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Sunspot Explosion in 2010*
by Kaye Shinker

*The original article appeared in the Llewellyn Sun sign Annual which was published September 2009. The last six paragraphs is an edited version of more current material.

"What has been will be again,
What has been done will be done again,
There is nothing new under the Sun.
"    Ecclesiastics 1:9

The sunspot on April 2, 2001, was so large it could be seen by casual observers at sunrise or sunset.   It frothed and fumed and danced across the Sun’s equator, creating the most intense flare scientists have every observed.   The x-ray intensity was X22.   The storm raged for six weeks and the direct result was brilliant dancing auroras that could be seen as far south as El Paso, Texas.   Radio communications were distorted, satellites suffered irreparable damage, and several electrical transformers were killed.

On Oct. 23 2003, three giant sunspots unleashed eleven X-class flares in only fourteen days. Auroras appeared all over the world including Florida, Texas, Australia, and many places where they are seldom seen. These northern lights were almost dark red as they spread southward across the unsuspecting populations south of latitude 45° north.

The appearance of an aurora is not dependent on solar flares.  Magnetic storms occur every three or four days, igniting the auroras.   Most of them dance for only a few minutes and the dominant color is green.   They quickly light up the northern sky with streams of light, great arcs of light form into dancing beams of yellow white, green, red and violet, only to disappear as quickly as they appeared.  Sunspots, however, do create solar flares.  The corneal mass ejection's from these solar flares create colorful auroras that are long-lasting, intense, and brilliant.    

The earth captures and stores energy radiated by the solar wind, and it is theorize the tiny protons in the solar wind are captured and eventually form clouds that release their moisture as fine rain or mist.   High sunspot activity therefore encourages precipitation, and precipitation encourages low shrubs, blueberries and willow leaves to grow quickly and abundantly, providing food for caribou and other animals to eat.   As the food supply increases the survival rate of fawns increases.  

Scientist have made various studies of the amount of sunspots and the price of various agricultural products.     William Herschel in 1801 noted an apparent connection between solar activity and the price of wheat corn ad soybeans was extremely high.  Between 2000 and 2003 these commodities were abundant and inexpensive.

Myths of the Aurora Borealis

The aurora borealis has been lighting up the skies forever and stories abound in the folklore of people who regularly experience the northern lights.  Some groups believed that the colorful displays foretell abundance and good fortune while other groups found them frightening harbingers of wars and plagues.    

Northern European Myths

Scandinavian fishermen welcomed the northern lights, believing that they were the reflection of great shoals of herring and foretold large catches of fish.  The Scandinavian name for the northern lights translates to “herring flash,” suggesting that the fishermen believed that lights in the sky were reflections of these vast swarms of silvery herring.  Norwegian sailors believed the lights were the sound of maidens, waving and dancing: and the danes believed the light were the reflection of the ice on the wing of swans that had flown too far north.     Swedish farmers thought that the aurora meant a bountiful avers with plenty of seeds for the following year.     Finnish myths tell of foxes with tails on fire that light the northern skies.  Morse mythology tells of virgins mounted on horseback and armed with helmet and spears.  Their armor shed the strange flickering light that flashes across the northern skies.  

Eastern European Myths

Russian folklore told of a fire dragon that seduced women when the husbands were absent, and the Sami people felt that mocking the lights or singing about them was extremely dangerous; even life threatening.    
The Latvian myths foretold an ominous disaster when the lights during the winter were red.   They believed the red was the fighting souls of dead warriors.   Medieval Europe saw the lights as an omen of war disaster, and plagues. In Scotland, the light were known as the “The Mirrie Dancers.”

North America Myths

The Caribou Inuits and the Inuits of the Copper River believed that the brightest of the auroras brought good hunting and prosperity to their people. Experience taught them that caribou were abundant with bright auroras and that there would be plenty of meat to feed their families through the winter. They believed that the aurora spirits were responsible for good weather and bountiful hunting.

