No evidence for planetary influence on solar activity
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung,
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Received: 16 April 2013
Accepted: 24 July 2013
Context. Recently, Abreu et al. (2012, A&A. 548, A88) proposed a long-term modulation of solar activity through tidal effects exerted by the planets. This claim is based upon a comparison of (pseudo-)periodicities derived from records of cosmogenic isotopes with those arising from planetary torques on an ellipsoidally deformed Sun.
Aims. We examined the statistical significance of the reported similarity of the periods.
Methods. The tests carried out by Abreu et al. were repeated with artificial records of solar activity in the form of white or red noise. The tests were corrected for errors in the noise definition as well as in the apodisation and filtering of the random series.
Results. The corrected tests provide probabilities for chance coincidence that are higher than those claimed by Abreu et al. by about 3 and 8 orders of magnitude for white and red noise, respectively. For an unbiased choice of the width of the frequency bins used for the test (a constant multiple of the frequency resolution) the probabilities increase by another two orders of magnitude to 7.5% for red noise and 22% for white noise.
Conclusions. The apparent agreement between the periodicities in records of cosmogenic isotopes as proxies for solar activity and planetary torques is statistically insignificant. There is no evidence for a planetary influence on solar activity.
Key words: Sun: activity / methods: statistical / solar-terrestrial relations
© ESO, 2013