Sun + Markets

HERE - all posts related to Financial Markets and Solar Activity

"The whole of space is filled with electrons and flying electric ions of all kinds. We have assumed that each stellar system in evolution throws off electric corpuscles into space. It does not seem unreasonable therefore to think that the greater part of the material masses in the universe is found, not in the solar systems or nebulae, but in "empty" space."

Kristian Birkeland
 (1913 HERE) - nominated for the Nobel Prize no less than seven times – both in physics and chemistry

The Sun and all the planets, including the Earth, carry massive electrical currents, and the electromagnetic waves they emit penetrate the magnetic field and biosphere of the Earth in the form of electrical storms. The magnetosphere of the Earth is highly sensitive to these waves. Each planet has a different effect on the Earth’s magnetosphere. Although we know the planets directly emit electromagnetic radiation, we do not know how effective they are. As the planets emit electromagnetic energy in every direction, they affect each other as well as the Sun. The electromagnetic radiation emitted by the planets affects the inner part of the sun and leads to the formation of sunspots. Some combinations of planetary gravitation also affect the sunspots on the surface of the Sun and trigger solar flares.

In 2007, NASA scientist Ching-Cheh Hung declared in an article titled Apparent Relations Between Solar Activity and Solar Tides Caused by The Planets that the sunspots cycles were affected by the changes in the tidal waves of the planets. As proof, he stated that 28 out of the 35 inflammations were observed when one or more planets that cause dominant tidal waves (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Jupiter) were over the existing positions (<10°) or in opposition (180°) with the sun. As observed in the last 300 years, Hung emphasized that Venus, Earth, and Jupiter alignment cycles were similar to Schwabe sunspot cycles of 11 years. 

Solar Energy does affect Financial Markets. Dr. Al Larson, a leading pioneer in astro-finance, explains: The planets, as they orbit the Sun, cause a stirring effect in the mass of gases that make up the Sun. This is caused by each planet pulling the part of the Sun nearest it just slightly, distorting the shape of the mass. These distortions cause movements in the gases, which affect the amount of radiation given off by the Sun. This radiation, in various forms, travels from the Sun to the planets. One form, the particles making up the solar wind, travel in paths that are steered by the planets. This solar variation in radiation causes a variety of changes in the earth's environment, such as heating effects, electromagnetic effects, various weather changes, etc. These environmental changes in turn cause changes in human behavior which is most detectable in data that reect mass behavior, such as financial markets. 
  • The Sun gives off radiation which varies by about 2%. The variations are caused by tidal forces that the revolving planets exert on the gases in the Sun.These tides cause vortexes in the Sun’s surface leading to solar flares, coronal holes, and magnetic storms. The energy changes from these are carried to Earth on an ionized stream of particles called the Solar Wind.
  • When the Solar Wind reaches Earth it is deflected around the Earth by the Earth’s magnetic field. This creates a magnetosphere around the Earth. At the poles ionized particles can penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere. Changes in the solar radiation cause changes in the voltage in the ionosphere.
  • This in turn causes changes in the electrical currents flowing through humans on Earth. These emotional swings account for about 40% of price motion.
Credit: - Al Larson - Astrophysics & Chaos  [Mar 30, 1999]
Credit: - Al Larson - Astrophysics & Chaos [Sep 30, 1999]
Credit: - Al Larson - Astrophysics & Chaos [March 20, 2001]

Plasma is overwhelmingly the dominant constituent of the universe as a whole (HERE & HERE). Yet most people are ignorant of plasmas. In daily life on the surface of planet Earth, perhaps the plasma to which people are most commonly exposed is the one that produces the cool efficient glow from fluorescent lights. Neither solid, nor liquid, nor gas, a plasma most closely resembles the latter, but unlike gases whose components are electrically neutral, plasma is composed of the building blocks of all matter: electrically charged particles at high energy.

Plasma is so energetic or "hot" that in space it consists solely of ions and electrons. It is only when plasma is cooled that the atoms or molecules that are so predominant in forming gases, liquids, and solids that we are so accustomed to on Earth, is possible. So, in space, plasma remains electrically charged. Thus plasmas carry electric currents and are more influenced by electromagnetic forces than by gravitational forces. Outside the Earth's atmosphere, the dominant form of matter is plasma, and "empty" space has been found to be quite "alive" with a constant flow of plasma.

