The Sun is a star, so it follows that we can relate solar phenomena to what we see in stars. However, the Sun is 250 000 times closer to us than the next nearest star. This means that we know the Sun in far more detail than any other star. Consequently, if we wish to draw observational comparisons between the Sun and the stars we must look to the large-scale phenomena. This means relating solar activity which generates the largest solar features to analogous features in Sun-like stars.
At the JHI, the study of the solar-stellar connection has been pursued using observations of flares on rapidly rotating Sun-like stars. This has revealed complex plasma motions in a very large flare, observed at the highest time-resolution so far attained. This work is being developed further using XMM-Newton.
Lead researcher: Professor Gordon Bromage