Little solar impact from planets' alignment



Contrary to some projections, planetary alignments of the type that have begun recently (when the sun, Venus, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn move into almost perfect alignment) should have no perceptible effect on solar flare activity. Some researchers have postulated that the increased gravitational attraction exerted on the sun by the aligned planets could produce massive eruptions near sunspots. The radiation and particles directed earthward by the sun, according to this hypothesis, would change the atmosphere in a way that would slow the earth's rotation; and this change in rotation rate would cause the large plates which constitute the earth's crust to grind together more vigorously and cause major earthquakes. Because Jupiter is the largest of the planets, and so exerts the most gravitational attraction, this geophysical domino theory is sometimes referred to as the Jupiter Effect. But, at least at the solar end of this theory, one would not expect much change in solar activity from planetary alignments of this type.