OK, over at WUWT a barycentric thread briefly broke out, then Anthony slammed shut comments as he was convinced Lief was right and the referenced paper was right and there was no way the planets can stir the sun; and was tired of comments saying maybe it could.
There are a lot of interesting bits of evidence FOR the planet influence idea scattered through the comments.
That sent me off looking at some other things. One of them is very speculative, horridly complicated, and I’m not sure I can do a credible value added posting about it. ( I stumbled on a disk shaped magnetohydrodynamic generator and some physics that looks like it ties magnetic moment to angular momentum. I’ll ponder it a bit more, then maybe put an update here or a new posting…)
But along the way, that sent me off looking for ‘inflow’ of material to the sun. I did find some (so there is a plausible way for the MHD disk to work, as it needs outflow at the radius and inflow at the poles). And THAT lead to looking square in the face of something else.
Variable stars with exoplanets that look very much like the star is being modulated by the planet.
That’s what this posting is about.
We have here an existence proof (of sorts) of very large planets moving fast in close causing their stars to be highly variable on a fast basis. Yet folks seem unwilling to accept that slower planets moving further out might also cause a star to vary, just more slowly and less strongly.
January 20th, 2011, 23:01 GMT · By Tudor Vieru
WASP-33b Causes Parent Star to Pulsate
While analyzing a known Delta Scuti variable (dwarf Cepheid) star nearby, a group of experts from Spain noticed that the object features a large extrasolar planet in its orbit, that may influence its brightness. The interactions have not been observed until now.
The exoplanet, called HD 15082 b, or WASP-33b, was discovered back in 2010, by the SuperWASP planet-hunting project. It orbits very close to its star, and a year on it lasts precisely 1.22 days.
Astronomers in Spain were recently studying the parent star, called WASP-33 (or HD15082), when they began suspecting that the motions of the planet may have something to do with its brightness variation patterns.
WASP-33 is cataloged as a dwarf Cepheid because it exhibits variations in its luminosity due both to radial and non-radial pulsations of its surface. What experts did not know was that some of these pulsations may in fact be caused by the accompanying exoplanet, not the star itself.
Interesting to note is that Habibulo Abdumatisov found a change in our sun diameter and is using that to predict a coming very cold time starting about 2014. See below for the video’s from the conference. This class of variable star also has diameter changes.
Observations of the planetary system reveal that the large gas giant accompanying the star is likely a hot Jupiter-class planet, which may explain the short duration of its year.
The two objects, which are most likely tidally locked by the intensity of their gravitational and tidal interactions, can be seen about 378 light-years away, in the constellation of Andromeda, Daily Galaxy reports.
The star is a spectral type A celestial fireball that has 1.5 solar masses, say experts at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), who were in charge of the new investigation.
It is estimated that WASP-33b is only 0.02 astronomical units (AU) away from its parent stars. An AU is equal to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or about 93 million miles. For comparison, Mercury is located 0.39 AU from the Sun, but is many times less massive than the exoplanet.
Due to this close proximity, the team suspects that the accompanying object may have a direct influence on the brightness variation patterns the star displays. A peculiar signal caught the attention of Spanish astronomers, who say that they plan to continue investigations.
Recently, a number of studies have proposed that hot Jupiter-class exoplanets – large objects orbiting near their parent stars – could have an influence on the brighting and dimming behavior of their parent. The correlation may hold especially true for variable stars.
So a star just a little larger than ours, with a planet 4 times the size of Jupiter. Only ‘weird bit’ is the closeness and speed of rotation.
There’s also a fairly limited wiki, that mostly asserts relativistic effects from the high rotation rates are what cause things to be different. But I’d expect different degree, same kind…
In view of the high rotational speed of its parent star, the orbital motion of HD 15082 b may be affected in a measurable way by non-Keplerian effects like, e.g., the huge oblateness of the star and the general relativistic gravitomagnetic field. More precisely, the gravitational field of the distorted star is different from that coming from the usual Newtonian inverse-square law. The same holds also for the terms arising from general relativity, yielding the well-known frame-dragging precession. As a consequence, the orbital trajectory of HD 15082 b is shifted with respect to the purely Keplerian ellipse.
