Ricky Egeland developed sunstardb

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Monday, March 26, 2018

During his thesis work at HAO, Newkirk Fellow Ricky Egeland developed a solar-stellar database called sunstardb. The "solar-stellar connection" began as a relatively small field of research focused on understanding the processes that generate magnetic field in stars and sometimes lead to a cyclic pattern of long-term variability in activity, similar to the one demonstrated by our Sun.

50-year time series of the S-index image50-year time series of the S-index, a proxy measurement for magnetic activity for the Sun and three other stars. These and other interesting data are available in the new sunstardb database.

This area of study has recently become more broadly pertinent to questions of exoplanet habitability and exo-space weather, as well as stellar evolution. In contrast to other areas of stellar research, individual stars in the solar-stellar connection often have a distinct identity and character in the literature, due primarily to the rarity of the decades-long time series that are necessary for studying stellar activity cycles. Furthermore, the underlying stellar dynamo is not well understood theoretically, and is thought to be sensitive to several stellar properties, e.g. luminosity, differential rotation, and depth of the convection zone, which in turn are often parameterized by other more readily available properties. Relevant observations are scattered throughout the literature and existing stellar databases, and consolidating information for new studies is a tedious and laborious exercise. To accelerate research in this area Ricky developed sunstardb, a relational database of stellar properties and magnetic activity proxy time series keyed by individual named stars. In this article he described the principles behind sunstardb, the data structures and programming interfaces, as well as use cases from solar-stellar connection research.

Publication Name: The Astrophysical Journal Supplement

This community data resource and analysis tool for research in solar and stellar magnetism has just been announced to the world via the Arxiv preprint on the database:
preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.08098
website: https://www2.hao.ucar.edu/sunstardb
code: https://github.com/ncar/sunstardb
twitter: https://twitter.com/sunstardb