Full recordShow full item record
AbstractThe Sun's net radiative output varies on timescales of minutes to gigayears. Direct measurements of the total solar irradiance (TSI) show changes in the spatially- and spectrally-integrated radiant energy on timescales as short as minutes to as long as a solar cycle. Variations of ~0.01 % over a few minutes are caused by the ever-present superposition of convection and oscillations with very large solar flares on rare occasion causing slightly-larger measureable signals. On timescales of days to weeks, changing photospheric magnetic activity affects solar brightness at the ~0.1 % level. The 11-year solar cycle shows variations of comparable magnitude with irradiances peaking near solar maximum. Secular variations are more difficult to discern, being limited by instrument stability and the relatively short duration of the space-borne record. Historical reconstructions of the Sun's irradiance based on indicators of solar-surface magnetic activity, such as sunspots, faculae, and cosmogenic isotope records, suggest solar brightness changes over decades to millennia, although the magnitudes of these variations have high uncertainties due to the indirect historical records on which they rely. Stellar evolution affects yet longer timescales and is responsible for the greatest solar variabilities. In this manuscript I summarize the Sun's variability magnitudes over different temporal regimes and discuss the irradiance record's relevance for solar and climate studies as well as for detections of exo-solar planets transiting Sun-like stars.
Comment: 19 pp, 8 figures, Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate, 2016, swsc160010