Volume 636, April 2020
|Number of page(s)
|The Sun and the Heliosphere
|22 April 2020
Solar-cycle irradiance variations over the last four billion years
Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Center for Space Science, NYUAD Institute, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, UAE
4 School of Space Research, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 446-701, Gyeonggi, Korea
Accepted: 19 February 2020
Context. The variability of the spectral solar irradiance (SSI) over the course of the 11-year solar cycle is one of the manifestations of solar magnetic activity. There is strong evidence that the SSI variability has an effect on the Earth’s atmosphere. The faster rotation of the Sun in the past lead to a more vigorous action of solar dynamo and thus potentially to larger amplitude of the SSI variability on the timescale of the solar activity cycle. This could lead to a stronger response of the Earth’s atmosphere as well as other solar system planets’ atmospheres to the solar activity cycle.
Aims. We calculate the amplitude of the SSI and total solar irradiance (TSI) variability over the course of the solar activity cycle as a function of solar age.
Methods. We employed the relationship between the stellar magnetic activity and the age based on observations of solar twins. Using this relation, we reconstructed solar magnetic activity and the corresponding solar disk area coverages by magnetic features (i.e., spots and faculae) over the last four billion years. These disk coverages were then used to calculate the amplitude of the solar-cycle SSI variability as a function of wavelength and solar age.
Results. Our calculations show that the young Sun was significantly more variable than the present Sun. The amplitude of the solar-cycle TSI variability of the 600 Myr old Sun was about ten times larger than that of the present Sun. Furthermore, the variability of the young Sun was spot-dominated (the Sun being brighter at the activity minimum than in the maximum), that is, the Sun was overall brighter at activity minima than at maxima. The amplitude of the TSI variability decreased with solar age until it reached a minimum value at 2.8 Gyr. After this point, the TSI variability is faculae-dominated (the Sun is brighter at the activity maximum) and its amplitude increases with age.
Key words: Sun: activity / Sun: evolution / solar-terrestrial relations / stars: variables: general
© A. V. Shapiro et al. 2020
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Open Access funding provided by Max Planck Society.
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.