Here’s the Habibulo video and some discussion of that video.
by Jerome R. Corsi
Jerome R. Corsi, a Harvard Ph.D., is a WND senior staff reporter.
CHICAGO – A new “Little Ice Age” could begin in just four years, predicted Habibullo Abdussamatov, the head of space research at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia.
Abdussamatov was speaking yesterday at the Heartland Institute‘s Fourth International Conference on Climate Change in Chicago, [...]
In the first of a two-part video WND recorded at the conference, Abdussamatov explained that average annual sun activity has experienced an accelerated decrease since the 1990s. In 2005-2008, he said, the earth reached the maximum of the recent observed global-warming trend.
In Part 2 of the video, Abdussamatov further explained that through 2014 the earth will go through a series of unstable variations in which global temperature will oscillate around the maximum reached in the years 1998-2005.
In 2003-2005, Abdussamatov predicted a reduction of sunspot activity that would reach a new minimum in 2042, resulting in a deep global temperature minimum in the years 2055-2060.
“My predictions are looking better and better with each passing year,” Abdussamatov declared.
Space station to refine predictions
In his capacity of the head of the Russian-Ukrainian project “Astrometria” on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, Abdussamatov is conducting additional research to refine his prediction that a new Little Ice Age will begin in 2014.
As seen in Part 2 of the video, Abdussamatov explained to the climate conference that the Russian segment of the ISS is scheduled to collect more precise data on sun activity over the next six years.
“If the Astrometria project is developed in time,” Abdussamatov said, “we will be able to develop a more precise forecast of the duration and the depth of the approaching new Little Ice Age and to understand the reasons of cyclical changes taking place in the interior of the sun and the ways they affect the Earth and various scopes of human activity.”
Abdussamatov’s theory is that “long-term variations in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth are the main and principal reasons driving and defining the whole mechanism of climatic changes from the global warmings to the Little Ice Ages to the big glacial periods.”
In his speech’s conclusion, Abdussamatov took on advocates of the theory of man-caused warming who want to diminish human use of hydrocarbon fuels. He contended, instead, that a reasonable way to combat coming cooling trends would be “to maintain economic growth in order to adapt to the upcoming new Little Ice Age in the middle of the 21st century.”
Sun activity determines temperatures
Abdussamatov’s research amounts to a sharp rebuke of climate scientists who believe human-generated carbon dioxide is responsible for causing catastrophic global warming, issuing instead a news flash announcing “Sun Heats Earth!”
WND previously reported Abdussamatov published a paper in which he tracked sunspot activity going back to the 19th century to argue that total sun irradiance, or TSI, is the primary factor responsible for causing climate variations on Earth, not carbon dioxide.
Moreover, Abdussamatov’s analysis of sun activity data has led him to conclude that the Earth is entering a prolonged cooling phase, because sunspot activity is currently in a phase regarded as a “minimum.”
“Observations of the sun show that as for the increase in temperature, carbon dioxide is ‘not guilty,’” Abdussamatov wrote, “and as for what lies ahead in the coming decades, it is not catastrophic warming, but a global, and very prolonged temperature drop.”
Abdussamatov’s paper is featured on page 140 of a 2009 report issued by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, documenting more than 700 scientists who disagree that global warming is an anthropogenic, or man-made, phenomenon.
Abdussamatov also observed “the most significant solar event in the 20th century was the extraordinarily high level and the prolonged (virtually over the entire century) increase in the energy radiated by the sun,” resulting in the global warming that today climate alarmists believe is a man-made phenomenon.
“The intense solar energy flow radiated since the beginning of the 1990s is slowly and decreasingly and, in spite of conventional opinion, there is now an unavoidable advance toward a global decrease, a deep temperature drop comparable to the Maunder minimum,” he wrote.
In his published paper, Abdussamatov warned that more precise determination of when the global temperature decrease will arrive and how deep it will be may not be available for another eight years from his space station research.