The Canadian Inuits believed in the aurora’s curative powers.  They believed their shamans could make astral journeys to the aurora when it appeared. The shaman received advice from the lights and returned with remedies to treat the sick. Sometimes the shaman even received the power to rescue souls from death.    
The Algonquin believed the lights were their ancestors dancing around a ceremonial fire.  They told stories about the manabai’wok (giants), who live in the direction of the North Wind.  The stories explained that the manabai’wok are still our friends, but we do not see them anymore. They were great hunters and fishermen, and we know whenever the manabai’wok are out with their torches to spear fish, because the sky is bright with color over the place where they are fishing.

There are tales of the dancers fighting with each other and when the morning dew produced red lichen there had been a serious battle during the night.   Even the Klondike gold rush prospectors believed that the lights were a reflection of the gold they sought.    

Asian Myths

In China and Japan the appearance of the auroras foretold fertility and predicted the birth of children.     The lights could also ease the pain of childbirth.    

The Astrology of Sunspots

Tracing the history of high sunspot activity and planetary motion reveals an interesting pattern, When Saturn Uranus, Neptune, and Jupiter are within 30 degrees of each other by conjunction or opposition, they seem to exert enough magnetic pull on the Sun to cause the eruption of sunspots.     In the year 2000, sunspots reached a maximum and the process continued for several years as Jupiter moved away from its conjunction to Saturn and into an opposition with planets Uranus and Neptune, which were within 20 degrees of each other.    
In 2010 a similar pattern will be traced by the planets.  Neptune and Uranus surround Jupiter and they are 30 degrees apart, indicating high potential for sunspot activity. Throughout the year, they will be opposed by Saturn and Mars. It is a very volatile time for the Sun.    

It has only been nine years since the last high sunspot activity period and not the eleven year cycle theorized by astronomers.  Of course the eleven-year calculation is an average of the known solar maximums recorded by Europeans, and seems to correspond with the almost twelve-year orbit of Jupiter.  Chinese astronomers have much older historic records, and when these observations are added to the European records, a more accurate timetable for the cycle may be revealed.    

Scientific Research

Until the 1980s, the auroras were a treat, like a visible eclipse or colorful sunset.   Once in a while, the ham radio operators and some airline pilots complained about the static.   But as the 1980s progressed, folks began shooting electronic machines into space.   Soon every magnetic storm from space became a problem and research was required.    

NASA Exposes Another Mystery behind the Northern Lights
Dateline July 24 2008

The solar storms explain why the lights occur, but what makes them dance? On February 26, 2008, NASA captured an isolated sub-storm in space.  Ground-based observers noted an intense brightening of an aurora while five satellites observed the magnetic reconnection that triggers the rapid brightening and rapid expansion of the aurora toward the poles.  There were twenty ground-based observers set up and a series of five small satellites to measure the northern lights and find out what was responsible for the sudden burst of light and the dancing movement of the phenomena.

"The culprit turns out to be a magnetic reconnection, a common process that occurs, throughout the universe when stressed magnetic field lines suddenly snap to a new shape like a rubber band that’s been stretched too far.  ”

Solar Super-storms to Come

Scientists theorize that some off the blackouts early in this new century were the result of solar storms.     They explain that the grid should have been rebuilt to avoid future electrical catastrophes,.     Unfortunately, there are not enough areas where electrical lines are underground, Buried wires and fiber optic cables have fewer problems.    
Sunspots in this new century can leave quite a mess for all of us to clean up.     The fall of 2009 promises to be a time of increasing sunspot activity and the resulting coronal mass ejection's.     With the arrival of 2010 we will begin to experience radio interference and satellite blackouts.    
Recently the International Space Station designated a safe room for astronauts, anticipating that the cosmic rays from the solar storms could injure or even kill these very valuable (and vulnerable) individuals.     The space station astronauts may hide in their safe room during intense storms.    
The sunspot cycle is predicted to peak between 2009-2011.     Each of those years, between 100 and 200 sunspots will actively transverse the Sun and send out solar flares, and some will hit Earth’s atmosphere.     This high sunspot activity will have a detrimental effect on the thousands of communication satellites positioned above the Earth, Engineers can turn most of these satellites to avoid a direct hit nevertheless, a few will be hit.     We can expect that cell phones, televisions, GPS’s, and commercial and military satellites will suffer temporary outages.     Governments as well as private corporations will employ astronomers and keep them working day and night to watch each spot and flare and calculate its projected trajectory,
One interesting new problem for this sunspot cycle No, 24 will be the proliferation of cell phones, land-line phones have under-ground cables and most will probably operate easily oN their local networks.     Though not dependent on the grid, cell phones are completely dependent of satellites.     None of us will be able to get mad at our friends for suddenly hanging up the cell phone.    

