The stars as a Sun

Speaker: 
Derek Buzasi (Florida Gulf Coast University)
Event Date and Time: 
Mon, 2016-03-07 15:30 - 16:45
Location: 
Hennings 318
Local Contact: 
Jaymie Matthews
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
The star we know best is the one which is closest to us, and astronomers therefore tend to rely heavily on the Sun as a proxy for stars in general. One approach to improving our knowledge of the Sun is through the study of solar analogs, stars which are similar to our own in as many ways as we can quantify. Such objects can allow us to effectively study the dependence of solar activity on physical parameters such as age, rotation rate, and metallicity, which in turn has ramifications for the evolution of planetary systems and the location of the habitable zone. The Kepler spacecraft observed the same field with unparalleled precision for more than four years, producing more than 200,000 stellar time series. We have taken advantage of this sample to measure rotation periods and activity levels for a carefully vetted sample of over 1000 solar analogues, including nearly 100 which are known to host planets. I will present the results of this study and its implications for our understanding of the correlation of rotation and activity, the use of gyrochronology for age determination, and the obliquity distribution of planetary systems.
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