Thanks to John and Susan Townley for finding this article about the research of the late Rhodes Fairbridge of the effects of Jupiter on our earthly climate. It has been known for some time that Jupiter has an effect on sunspots which correlate to changes in our climate, but no one really understood why. It turns out the answer may be in the relationship between Jupiter and Saturn.

At times, the sun is at the solar system’s centre of gravity. Most often, this is not the case– the orbit of the planets will align planets to one side or another of the sun. Jupiter, the planet with by far the largest mass, most influences the solar system’s centre of gravity. When Uranus, Neptune and especially Saturn — the next largest planet — join Jupiter on one side of the solar system, the solar system’s centre of gravity shifts well beyond the sun.The sun’s own orbit, he found, has eight characteristic patterns, all determined by Jupiter’s position relative to Saturn, with the other planets playing much lesser roles. Some of these eight have orderly orbits, smooth and near-circular. During such orbits, solar activity is high and Earth heats up. Some of the eight orbits are chaotic, taking a loop-the-loop path. These orbits correspond to quiet times for the sun [solar minimum], and cool periods on Earth. Every 179 years or so, the sun embarks on a new cycle of orbits. One of the cooler periods in recent centuries was the Little Ice Age of the 17th century, when the Thames River in London froze over each winter. The next cool period, if the pattern holds, began in 1996, with the effects to be felt starting in 2010. Some predict three decades of severe cold.

I wrote on the solar minimum cycle last year, although the solar cycle is said to be eleven years whereas the solar cycle that is the subject of the research above is a 179 year cycle and is probably a heliocentric cycle rather than the geocentric cycle (with the earth in the center) that we use for our astrological calculations.

This table
 provides an interesting view of sunspot activity over the past ten years. Because the Maunder Minimum seems to have correlated with the Little Ice Age, we would expect sunspot activity to be higher when the climate is warmer, but that is not the case since sunspot activity is at a low right now.

Astrology is largely a symbolic system, but correlating the physical attributes of the planets with life on earth is an interesting exercise!


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