Yale Astronomy & Astrophysics Colloquium - Maria Weber

Event time: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 2:30pm
Maria Weber, Assistant Professor of Physics & Wiley Planetarium Director
Speaker Institution: 
Delta State University
Talk Title: 
How Stars Get Their Spots: A story of magnetic flux emergence and dynamo action
Event description: 

Abstract:  As we amass longer-term datasets for an increasing number of stars, it is clear that there is a wide variety of stellar behavior. In particular, starspots are windows into a star’s internal dynamo mechanism. They encode information about the generation of stellar magnetic fields, their rise to the surface, and the subsurface flows they encounter. I will discuss our work to establish links between dynamo-generated magnetic fields, shearing and fluid motions, and observations of starspots in solar-like stars down to fully convective M dwarfs. Predictability of dynamo behavior, especially in regard to the amplitude and phasing of even our own Sun’s sunspot cycle, is still not well understood. I will also comment on the state of solar dynamo theory regarding the efforts of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel to forecast the upcoming solar cycle in terms of sunspot number. Taken together, this work explores some intriguing challenges posed by both observations and theories of low-mass stellar magnetism and fluid dynamics, including stars on either side of the ‘tachocline divide’.

Watson Center A-51 See map
60 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Open to: 
General Public