Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The VEJ Tidal Torquing Model

As with any new idea there are many people who have contributed to its overall development. Listed here are just a few people who  have contributed to the evolution of the VEJ Tidal Model over the years:

J. P. Desmoulins
Ulric Lyons
Ching-Cheh Hung
Ian Wilson
Ray Tomes
P. A. Semi
Roy Martin
Roger "Tallbloke" Tattersall
Paul Vaughan

However the first reference that we can find to this model [hat tip to Paul Vaughan) is that of:

Bollinger, C.J. (1952). A 44.77 year Jupiter-Earth-Venus configuration Sun-tide period in solar-climate cycles. Academy of Science for 1952 – Proceedings of the Oklahoma 307-311.


who  illustrated the ~22 year JEV cycle  over 60 years ago — see the configurations illustrated in Table 1 on p.308.

The Venus-Earth-Jupiter (VEJ) Tidal-Torquing Model is based upon the following set of simple principles [1]: 

  • The dominant planetary gravitational force acting upon the outer convective layer of the Sun is that produced by Jupiter.
  •  Other than Jupiter, the two planets that apply the greatest tidal forces upon the outer   convective layer of the Sun are Venus and the Earth.
  • Periodic alignments of Venus and the Earth, on the same or opposite sides of the Sun once every 0.7997 sidereal Earth years, produces temporary tidal bulges on opposite sides of the Sun's surface layers (red ellipse in the schematic diagram above).
  • Whenever these temporary tidal-bulges occur, Jupiter’s gravitational force tugs upon these tidally-induced asymmetries and either slows down or speed-up the rotation rate of plasma near the base of the convective layers of the Sun.
  • It is proposed that it is the resultant variations in the rotation rate of the Sun’s lower convective layer, produced by the planetary tidal torquing of Venus, the Earth and Jupiter, that modulate the Babcock-Leighton solar dynamo.  Hence, we claim that it is this modulation mechanism that is responsible for the observed long-term changes in the overall level of solar activity. In addition, this mechanism may be responsible for the torsional oscillations that are observed in the Sun's convective layer, as well.
The VEJ Tidal-Torqueing Model exhibits the following properties that closely match the observed properties of the Sun’s long-term magnetic activity cycle:

  •  It naturally produces a net increase in the rate of rotation of the outer layers of the Sun that lasts for 11.07 years (i.e. equivalent to the Schwabe cycle), followed by a net decrease in the rate of rotation of the outer layers of the Sun, also lasting 11.07 years [1], [2].
  • Hence, the net torque of Jupiter acting on the V-E tidal bulge has a natural 22.14 year periodicity that closely matches the 22 year Hale (magnetic) cycle of solar activity [1], [2], [3].
  • The equatorial convective layers of the Sun are sped-up during ODD numbered solar cycles and slowed-down during EVEN numbered solar cycles [2]. This  provides a  logical explanation for the Gnevyshev−Ohl (G−O) Rule for the Sun [4].
  • This model naturally produces systematic changes in the rotation rate of the outer layers of the Sun that result in an apparent synchronization with the Bary-centric motion of the Sun about the centre-of-mass of the Solar System, as observed by Wilson et al. (2008) [5].
  • In all but two cases between 1750 and 2030, the time for solar minimum is tightly synchronized with the times where the Jupiter's net torque (acting on the V-E tidal bulge) is zero (i.e. it changes direction with respect the Sun's rotation axis) [6], [7].
  • If you consider the torque of Jupiter upon the V-E tidal bulge at each inferior and superior conjunction of Venus and Earth (rather than their consecutive sum = net torque), the actual magnitude of Jupiter's torque is greatest at the times that are at or near solar minimum. Even though Jupiter's torque are a maximum at these times, the consecutive torques at the inferior and superior conjunctions of Venus and the Earth almost exactly cancel each other out.
  • Remarkably, if the first minimum of Solar Cycle 25 occurs in 2021 ± 2 years, it will indicate a re-synchronization of the solar minima with a VEJ cycle length of 11.07 +/- 0.05 years over a 410 year period [6].
  • On these two occasions where the synchronization was disrupted (i.e. minima prior to the onset of cycle 4 (1784.7) and Cycle 23 (1996.5), the timing of the sunspot minimum quickly re-synchronizes with the timing of the minimum  change in Jupiter's tangential force acting upon Venus-Earth tidal bulge [6].
  •  If the time frame is extended back to 1610, then the four occasions where the synchronization is significantly disrupted  closely correspond to the four major changes in the level of solar activity over the last 410 years i.e. the minima prior to the onset of cycle -11 (1618/19), marking the start of the Maunder Minimum, the minimum prior to cycle -4 (1698), marking the end of the Maunder Minimum or the restart of the solar sunspot cycle after a 60 year hiatus, the minimum prior to cycle 4 (1784.7), marking the onset of the Dalton Minimum and minimum prior to cycle 23 (1996.5), marking the onset of the upcoming Landscheidt Minimum [7].
  •  The main factors that influence the level of tidal torquing of Jupiter, Venus and the Earth upon the outer layers of the Sun are the 3.3 degree tilt in the heliocentric latitude of Venus' orbit and the mean distance of Jupiter from the Sun. At times when the tidal torquing of Jupiter, Venus and the Earth reach its 11 year maximum, the long-term tidal-torquing is weakest when Venus is at its greatest positive (most northerly) heliocentric latitude and Jupiter is at its greatest distance from the Sun (≈ 5.44 A.U) [4].
  • Since 1000 A.D., every time the long-term peak planetary tidal torquing forces are at their weakest there has been a period of low solar activity know as a Grand Solar minimum [4]. 
  • The one exception to this rule, was a period of weak planetary tidal peaks centered on 1150 A.D. that spanned the first half of the Medieval Maximum from 1090−1180 A.D. The reason for this discrepancy is unknown, although it could be explained if there was another countervailing factor present during this period that was working against the planetary tidal effects [4].
  • The VEJ Tidal-Torquing Model has natural periodicities that match the ~ 90 year Gleissberg Cycle, the ~ 208 year de Vries Cycle, and the ~ 2300 Hallstatt Cycle [1].

[4]  Ian R. G. Wilson, Do Periodic Peaks in the Planetary Tidal Forces Acting Upon the Sun Influence the Sunspot Cycle? The General Science Journal, 2010. 

[5] Wilson, I.R.G., Carter, B.D., and Waite, I.A., Does a Spin-Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian Planets Govern the Solar Cycle?, 
      Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia,  2008, 25, 85 – 93.


  1. Here is an evolving list of those who have contributed the development of the VEJ Model.

    Remember: It is an evolving list that I will be updating from time to time. If your name does not appear upon it and you feel that you have genuinely contributed to the development of this model, DON'T PANIC just let me know about your contributions and I will consider the possibility of including your work.

    The V-E-J Tidal Torquing model is based on the pioneering works of:

    Desmoulins, J. P (1989)



    Ulric Lyons

    The has been further developed by:

    Gerry Pease, P.A. Semi, Roy Martin and Rog Tallbloke (amongst others).

  2. Of course, you can't forget the contributions of:

    Hung, C−C., 2007, NASA report/TM−2007−214817

    as well.

  3. just poking about to find CJ Bollinger's articles - his first name is Clyde