long
awaited by the scientific community, Mr. Nelson discusses in detail his
unique method of charting planetary angles to make his predictions.
Propagation Wizard's Handbook - Coping with Our Occult Sun and Its Meddlesome Planets, 1978
When sunspots riddled the worldwide communications networks of the 1940s,
John Henry Nelson looked to the planets for an answer. The resuit was
a theory of propagation forecasting based upon interplanetary alignment
that made the author the most reliable forecaster in America today. The
book provides an enlightened look at communications past, present,
and future, as well as teaching the art of propagation forecasting.
Radio Waves, Sunspots, and Planets, Popular Electronics, June 1959
The results of Mr. Nelson's plottings of the planetary positions over
more than ten years of research have brought to light six important
facts about the relationships of the planets and radio conditions on
Earth. These are the significant relationships which he uses in making
forecasts, and may be summed up as follows:
(1) Best radio reception periods occur when Saturn and Jupiter are
(2) The most severe disturbances occur when Mars, Venus, Mercury and
the Earth are in critical relationship near points of the Saturn-Jupiter
(3) When two or more planets are at right angles to each other, or in
line on the same side of the Sun, or in line with the Sun between them,
magnetic disturbances occur more frequently on the Earth's surface.
(4) When the planets have moved away from their critical relationship,
there is a corresponding decline in the severity of the magnetic weather.
(5) Three planets equally spaced at 15°, 30°, 60°, or 120° have
a tendency to produce disturbed radio signals if two of the planets
are fast-moving and one is a slow-moving planet, or if all three are
(6) Three planets equally spaced at 60° and four planets equally spaced
at 60° will disturb radio signals if at least two or more of the planets
are fast-moving. If three or more of the planets in this arrangement
are slow planets, no disturbance will occur.
Infinite Energy magazine, March/April 2000
HelioGram, the newsletter of the NCGR Helio SIG, May, 1992, p.5
While working for RCA Communications, John Henry Nelson became a
heliocentric pioneer. Nelson discovered the correspondence between
certain heliocentric aspects and the quality of shortwave radio
communications. Mr. Nelson's methods, the specific aspects he used in
his forecasts as well as the system he developed to evaluate the effect
of various aspects on radio propagation quality (ak.a. radio weather)
can guide today's heliocentric astrologers toward developing more precise
methods of studying heliocentric aspects and determining their association
with things other than radio weather.
Nelson had to make four forecasts every day--120 a month--for RCA. Once he
discovered the importance of heliocentric aspects, his rate of accuracy
for a given month often reached 90 percent or better. Although he found
some correlation between geocentric planetary aspects and radio weather,
it was the heliocentric aspects that allowed him to make such consistently
accurate predictions of radio weather.
In determining which aspects were most important, he found two small
angles and their multiples to be significant: 7.5 and 18 degrees. All of
the primary aspects used by astrologers are multiples of one or both of
these two numbers, as you can see from these lists: Multiplies of 7.5
degrees include 15, 22.5, 30, 37.5, 45, 52.5. 60, 67.5, 75, 82.5. 90
. . . 120. . . 150 . - . 180, etc., up to 360 degrees. Multiples of
18 include 36, 54, 72, 90, 108, 126, 144, 162 . . . 180, etc., up to
Nelson found the strongest aspects to be those long familiar to
astrologers--the conjunction, opposition, trine and square, derived
from dividing 360 degrees by 1, 2. 3, and 4. Of almost equal strength,
and of a generally benign nature, were the sextile, semisextile and
inconjunct. He found that other multiples of 7.5 and 18 degrees could
offer support and confirmation for the major. aspects, but alone could
not predict either good or poor radio weather.
In 1967 Nelson discovered the 11.25 degree series of some value,
but found it provided only a minor improvement in the accuracy of his
forecasts. He used very tight orbs when considering the aspects of the
primary and secondary harmonics--just a tenth of a degree. This would,
of course, be necessary when working with so many aspects and when making
predictions for four 6-hour time periods every day.
His basic interpretation of the primary aspects coincides with what
we know of them, Nelson found the trine to be associated with the best
radio weather--a quiet, undisturbed atmosphere which meant good clear
signals. The positive effect of the trine was so strong that it would
often nullify a combination of negative hard aspects. Nelson did not
distinguish between waxing and waning aspects. A waxing trine or square
was given the same weight as a waning trine or square.
He also found that good radio signals without any disturbance could occur
on days when the only helio aspects within close orb were a semisextile
or quincunx. If no hard aspect were in orb that day to interfere with
the quiet weather, these aspects were as favorable as the trine.
