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Astron. Astrophys. 323, 151-157 (1997)

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4. Summary and conclusions

We have demonstrated that for slowly rotating ([FORMULA]) lower main-sequence stars with well-defined periodic chromospheric activity the cycle period [FORMULA] can be parametrised according to [FORMULA], with [FORMULA] and [FORMULA]. The existence of such a relation points to a common dynamo mechanism for slowly rotating stars. Cycle periods of rapidly rotating stars ([FORMULA]) do not match this relation.

We used linear mean-field dynamo theory to explain the cycle periods of slowly rotating lower main-sequence stars, assuming that the geometry of the dynamo in all these stars, including the Sun, is that of Parker's surface-wave model (Parker  1993). We assumed that the differential rotation and the [FORMULA] -coefficient depend on the rotation rate according to [FORMULA] and [FORMULA]. The other parameters were taken to be independent of [FORMULA]. In estimating [FORMULA] we assumed that the activity belts extend over [FORMULA] of latitude on either side of the equator. This is probably a reasonable assumption for slowly rotating stars, since model calculations have shown that starspot activity occurs near the poles only for rapidly rotating stars (for a star of one solar mass if [FORMULA], Schüssler et al.  1996).

The observed correlation between [FORMULA], [FORMULA] and [FORMULA] is reproduced if [FORMULA] and [FORMULA]. The positive sign of p suggests that differential rotation decreases with increasing rotation rate. Such a trend is supported by calculations of Kitchatinov & Rüdiger (1995), who found a similar dependence on rotation, with [FORMULA]. The negative value of q indicates that the [FORMULA] -coefficient increases if Ro decreases, in accordance with the common assumption that [FORMULA] increases with increasing rotation rate. Our result also implies that for constant [FORMULA], [FORMULA] increases with increasing [FORMULA], i.e. with increasing [FORMULA] (Eq.  15). This is due to the fact that convective cells with longer turnover times are more strongly influenced by rotation.

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998

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