AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 36 Stellar-Solar Connection: What the Stars Teach Us about Our Sun
SPD Topical Session, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 702/704/706

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[36.03] Stellar magnetic cycles

S.L. Baliunas (CfA)

Is hope for understanding the solar magnetic cycle to be found in stars?

Observations of stars with significant sub-surface convective zones -- masses smaller than about 1.5 solar masses on the lower main sequence and many types of cool, post-main-sequence stars -- indicate the presence of surface and atmospheric inhomogeneities analogous to solar magnetic features, making stellar magnetic activity a cosmically widespread phenomenon. Observations have been made primarily in visible wavelengths, and important information has also been derived from the ultraviolet and x-ray spectrum regions.

Interannual to interdecadal variability of spectrum indicators of stellar magnetic features is common, and in some cases similar in appearance to the 11-year sunspot cycle.

Successful models of the physical processes responsible for stellar magnetic cycles, typically cast as a magnetohydrodynamic dynamo, require advances in understanding not only convection but also the magnetic field's interaction with it. The observed facts that underpin the hope for models will be summarized. Properties of stellar magnetic cycles will be compared and contrasted with those of the sun, including inferences from paleo-environmental reservoirs that contain information on solar century- to millennial-scale magnetic variability.

Partial support of this research came from NASA NAG5-7635, NRC COBASE, CRDF 322, MIT-MSG 5710001241, JPL 1236821, AF 49620-02-1-0194, Richard Lounsberry Foundation, Langley-Abbot, Rollins, Scholarly Studies and James Arthur Funds (Smithsonian Institution) and several generous individuals.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: baliunas@cfa.harvard.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #2
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