In keeping with traditional astrological lore, Nelson found that the hard
aspects were bad for radio weather. It is important to note that it made
no difference to his forecast whether two planets formed a conjunction,
square or opposition. All three aspects were found to have a disturbing
effect on shortwave radio communications. However, he found poor radio
signals were associated with two, three or four hard aspects within orb
on a given day, and even then a trine might negate the impact of the hard
aspects or delay their negative effect until the trine was no longer in
Forecasting Magnetic Storms, John H. Nelson
The Journal of Geocosmic Research, Summer 1974
On January 27th of this year (1974) I began a letter to a friend of mine
with the following two paragraphs:
As I write this, there is a severe magnetic storm raging 200 miles above
me and here on the ground it is a beautiful warm day, quite windy, but
still a fine day. I just returned from a long walk.
I had a good look at the sun today with my six-inch telescope to see what
kind of sunspot was causing the magnetic storm - but there was not a speck
on the sun at all. The storm was predicted in an amateur radio operator's
magazine on last November 10th, and it was published. I also predicted it
for my other subscribers on December 16th.
One might ask: "Why predict magnetic storms that take place 200 miles
above the earth?" and "How can they be predicted so far in advance?"
The answer to the first question is that magnetic storms disrupt shortwave radio
communications all over the world, and these predictions are important to both
professional and amateur radio operators. The answer to the second question is
that these storms can be predicted far in advance by studying the angles made
between the planets as they circle the sun in the heliocentric frame of
reference, and by having an intimate knowledge of the sunspot cycle.
Sunspots are usually associated with magnetic storms, but there are cases
where severe storms can take place with no spots on the sun at all. Storms of
this nature can be predicted by using only the planetary angles that exist on
any selected future date. The angles associated with these future planetary
arrangements are easily calculated from data given in the heliocentric
Over 25 years of research in the field of predicting magnetic storms has
shown me conclusively that certain select angles between the planets can be
used to predict both quiet magnetic conditions (which are asesociated with
good shortwave radio signals) and stormy magnetic conditions (which are associated
with poor signals), the good usually coming with trines and the bad with
conjunctions, squares and oppositions. It is quite complicated however, and the
effect of a trine can be destroyed if the two planets making the trine are on the
same day associated with two or three other planets in harmonic relationship.
Likewise, the effect of a conjunction, square, or opposition can also be modified
by the harmonics associated with the two planets making such a combination.
The harmonics used in this system are angles which are even multiples of 15
degrees, and even multiples of 18 degrees. The 15-degree harmonic shows better
correlation than the 18-degree harmonic, but the latter is useful under
The third paragraph of my letter described the planetary arrangement that
prompted me to make the forecast: "The planetary arrangement that
prompted me to make the prediction is a classic according to my technique.
Mars is 90 degrees from Mercury, 120 degrees on one side from Jupiter and
almost 120 degrees from Uranus on the other side, plus being 45 degrees from
Venus and Earth which are very close together, being in conjunction on the
23rd, and 165 degrees from Neptune. This brings the entire arrangement
together by using the 15-degree harmonic. In addition to this, Venus is at
perihelion." The arrangement of the planets on that date is shown in
Figure 1 with these important harmonically related angles indicated.
The diagram shown in Figure 1 is an excellent example of what I refer to in
my work as a simultaneous multiple harmonic (SMH) involving seven planets.
Fortunately for shortwave radio, seven-planet combinations are not too
frequent, but three- or four-planet combinations are sometimes quite common
when the slow planets (those beyond Mars) are arranged properly. Usually,
but not always, the severity of a magnetic storm will vary according to the
number of planets in the combination.
There are also seasonal and geographic effects that have to be considered
and also a diurnal effect. That is, storms do more damage during the
equinox than they do at the solstice; they are more severe on radio circuits
that pass over the North Atlantic between New York and Europe than they are
on circuits between New York and South America; and from a diurnal standpoint
the signals suffer more during the night hours than they do during the hours
of daylight. All of these variables must be taken into consideration by the
forecaster. Thus it can be seen that this work is extremely complicated and
the forecaster needs a long term of training before he can be confident.
Because this entire procedure is so complicated, it is not possible to treat
the subject adequately in a short report such as this, and for the past two
years I have been working on a book describing the subject in great detail.
The title is Cosmic Patterns: Their Influence on Man and His Communications,
and it will be published by The American Federation of Astrologers this summer.
[From New Scientist, June 28, 1979]
If you want to annoy a "real" scientist, creep up and whisper
"astrology" in his ear. All that lunatic stuff about how the
positions of the planets affect our lives here on Earth - so imprecise,
so unscientific. The outraged reaction of establishment science to the
occult, of course, only serves to make it more respectable in the eyes
of many people. If those weirdoes say it's crazy, they argue, then there
must be something in it. The success of Velikovskian idea is a case in
point - these gained enormous publicity from their flat rejection by
establishment science, and though now a few careful scientists have
offered reasoned refutation of them, they have taken root too strongly
to disappear overnight.