Plasma is by far the most common form of matter known. Plasma in the stars and in the tenuous space between them make up over 99% of the visible universe and perhaps most of that which is not visible. On earth we live upon an island of "ordinary" matter. The different states of matter found on earth are solid, liquid, and gas. We have learned to work, play, and rest using these states of matter. Sir William Crookes, an English physicist, identified another, more fundamental, state of matter in 1879. In 1929, Nobel Laureate Irving Langmuir gave this state a name, plasma. He borrowed the term from medical science because the matter with which he worked resembled life itself. It formed cells through bifurcation and often acted in a complicated and unpredictable manner. Plasma is defined as an assemblage of charged particles called electrons and ions that react collectively to forces exerted by electric and magnetic fields.

Given its nature, the plasma state is characterized by a complexity that vastly exceeds that exhibited in the solid, liquid, and gaseous states. Correspondingly, the study of the physical and especially the electrodynamical properties of plasma forms one of the most far ranging and difficult research areas in physics today. From spiral galaxies to controlled fusion, this little-known state of matter, the fundamental state, is proving to be of ever greater significance in explaining the dynamics of the universe and in harnessing the material world for the greatest technological result.

Violent activity on the sun, such as a solar flare, can produce a monster superstorm that releases plasma into the solar wind. Large flares often result in an ejection of material from the solar corona, called a coronal mass ejection (CME). A CME can spew billions of tons of plasma away from the sun and toward Earth at speeds faster than 1.5 million mph. The plasma affects Earth and the vicinity surrounding Earth dominated by its magnetic field, called the magnetosphere. As plasma from a superstorm interacts with Earth’s magnetosphere, it can trigger spectacular displays of the Northern Lights, called auroras, interfere with communications between satellites and airplanes traveling near the North Pole, and interrupt global positioning systems and our power grid.
 This image is a summary of the main features of the plasmasphere: the plasmapause, main body of the plasmasphere, dusk-bulge region and detached plasma regions outside the main body of the plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is a donut-shaped region inside the Earth's magnetosphere. It is basically an extension of the ionosphere, or the topmost part of the Earth's atmosphere. The magnetic field lines of the Earth capture plasma that flows up from the ionosphere, so that there is a plasma build-up. Scientists call that plasma build-up the plasmasphere. The plasmasphere is composed mostly of hydrogen ions. The base of the plasmasphere, which is the same as the top of the ionosphere, is about 1000 kilometers from the Earth's surface. The temperature in the plasmasphere is generally between 6,000K and 35,100K.

Dual bands of ultraviolet light mark streams of plasma circling Earth's equator.


Playing the Field: Geomagnetic Storms and the Stock Market, a study of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, notes the following: Unusually high levels of geomagnetic activity have a negative, statistically and economically significant effect on the following week’s stock returns for all US stock market indices. When a solar flare or CME happens, it can take up to 2 days to impact the earth. Therefore, two days after a large solar flare we should see a drop in the stock market values for that day.

Solar-Terrestial Dynamics [by NASA]

We rely on the Sun's energy to live on Earth and the aurora relies on the Sun's energy to drive the currents that make the aurora. The Sun is our nearest star. It is, as all stars are, a hot ball of gas made up mostly of Hydrogen. The Sun is so hot that most of the gas is actually plasma, the fourth state of matter. The first state is a solid and it is the coldest state of matter. As we heat up a solid it becomes liquid. Liquid is the second state of matter. As we heat up liquid, the liquid turns to gas. Gas is the third state of matter. As we heat up the gas, atoms break apart into charged particles turning the gas into plasma. The Sun's plasma is so hot that the most energetic charged particles can escape from the Sun's gravity and fly away, out into space. We call this plasma the solar wind because it blows out away from the Sun and past the planets, interacting with their magnetic fields and/or atmospheres. Along with the solar wind comes the Sun's magnetic field, which reaches from the Sun out to past Pluto and Neptune. 

The shape of Earth's magnetosphere is created by the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's intrinsic magnetic field. Charged particles and magnetic fields influence each other. So when the solar wind, which is made up of charged particles, blows past Earth's magnetosphere, the shape of the magnetic field changes from the dipole magnetic field -- shown on Earth's Magnetosphere page -- to a plasma-swept magnetosphere that looks more like someone's hair got blown in the wind. This interaction between the Sun's plasma wind and Earth's magnetosphere is known as the Sun-Earth Connection. The side of the magnetosphere getting hit by the solar wind is called the "dayside magnetosphere" because it is facing the Sun. The part of the magnetosphere that stretches back as though it were streaming with the solar wind is called the magnetotail. 

