Comparative Magnetic Minima: Characterizing Quiet Times in the Sun and Stars. Symposium of the International Astronomical Union (286th) Held in Mendoza, Argentina on October 3-7, 2011
BUENOS AIRES UNIV (ARGENTINA)
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Solar and stellar minima represent times of low magnetic activity and simple helioasterospheres. They are thus excellent targets for interdisciplinary, system-wide studies of the origins of stellar variability and consequent impacts on planetary systems. The recent solar minimum lasted longer and was quieter than any we have observed in the Space Age, inspiring both scientific and public interest. It also extends our knowledge of the dynamic range of solar activity and how it affects space weather to unprecedented low levels. A rich variety of satellite and ground-based observations, in conjunction with theoretical and numerical modeling advances, have allowed us to probe the peculiarities of this minimum as never before. The implications are far-reaching, connecting Earth to Sun to stars, radio to X-ray to cosmic rays, and the plethora of observations of recent minima to the Suns past behavior as preserved in cosmogenic isotopes and historical sunspot and auroral records.