Stellar chromospheric variability

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    Cool stars with convective envelopes of spectral types F and later tend to exhibit magnetic activity throughout their atmospheres. The presence of strong and variable magnetic fields is evidenced by photospheric starspots, chromospheric plages and coronal flares, as well as by strong Ca ii H+K and Hα emission, combined with the presence of ultraviolet resonance lines. We review the drivers of stellar chromospheric activity and the resulting physical parameters implied by the observational diagnostics. At a basic level, we explore the importance of stellar dynamos and their activity cycles for a range of stellar types across the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. We focus, in particular, on recent developments pertaining to stellar rotation properties, including the putative Vaughan–Preston gap. We also pay specific attention to magnetic variability associated with close binary systems, including RS Canum Venaticorum, BY Draconis, W Ursae Majoris and Algol binaries. At the present time, large-scale photometric and spectroscopic surveys are becoming generally available, thus leading to a resurgence of research into chromospheric activity. This opens up promising prospects to gain a much improved understanding of chromospheric physics and its wide-ranging impact.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number440
    Pages (from-to)1-39
    Number of pages39
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


    • stellar chromospheres
    • stellar atmospheres
    • magnetic variable stars
    • solar cycle
    • stellar magnetic fields
    • late-type stars


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