The indirect gravity effect
Planets, Sunspots and Earthquakes 
Frank Glasby

Seismic and human disturbance

The ion effect on people

The lunar effect

Seismic and sunspot activity

New sunspot cycle

Planets and sunspots in northern latitudes

How planets trigger earthquakes

 Seismic and human disturbance

The map (Figure 1) shows areas near the edge of the India-Australia tectonic plate where there has been persistent human disturbance, in what are called “arcs of instability”.

Figure 1

Disturbed areas: (west to east):

1 Somalia; 2 Sudan; 3 Israel; 4 Lebanon; 5 Iraq; 6 Iran; 7 Afghanistan; 8 Pakistan; 9 Nepal; 10 East Timor; 11 Indonesia; 12 New Guinea; 13 Solomon Islands; 14 Fiji; 15 Tonga.

There is a connection in terms of physics between seismic and human disturbances because the horizontal compression that helps to cause an earthquake releases charged particles (positive ions); from the rocks under pressure, and these have a biological effect on animals and humans. Whales also seem to be disturbed by charged particles from the rocks, and beaching is a form of animal disturbance in seismic areas. There are more beaching effects in New Zealand, near the edge of the plate, than anywhere else in the world.

The small circles on the map show where three major tectonic plates intersect.

Such areas, anywhere in the world, are where there is more human disturbance, because there is more ground radiation.

The main point is that planetary gravitational forces help to cause the horizontal compression that precedes an earthquake, and also cause ground radiation.

In addition to planetary forces, ocean tides also help to compress the rocks. In areas where west moving ocean tides are restricted, such as in Central America, the Gulf of Mexico and Indonesia there is also volcanic activity caused by ocean tide pressures helping to compress the magma. All these forces create ground radiation. 

The important factor in planetary force is that the sideways planetary pull, which helps to trigger an earthquake, bypasses the main mass of the earth.

The mass of one tectonic plate is less than the mass of the moon, and the smallest planet, Mercury, has a mass of six times of one tectonic plate.

Therefore, at the critical time, when the external bodies are rising or setting on the plate, Newton’s law of m1m2/R2 is not strictly applicable, as it applies to the whole planet, but the effect is only on one plate.  It should probably be (m1/m3) m2/R2or R3 for earth tides, where m1 is the earth, m3 is the plate, m2 is the external body, and R is the distance to the external body.

This would give a better comparison as it includes all three masses.  Direct traction from planets pulls outwards, but indirect traction makes the plate slide sideways. So a different formula is obviously required. 


The ion effect on people

The effect of charged particles, on humans varies according to personal characteristics and conditions. In general a violent person will become more violent; an impulsive person will become more impulsive, and so on. As a rule, disturbed individuals seem to express what is already in their mind. In other words their attitudes are emphasized. In such a case, resentment may explode into violence and political discord. Usually, the ionization effect is relatively short, but the disturbance may often persist.  

As a teacher I had a group that I could observe under the changing conditions. Ion effects change with high and low pressure, and one very noticeable effect is that children become restless and unruly just before it rains. When it rains the charged particles that have accumulated in the clouds come down in the rain drops and are earthed in the negatively charged earth. The students noticeably relaxed. Also, the 'Charlotte King' effect indicates that some migraines and headaches may be caused by ground radiation.

There are other effects, when planets are near rising and setting positions, such as earthquake lights.

Another interesting indication is that whales are disturbed in a similar manner to the way animals are disturbed by the charged particles from the compressed rocks. Sea water is a better electric conductor than fresh water, and blood is almost as saline as sea water. So it may be that the whales are trying to escape from the effect and “earth themselves.”   It would be interesting to check the situation with a positive ion counter.

Others have said that whale beaching activity fluctuates with the sunspot cycles, so it seems that there is an ionization connection in the events. Various investigators have commented on the coincidences but they have not linked them to ionization effects, especially in terms of planetary gravitational forces. Many whale beaching events occur near sunrise or sunset, when the planets are also rising or setting.  


The lunar effect

In his book with that title, Dr Arnold Lieber showed that there was more violence at the times of a Full Moon. He had access to Miami police records and speculated on various possible causes and linked it to the ocean tides but did not carry it to an effect in terms of physics, because he is a clinical psychiatric specialist. Nevertheless, his pioneering research offers many valuable details.

The practical situation is that at the time of Full Moon, and at the New Moon there is a higher ocean tide known as a Spring Tide. This creates a stronger horizontal compression, which goes right into Mexico. The indication is that there is more ionization, which causes different types of phenomena and disturbs humans as well as animals. Furthermore, there is an extra effect at the Full Moon.

The earth is negatively charged, but at Full Moon becomes positively charged, because the moon is reflecting solar energy into the earth’s field. The earth’s magnetic field is not spherical, but is pear shaped because solar radiation distorts it. The moon is therefore reflecting solar energy in the earth’s field. In addition, the human being is negatively charged. As we all live in the earth’s field, we are affected by any changes, which disturb some individuals.

 Seismic and sunspot activity 

Seismic and sunspot activity are connected and tend to develop at the same rate. The two graphs for 1900 to 1950 (Figure 2a) demonstrate this and show a similar smoothed curve for both activities. 