The Sun constantly emits both particles and light. It takes light eight minutes to reach Earth but most of the time the particles take about three days to make the journey from the Sun to Earth. The every day interaction between the solar wind and Earth's magnetic fields causes currents to flow between Earth's upper atmosphere and the magnetosphere, mostly the magnetotail. And just as currents flow through a neon light to light up the gas, the currents flow between the magnetotail and upper atmosphere light up Earth's gases to cause the aurora.  
The light from the aurora is caused by charged particles (mostly electrons) that come from inside the magnetosphere and then speed up to very high speeds as they barrel down along magnetic field-lines into the upper atmosphere. As they collide with the gas, they excite the atoms and molecules, which emit light when they relax from their excited state. Sometimes the magnetosphere stores more energy than it can release in a slow manner and something inside the magnetotail "breaks" and waves and currents are generated that trigger the beautiful and mysterious dancing aurora.
Moon and Magnetotail [by NASA]

During the crossing, the Moon passes through a gigantic plasma sheet of hot charged particles trapped in the tail. The lightest and most mobile of these particles, electrons, pepper the Moon's surface and give the Moon a negative charge. 

On the Moon's dayside this effect is counteracted to a degree by sunlight: UV photons knock electrons back off the surface, keeping the build-up of charge at relatively low levels. But on the nightside, in the cold lunar dark, electrons accumulate and voltages can climb to hundreds or thousands of volts.  

Credit: Nick Anthony Fiorenza
The best direct evidence comes from NASA's Lunar Prospector spacecraft, which orbited the Moon in 1998-99 and monitored many magnetotail crossings. During some crossings, the spacecraft sensed big changes in the lunar nightside voltage, jumping from -200 V to -1000 V. It is important to note that the plasma sheet (where all the electrons come from) is a very dynamic structure. The plasma sheet is in a constant state of motion, flapping up and down all the time. So as the Moon orbits through the magnetotail, the plasma sheet can sweep across it over and over again. Depending on how dynamic things are, we can encounter the plasma sheet many times during a single pass through the magnetotail with encounters lasting anywhere from minutes to hours or even days. As a result, you can imagine how dynamic the charging environment on the Moon is. The Moon can be just sitting there in a quiet region of the magnetotail and then suddenly all this hot plasma goes sweeping by causing the nightside potential to spike to a kilovolt. Then it drops back again just as quickly.

The roller coaster of charge would be at its most dizzying during solar and geomagnetic storms. Earth's magnetotail isn't the only source of plasma to charge the Moon. Solar wind can provide charged particles, too; indeed, most of the time, the solar wind is the primary source. But when the Moon enters the magnetotail, the solar wind is pushed back and the plasma sheet takes over. The plasma sheet is about 10 times hotter than the solar wind and that gives it more "punch" when it comes to altering the charge balance of the Moon's surface. Two million degree electrons in the plasma sheet race around like crazy and many of them hit the Moon's surface. Solar wind electrons are relatively cool at only 140 thousand degrees, and fewer of them zip all the way down to the shadowed surface of the Moon's nightside.

The first convincing evidence for an ionosphere around the Moon came in the 1970s from the Soviet probes Luna 19 and 22. Circling the Moon at close range, the orbiters sensed a layer of charged material extending a few tens of km above the lunar surface containing as many as 1000 electrons per cubic centimeter—a thousand times more than any theory could explain. Radio astronomers also found hints of the lunar ionosphere when distant radio sources passed behind the Moon’s limb. Small amounts of gas created by radioactive decay seep out of the lunar interior; meteoroids and the solar wind also blast atoms off the Moon’s surface. The resulting shroud of gas is so thin, however, that many researchers refuse to call it an atmosphere, preferring instead the term “exosphere.” The density of the lunar exosphere is about a hundred million billion times less than that of air on Earth—not enough to support an ionosphere as dense as the ones the Luna probes sensed. Plasma from the sun is incident directly on the lunar surface, and atoms from the surface are ejected by the plasma ions to create the Moon’s weak ionosphere (Credit: NASA).
The part of a planet's magnetosphere that is elongated away from the Sun by the solar wind. Earth's magnetosphere extends about 65,000 km on the dayside but more than 10 times further (beyond the Moon's orbit) on the nightside. Jupiter's magnetotail extends beyond the orbit of Saturn (Credit: ESA).