Starspots: A Key to the Stellar Dynamo

Svetlana V. Berdyugina  
Institute of Astronomy ETHZ
ETH Zentrum, 8092 Zurich,

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Magnetic activity similar to that of the Sun is observed on a variety of cool stars with external convection envelopes. Stellar rotation coupled with convective motions generate strong magnetic fields in the stellar interior and produce a multitude of magnetic phenomena including starspots in the photosphere, chromospheric plages, coronal loops, UV, X-ray, and radio emission and flares. Here I review the phenomenon of starspots on different types of cool stars, observational tools and diagnostic techniques for studying starspots as well as starspot properties including their temperatures, areas, magnetic field strengths, lifetimes, active latitudes and longitudes, etc. Evolution of starspots on various time scales allows us to investigate stellar differential rotation, activity cycles, and global magnetic fields. Together these constitute the basis for our understanding of stellar and solar dynamos and provide valuable constraints for theoretical models.

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