The trouble is, as well as giving really crazy ideas publicity which
only helps them, establishment scientifics also flatly refuse to accept
just a few ideas which sound crazy but really do work. Dowsing
is one example, now slowly becoming respectable; the influence of the
planets on the Sun is another, still regarded as crazy in most quarters
but thoroughly established for anyone who cares to look with an
Of course, I'm prejudiced, as anyone who has run across a slim volume
called The Jupiter Effect will know. In that book, Stephen
Plagemann and I developed the speculative idea that solar activity,
by affecting the spin of the Earth, could provide a trigger for
earthquakes. We backed this up with what seemed to us very solid
evidence that the positions of the planets affect solar activity - and
the critics leaped upon us with crise of astrology, dismissing the
whole idea (usually unread) as rubbish.
The main evidence we used to support this idea came from work carried
out by John Nelson for the RCA group in the United States. For more
than 20 years Nelson predicted solar activity - and hence changes in
radio propagation conditions here on Earth - from the alignments of
the planets. He knew nothing of astrology when he started this work,
but evolved independently rules of thumb relating right angle, 60°
and other alignments of planets such as Saturn, Mars and Jupiter
which exactly echo those claimed to be significant by astrologers.
RCA knew nothing of astrology either - all it knew was that Nelson's
system worked, and saved them money. Once the news got out, Nelson
suffered ridicule and rejection by established science - but still
the technique worked.
Now, having retired, Nelson has written his story up for
publication - not with a major scientific publisher (the taint of
astrology still lingers) but from the Radio Bookshop's "73
Library", a technical series for radio enthusiasts (who, of
course, don't care how it works as long as it does work),
under the title The Propagation Wizard's Handbook.
Maybe the influence of these ideas will now begin to leak out and
encourage a change of attitudes comparable to the changing
attitudes toward dowsing. Certainly the fear of upsetting the
establishment has proved a deadening hand in the past - just after
The Jupiter Effect was published, Steve Plagemann, then
working at NASA, was approached by a colleague working in the same
building. "You know," he said, "I'm really glad to
see that stuff in print. I've been working on predicting solar
flares for years, and I've got a file of evidence which shows a
definite relationship with Jupiter-Saturn alignments. But I daren't
put that in my report - it's more than my job is worth."
Steve, of course, is now farming in Ireland, while his anonymous
colleague still has a desk job at NASA. Make up your own mind who
has the best deal.
But maybe you want a prediction. So I'll give you one, not from
Nelson himself, but using my interpretation of his technique. At
midnight on December 1, 1980, all the planets will be grouped in
a rare right angle alignment. Look out then for solar activity
linked with severe magnetic storms and bright aurorae on Earth.
If youu are crazy enough to believe the Gribbin-Plagemann theory
of solar-terrestrial links, look out also for earthquakes. And
if you're an astrologer, watch out for the triggering effect of
the Moon, one hour earlier at 11 pm on 1 December. Meanwhile,
for a fascinating book well worthy of general circulation, try to
get a hold of The Propagation Wizard's Handbook, and find
out what it's all about.
Correlation: Journal of Research into Astrology, published by the
British Astrological Association since 1981.
Shortwave Radio Propagation: Analysis of the Forecasts of John Nelson
Geoffrey Dean Correlation 1983, 3.1, 4-37:
This study examines Nelson's
claims that heliocentric planetary aspects correlate with shortwave
radio quality (hard aspects make it worse) and that they can be used to
improve the accuracy of forecasts. Computer analysis of 2006 half-day
or quarter-day quality forecasts (based on planetary positions) made
by Nelson for RCA during 1964-5, and 4960 daily forecasts made for 73
magazine during 1966-82, failed to find support for his claims. There
was no significant correlation between forecast and outcome (mean r =
0.01), and the outcome on days forecast as poor was not significantly
different from that on days forecast as good. Nelson's forecasts performed
considerably worse than US Government forecasts and a control forecast
based on the quality one solar rotation before. The accuracy of 105
forecasts of solar flares was not significantly better than chance. To
increase the sensitivity of the analysis a daily planetary index based on
Nelson's rules was compared with observed radio qualities and geomagnetic
indices. No planetary effect was detectable, nor was the alleged effect of
nodes and perihelia. In disagreement with Nelson's claims, hard aspects
and associated harmonic aspects were not consistently more numerous on
the most disturbed 3% of days during 1969-80 than on the least disturbed
3% of days. In particular the 12 days with the most adverse planetary
configurations during 25 years were not significantly different from
those with the least adverse. Nelson's claims are incompatible with the
physical processes involved and are shown to rest upon three things:
(1) A statistical artifact due to the close but unequal spacing of
aspect days, which means that small differences from radio days are more
likely than large differences. (2) A calculation artifact due to counting
forecasts as hits if they are within one unit of the observed quality,
yet around 90% of all observed qualities fall within a range of one unit,
so a hit rate of 90% (his claimed accuracy rate) is unremarkable. (3)
Selection of data to fit the case. The results do not deny that the
planets could affect the Sun in other ways.