These two graphs were originally produced by my high school students in 1964, and it was this school project that formed the beginnings of the book. 

Comparisons over a period of one sunspot cycle of 10-11 years show the same trend.

The seismic graph has more variation because of changing planetary forces, and the seismic disturbance occurs when the rocks are under maximum pressure.  

Ocean tides also add to this as they move to the west, and strike against the east coast of a land mass.

These differences show that there are more effects on the earth; hence the multiple peaks in the seismic graph. 

Figure 2a  

In July 2011 Figure 2a was updated to show sunspot numbers and earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above for 1900 to 2000 (Figure 2b) and 1900 to 2010 (Figure 2c).

Figure 2b

Figure 2b above shows continuation of increasing trends in sunspot activity and earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above.  Figure 2c below an unprecedented increase in numbers of earthquakes of magnitude 5 and above between 2000 and 2010, and reduction in sunspot activity, particularly as 2008 was the quietest minimum since 1913.  However, it is too soon to draw conclusions about the effects of cycle number 24 as it is still in the early stages.  Further updates will be posted as the cycle progresses.

Figure 2c

Data sources:


New sunspot cycle

The graph (Figure 3) shows the decline of cycle number 23, and follows the progress of the new sunspot cycle, number 24.  Seismic and human disturbances are likely to increase as we progress towards sunspot maximum.

Planetary forces appear to dominate the sunspot cycles, but there is controversy as to whether the sun is a self contained nuclear furnace which operates on its own rhythms or whether there is a planetary effect.  

My investigations showed that the shorter cycles of 11-22 years coincided with alignments of Jupiter and Saturn, and the longer cycles of 90-180 years matched alignments of Uranus and Neptune. All the planets appear to be involved, but the most noticeable effect is that the polarity of the sun and the sunspots change near the time when Jupiter and Saturn change their alignments, i.e. when they are both approximately in the same direction or are in opposite directions.

In my book I have shown that this alignment pattern relates to long and short cycles.

In an attempt to explain this in terms of physics I have suggested a type of solar generator where the planets are the magnets and the sun’s field lines are the armature.  Although this is a simplistic model, the Jupiter/Saturn combination seems significant.   

Figure 3

My book presents details which could be used as an aid to foreseeing earthquakes and solar flares. It is set out in a simple manner so that secondary school students can use it in ongoing projects, as that is how my investigations began.


Planets and sunspots in northern latitudes

The hypothesis, discussed earlier, is that the changing alignments of Jupiter and Saturn determined the phases of the sunspot cycles, as with the sun and the moon in a lunar cycle. However, the longitudinal position of the planets is only one factor. We perhaps may also have to consider the changes in celestial latitude. 

One account on the Maunder Minimum and other sunspot variations stated that between 1955 and 1970 there were more sunspots in the northern latitude than in the south.  In that period all the major outer planets, (and Pluto) were in northern latitudes most of the time.  Jupiter moved north in July and was again north in May 1966 until September 1972.  Saturn moved south in April 1961.  The others stayed north.  However the longtidue positions appear to be the main timing factor and Pluto also appears to fit into the Maunder Minimum period with my "solar generator" concept where there are generally fewer sunspots when outer planets are nearer opposite each other, or in line.

The general "charging period" appears to be when planets are between 60 and 120 degrees apart.


How planets trigger earthquakes

In ocean tides, the lunar and solar gravitational forces that cause ocean tides (Figure 4) have two effects. One is that it pulls the water outwards and creates a mound of water, which forms the high tide. The other is where the water is pulled sideways to create a low tide.

At this low tide position the gravitational force bypasses the main mass of the earth and easily moves the water. This same process affects the earth’s crust and helps to trigger a seismic disturbance when the tectonic plate is entering or leaving the external gravitational field.

Figure 4


The window of time when this may occur can be several hours because one tectonic plate is very large, i.e. approximately one sixth of the earth’s surface.

The effect is stronger with more than one planet, and many big earthquakes occur near sunrise or sunset because the sun is in the operative group of planets.   

The horizontal compression is all across the land, and helps to cause mountain building. Because of the compression of the rocks, there will often be animal disturbance, which is caused by the release of charged particles.

The trigger effect only applies to a large landmass, which is a low tide effect where the crust is pulled sideways.  It is this sideways pressure that causes ground radiation.  Islands are affected in a different manner, by the weight of water on the shelf, at high tide.

There is some indication that the contrary traction, as with flares, disturbs the ionosphere and causes radio disturbance.


My original paper, The Influence of Planetary Bodies on Earthtides and Earthquakes, was published in 1979, in the journal Speculations in Science and Technology, (Elsevier Sequoia S.A.  Lausanne). 

The details given here are explained in full in my book, Planets, Sunspots and Earthquakes, available via on-line bookstores.  

Writers may quote or use diagrams providing they acknowledge the source. 

Any queries or comments should be forwarded to


A complete list of references is included in the book, Planets, Sunspots and Earthquakes. (Writers Club Press USA, 2002).  

Sunspot and solar flare data are obtained from the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC)

Earthquake data is obtained from the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) Composite

Earthquake Catalog

Encyclopedia  Brittancia 2002 (CD ROM)

© Frank Glasby

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