Magnetic Activity Cycles in the Exoplanet Host Star epsilon Eridani

Type Journal Article
Names T. S. Metcalfe, A. P. Buccino, B. P. Brown, S. Mathur, D. R. Soderblom, T. J. Henry, P. J. D. Mauas, R. Petrucci, J. C. Hall, S. Basu
Publication The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Volume 763
Pages L26
Journal Abbreviation The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Date February 1, 2013
DOI 10.1088/2041-8205/763/2/L26;
ISSN 0004-637X
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract The active K2 dwarf epsilon Eri has been extensively characterized both as a young solar analog and more recently as an exoplanet host star. As one of the nearest and brightest stars in the sky, it provides an unparalleled opportunity to constrain stellar dynamo theory beyond the Sun. We confirm and document the 3-year magnetic activity cycle in epsilon Eri originally reported by Hatzes and coworkers, and we examine the archival data from previous observations spanning 45 years. The data show coexisting 3-year and 13-year periods leading into a broad activity minimum that resembles a Maunder minimum-like state, followed by the resurgence of a coherent 3-year cycle. The nearly continuous activity record suggests the simultaneous operation of two stellar dynamos with cycle periods of 2.95 ± 0.03 years and 12.7 ± 0.3 years, which, by analogy with the solar case, suggests a revised identification of the dynamo mechanisms that are responsible for the so-called "active" and "inactive" sequences as proposed by Böhm-Vitense. Finally, based on the observed properties of epsilon Eri, we argue that the rotational history of the Sun is what makes it an outlier in the context of magnetic cycles observed in other stars (as also suggested by its Li depletion), and that a Jovian-mass companion cannot be the universal explanation for the solar peculiarities.
Tags STARS: ACTIVITY, STARS: CHROMOSPHERES, stars: individual: HD 22049, surveys
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