New Material

The Little Ice Age in europe occurred 1645-1717 during a solar minimum referred to as the Munder minimum.     Scientists speculated that we could return to a time when fewer than 100 solar spots per year formed on the Sun's surface.     Since 1750 50% of the Solar Spot minimums has occurred with Jupiter in an air sign.     Jupiter began the transit of Libra, an air sign, in November 2004 and ended 2009 with a transit of Aquarius also an air sign.     Jupiter transited Scorpio, a water sign, Sagittarius a fire sign and Capricorn an earth sign on his way to Aquarius, but he did not make a conjunction or opposition to Saturn Uranus or Neptune along the way to Aquarius.     The very long minimum from 2004-2009 found 772 days when the Sun was spotless.     A typical Solar minimum has 485 days.     Solar scientist were shocked by the long minimum as were scientist who believed the earth was moving into a cycle of global warming.     The long minimum produced cooler temperatures world wide and even fashion designers were lengthening women's skirts.    

Solar Spot maximums occur when Jupiter is in the same sign as Saturn Uranus and Neptune.     Sometimes the maximums are no more than fifty sun spots during the year, but they do appear.     You can take a graph of the monthly average of Sun spots from 1740 to present and place Jupiter conjunctions or oppositions to these outer planets on the graph.     The conjunctions will occur at the height of solar spot activity 75% of the time.     This signals the end of a growth cycle in economic activity as one industry replaces another.     Since the conjunctions and oppositions of Jupiter and Saturn occur in zero years during the 20th Century it is fairly easy to see how the changes in economic cycles relate to Sun spot maximums.     You can match up highs and lows of the Dow with the sun spot cycle.    

However statistics can fool you.

If you learn anything from financial astrology, I hope you learn that nothing every goes in a straight line.   The world is round and the Universe spins in a spiral. Unexpected events occur everyday.  Looking around the solar system we notice that Jupiter occasionally eats his spots and sometimes his stripes.   Comets crash into the Sun without leaving a speck of dust.  Ice caps on Mars form in a spiral.   Spacecraft and rovers send interesting new discoveries every day and geomagnetic storms from the Sun have yet to show us their full furry.    

Sun Spot activity will slow in 2012 and resume in 2020.     Jupiter will trine Saturn in 2012, oppose Neptune in 2015, oppose Uranus in 2017 and then make a conjunction with Saturn in Capricorn in 2020.     Could we have another record setting solar minimum? Yes.     Jupiter seems to be the director of Sun spot activity.     Could we experience another Little Ice Age? It appears to be a possibility.     Check your ephemeris and your astrologers calendar for Jupiter's aspects each year.   Conjunctions and oppositions are the key.   The Sun is in charge of climate and agriculture and therefore the markets.   The Sun is the first key indicator as to which is the most profitable side of the trade.   The markets trade according to the signs of the zodiac and not the business calendar.

A history of Sunspots by the National Earth Science Teachers Association can be found here:

Sunspot index graphics can be found here:

Carlowiez, Michael J. and Ramon E. Lopez. Storms from the Sun, Washington D.C. Joseph Henry Press, 2003;os and myths

Kaye Shinker

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