Is increased sunspot activity a precursor to market volatility?
As any amateur radio operator can
tell you, one of the major influences
on long-distance radio transmissions
is sunspots, which appear
to the observer as, literally,
dark spots on the surface of the
sun. Why they occur is not known,
although theories abound. One
theory holds that they are produced
by certain peculiarities in
the gravitational influences of neighboring planets on the
sunís tidal rhythms, while another theory attributes sunspot
activity to shifts in the sunís magnetic poles. During periods of high sunspot activity, short wavelength radio transmissions, which normally carry only as far as line of sight, bounce off the ionosphere and may span distances of up to several thousand miles. This phenomenon is referred to as
skip. You may have experienced skip when watching televi-sion,
when a signal from a distant station appeared superim-posed
on the signal from the station you were watching.
Conversely, during periods of low sunspot activity, long-distance
communication is much less likely to be achieved at
short wavelengths; if you are trying to achieve long-distance
communication, you will need to go to a longer wavelength
when the sun is quiet.