“The observed global warming of the climate of the Earth is not caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gasses, but by extraordinarily high solar intensity that extended over virtually the entire past century,” Abdussamatov wrote. “Future decrease in global temperature will occur even if anthropogenic ejection of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere rises to record levels.
“Over the past decade, global temperature on the Earth has not increased; global warming has ceased, and already there are signs of the future deep temperature drop.”
Abdussamatov concluded Earth is no longer threatened by the catastrophic global warming forecast by some scientists, since warming passed its peak in 1998-2005.
“The global temperature of the Earth has begun its decrease without limits on the volume of greenhouse gas emissions by industrial developed countries,” he wrote. “Therefore, the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol aimed to rescue the planet from the greenhouse effect should be put off at least 150 years.”
So we have a Russian Scientist finding changes in solar diameter that cause our sun to vary in output. They come right on top of the pattern of solar motion predicted via planetary positions as causing a solar slowdown. We have an exoplanet causing similar changes in the observed variable star. Yet some folks want to insist that exoplanets can make variable stars while our planets can not.
For my dime, it looks like the same physics is happening in both cases, just one is fast and hard while the other is slower and softer. Variations in degree, not in kind, of activity.
I don’t have a whole lot of discussion beyond that. Just “And yet, it moves!”. That’s not the only case of a variable star with a large close in planet moving fast. As we can find ‘big and fast’ more easily than slow, we’ll find lots of those kinds of exoplanets first. It will take more time to find similar systems with planets orbiting at a few years. Eventually we’ll be able to make a distribution of planet orbital time vs variable star rate and may be able to show a mathematical decay in variability that would still leave our sun as a variable, just only by a little bit and only slowly. Until then, it’s mostly a hypothesis, not so much evidence.
Has basically the same story.
The study also suggests that the star’s pulsations could be caused by the presence of the giant planet, something never seen before in any other planetary system.
A small periodic signal, visible in the overall signal during the transit of the planet, called the attention of the researchers and through a thorough study, the pulsating modes of the star were determined and their possible relationship with the planet.
Apart from being a pioneering study in the field, it is noteworthy to mention that the observations have been obtained from professional and amateur observatories.
For the first time in its recent activity history, the Montsec Astronomical Observatory (OAdM) has provided most of the observations used for this research. In addition, the amateur astronomer R. Naves, from the Montcabrer Observatory, has provided excellent data, revealing the great importance of Professional-Amateur collaborations in this field.
Therefore, the WASP-33 system represents a landmark in the world of exoplanets since it may provide vital information on pulsations modes that occur in stars, the effects of tides between stars and planets and the dynamical evolution of planetary systems.
So at least some folks are looking at stars and planets and thinking maybe they interact in more than one direction.
Some Misc. Links
At this point I’m just going to put up some links for my own reference, and for anyone else who wants to take a look at them.
There’s a Czech site that was doing variable star studies and has now branched out into exoplanets too. Looks like they find the two related (and likely use similar techniques to find both).
There are the bits of my half finished idea that angular momentum and magnetism are related and driven by electrical effects. First up is a graph of angular momentum of planets vs magnetic moment.
There’s a bit of science that says that conductive / charged things have a direct relationship between their angular momentum and their magnetism.
Any free system. with a constant gyromagnetic ratio, such as a rigid system of charges, a nucleus, or an electron, when placed in an external magnetic field B (measured in teslas) that is not aligned with its magnetic moment, will precess at a frequency f (measured in hertz), that is proportional to the external field:
Consider a charged body rotating about an axis of symmetry. According to the laws of classical physics, it has both a magnetic dipole moment and an angular momentum due to its rotation. It can be shown that as long as its charge and mass are distributed identically (e.g., both distributed uniformly), its gyromagnetic ratio is:
gama=charge / 2 x mass
Note that while this is most often applied to atomic scale particles, it applies to any body.
The Barnett effect is the magnetization of an uncharged body when spun on its axis. It was discovered by American physicist Samuel Barnett in 1915.
An uncharged object rotating with angular velocity ω tends to spontaneously magnetize, with a magnetization given by:
M = xw/γ
with γ = gyromagnetic ratio for the material, χ = magnetic susceptibility.
