We compare patterns of variation for the Sun and 72 Sun-like stars by combining total and spectral solar irradiance measurements between 2003 and 2017 from the SORCE satellite, Strömgren b, y stellar photometry between 1993 and 2017 from Fairborn Observatory, and solar and stellar chromospheric Ca ii H+K emission observations between 1992 and 2016 from Lowell Observatory. The new data and their analysis strengthen the relationships found previously between chromospheric and brightness variability on the decadal timescale of the solar activity cycle. Both chromospheric H+K and photometric b, y variability among Sun-like stars are related to average chromospheric activity by power laws on this timescale. Young active stars become fainter as their H+K emission increases, and older, less active, more Sun-age stars tend to show a pattern of direct correlation between photometric and chromospheric emission variations. The directly correlated pattern between total solar irradiance and chromospheric Ca ii emission variations shown by the Sun appears to extend also to variations in the Strömgren b, y portion of the solar spectrum. Although the Sun does not differ strongly from its stellar age and spectral class mates in the activity and variability characteristics that we have now studied for over three decades, it may be somewhat unusual in two respects: (1) its comparatively smooth, regular activity cycle, and (2) its rather low photometric brightness variation relative to its chromospheric activity level and variation, perhaps indicating that facular emission and sunspot darkening are especially well-balanced on the Sun.
Richard R. Radick et al 2018 ApJ 855 75