[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT:
The solar magnetic activity cycle is responsible for periodic episodes of severe space weather, which can perturb satellite orbits, interfere with communications systems, and bring down power grids. Much progress has recently been made in forecasting the strength and timing of this 11-year cycle, using a predictive flux-transport dynamo model (Dikpati 2005, Dikpati et al. 2006). We can strengthen the foundation of this model by extending it to match observations of similar magnetic activity cycles in other Sun-like stars, which exhibit variations in their Ca II H and K emission on time scales from 2.5 to 25 years (Baliunas et al. 1995). This broad range of cycle periods is thought to reflect differences in the rotational properties and the depth of the surface convection zone for stars with various masses and ages. Asteroseismology is now yielding direct measurements of these quantities for individual stars, but the most promising asteroseismic targets are in the southern sky (alpha Cen A, alpha Cen B, beta Hyi), while the existing activity cycle survey is confined to the north. We are initiating a long-term survey of Ca II H and K emission for a sample of 92 southern Sun-like stars to measure their magnetic activity cycles and rotational properties, which will ultimately provide independent tests of solar dynamo models.