The magnetization occurs parallel to the axis of spin. Barnett was motivated by a prediction by Owen Richardson in 1908, later named the Einstein-de Haas effect, that magnetizing a ferromagnet can induce a mechanical rotation. He instead looked for the opposite effect, that is, that spinning a ferromagnet could change its magnetization. He established the effect with a long series of experiments between 1908 and 1915.
Magnetic moment and angular momentum
The magnetic moment has a close connection with angular momentum called the gyromagnetic effect. This effect is expressed on a macroscopic scale in the Einstein-de Haas effect, or “rotation by magnetization,” and its inverse, the Barnett effect, or “magnetization by rotation.” In particular, when a magnetic moment is subject to a torque in a magnetic field that tends to align it with the applied magnetic field, the moment precesses (rotates about the axis of the applied field). This is a consequence of the angular momentum associated with the moment.
Viewing a magnetic dipole as a rotating charged sphere brings out the close connection between magnetic moment and angular momentum. Both the magnetic moment and the angular momentum increase with the rate of rotation of the sphere. The ratio of the two is called the gyromagnetic ratio, usually denoted by the symbol γ. 
So we have this huge ball of conductive magnetic stuff and it’s angular momentum is being wobbled around by the planets. Nobody disputes that. All they do is say “but the tides are small”. Yet here is some physics that seems to say angular momentum and magnetism are joined at the hip and it scales from small particles on up to bar magnets and even large balls of swirling liquid metal (in a physical model being used to study what might happen in the sun).
Seems to me like a very straight line from ‘rotating conductive charged ball’ to variable with angular momentum changes.
Beyond that, we have various interactions of those magnetic fields with all sorts of charged particles making a solar wind ( that we know has changed dramatically with the change of solar angular momentum). That’s when I ran into this interesting gizmo.
Down in the disk generator section.
Now when I look at this, it looks rather like the solar system. We’ve got a sheet of solar wind heading outbound and we’ve got a modest amount of ‘conductor’ scattered around in the various planets, comets, asteroids, and just the non-solar wind particles (or even just different speed bits). Sure looks to me like a whole lot of electricity could be generated this way. And what do we find? Millions of amps of current flowing about the solar system as Birkeland currents and various other bits. That, then, also gets us back to the homopolar motor effect where those currents could put added torque on the planets. But also as they come from the sun, could have similar effects there.
And could there be evidence for such currents?
The plasma in the interplanetary medium is also responsible for the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field at the orbit of the Earth being over 100 times greater than originally anticipated. If space were a vacuum, then the Sun’s 10^-4 tesla magnetic dipole field would reduce with the cube of the distance to about 10^-11 tesla. But satellite observations show that it is about 100 times greater at around 10^-9 tesla. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory predicts that the motion of a conducting fluid (e.g. the interplanetary medium) in a magnetic field, induces electric currents which in turn generates magnetic fields, and in this respect it behaves like a MHD dynamo.
At this point I’ve reached a ‘failure to integrate’ as there are just too many moving bits to sort it out in one evening. It will take focused time for a week or two to polish the connections and I’m not likely to do that right now (too many other pending things that must be done).
But what HAVE we got? We’ve got all the forces and flows needed to make things spin more, or less, and to change the solar diameter. We’ve got a direct tie from angular momentum to magnetic moment in a sun that is powered largely by the magnetic force driving from down in the center of the sun up to the solar wind. That solar wind then having many impacts on our weather.
Then there are all those ‘existence proofs’ of objects in space with their angular momentum and magnetic moments plotting on a nice straight line. And the solar angular momentum being stirred around by the major planets.
It sure looks to me, though, like it’s not too hard to at least pencil in how the dots connect. Planets stir solar angular momentum that directly reflects in magnetic changes that propagate into solar diameter changes and activity changes, including solar wind changes, that turn into major changes of electrical flows (that may or may not add their own impacts). Not one speed bump on that road that I can see. Just a lot of knitting needed to tie it together and a load of math to show it balances out.
Maybe at this point someone else could run with it for a while ;-)