University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Astrophysics Seminars > Solar activity, stellar rotation, and anomalous weakened magnetic braking

Solar activity, stellar rotation, and anomalous weakened magnetic braking

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  • UserGuy Davies (Birmingham)
  • ClockWednesday 09 March 2016, 14:30-15:30
  • HousePhysics West 117.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Sean McGee.

The rotation of Sun-like stars plays a key role in the generation of magnetic fields by dynamo action. These magnetic fields act as a brake on the rotation, so that Sun-like stars spins down over their lifetimes. Or so we thought. Using 4 years of observations from NASA ’s Kepler space telescope we have discovered that stars that are more evolved than the Sun stop spinning down. The most likely cause of this reduced magnetic braking is that a significant change in the strength or topology of magnetic field occurs at around the age of the Sun. This has huge implications for our understanding of the dynamical evolution of Sun-like stars, and suggests that the Sun may be approaching a significant change in behaviour in the not-too-distant future (in stellar evolutionary terms!).

This talk is part of the Astrophysics Seminars series.

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