Disturbances of Extraterrestrial Origin in the Short Wave Band, J. L. Steinberg & J. Denisse.
(Rev. sci. Paris, 15th Sept. 1946, Vol. 84, No. 3257, pp. 293-294.)
Historical survey of galactic and solar noise, from Jansky's observations
in 1932 to the recent work of Reber, Southworth, Appleton and Hey. Recent
theoretical work on noise in valves and aerials and from interstellar
matter is briefly discussed.
Choice of a 'Reality Index' for Suspected Cyclic Variations, W. Gleissberg.
(Nature, Lond., 21st Dec. 1946, Vol. 158, No. 4025, pp. 915-916.)
A discussion of the cyclic variations apparent in some natural phenomena
which are not purely periodic in nature. A 'reality index'
to indicate the degree of reality of such variations is defined and
its use is demonstrated by an example taken from sunspot observations.
The Cosmic Clocks, 1967
Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior, 1973
From Science News, November 25, 1972:
Do tugs of the planets affect the sun's cycles?
The influence of the sun on the planets that go around it determines
the conditions found on them. Most of the scientific literature on the
sun assumes that there is no reciprocity: The planets have no influence
on the various upheavals, sunspots and flares, that characterize the
surface appearance of the sun. These are regarded as caused by occurrences
deep within the sun.
In the Nov. 10 NATURE R. K. Wood of the University
of Colorado points out an interesting relationship between the 11-year
cycle of sunspots and a known influence of the planets on the sun, the
solar tides. Just as the moon and the sun raise tides on the earth so
the planets raise tides on the sun.
The tidal influence of a planet
depends both on its size and its distance. There are four planets that
contribute appreciable effects to the solar tides. Taking the earth's
contribution as one, the relative contribution of each of the others is:
Mercury 1.15, Venus 2.17 and Jupiter 2.28. The remaining five planets
make only negligible contributions. When Venus and earth are in line
(conjunction or opposition), they cause a solar tide 50 percent greater
than the largest caused by Jupiter. When Venus, earth and Jupiter are
all in line, the tidal effects of the three planets add together at any
point on the sun. In his calculations Wood left out the influence of
Mercury because that planet's
tidal effect has a three-month cycle, and so it would have little effect
on the 11-year sunspot cycle.
Wood plotted the tidal height fluctuations since 1750 for each interval
between dates of earth-Venus
conjunction and earth-Venus opposition against the smoothed monthly
number of sunspots for the center of each interval. The result is graphs
comparing the two data that seem to show a correlation between peak times
of tidal variation (rise or fall) and peak numbers of sunspots.
There is a small difference between tidal maxima and sunspot peaks, the error
of prediction of the peaks, as Wood calls it, which seems to vary
according to a 170- or 180-year cycle.
Assuming that this cycle in the
error of peak prediction is real, Wood publishes predictions of the
sunspot peak, derived from computation of the solar tides, for the next
130 years (12 sunspot cycles). But he does not suggest a mechanism
whereby the tides could influence the production of sunspots.
From The Science News-Letter, June 30, 1934:
Electrical "Tides" Suggested As Cause of Sunspots
THE FAMOUS eleven-year sunspot cycle which astronomers have been observing
for decades may be caused by the electrical interaction of the sun and
its neighboring planets, Venus, the earth, and Mercury.
that sunspots result from electrical "tides" - to use a moon
and earth analogy - was advanced by Fernando Sanford, emeritus professor
of physics at Stanford University before the Astronomical Society of
the Pacific at its meeting. The Society met in conjunction with the
American Association for the Advancement of Science at the University
All the planets have strong negative electric charges upon
them with respect to the sun. Since the planets move in orbits which take
them alternately near and away from the sun Prof. Sanford suggests that
at the nearest position the increase in electric field between various
solar bodies might produce the sunspots. If this situation is true, a
check of sunspot activity and the proximity of the planets to the sun
should show some correlation.
Studies of sunspot cycles from 1750 to 1928
show, the veteran scientist declared, the sought-after correlation
between sunspots and the periods of conjunction of Venus and the earth on
one hand; and Venus, Mercury and the earth on the other.
maintains that Venus and the earth are responsible for the eight-year
sunspot cycle while Venus, Mercury and the earth cause the more easily
recognized eleven-year cycle.