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No. 18: Nov-Dec 1981

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The Long Arms Of Venus And Jupiter

Many times in the two or three "scientific" centuries now behind us, investigators have discovered, almost against their wills, that the moon and planets affect the earth. The moon's influence is understandable, but the planets are too far away for their gravitational fields to influence one terrestrial dust mote. Well, here is one more study showing that the planets (Venus and Jupiter, in this case) do affect the peak electron density in the earth's ionosphere. The effect is most noticeable when these planets are close to earth and dwindles as they swing around to the other side of the sun. The authors are at a loss to explain this effect in terms of gravitation, suggesting that perhaps Venus or Jupiter may instead affect solar activity, which in turn modifies the terrestrial ionosphere.

(Harnischmacher, E., and Rawer, K.; "Lunar and Planetary Influences upon the Peak Electron Density of the Ionosphere," Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Electricity, 43:643, 1981.)

Comment. Actually, no one has shown how the planets can possibly influence the sun with known action-at-a-distance forces. Electrical forces are taboo. There are no other "recognized" forces.

From Science Frontiers #18, NOV-DEC 1981. 1981-2000 William R. Corliss