SATURDAY MORNING PHYSICS
The Sun as a Star
Our closest star provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to observe, in high spatial and temporal resolution, the spectacular interaction of hot plasma and magnetic fields which occurs on a daily basis. While we cannot observe these same phenomena in such detail on distant stars, what we do see in solar-type stars at a variety of ages helps us to piece together the history of our Sun and unravel how our solar system came to be. In a mutually beneficial way, solar physics and astrophysics research complement each other well, studies of each serving to fill gaps in our understanding of the other. In this lecture, I will discuss our view of the Sun in time: today's Sun helps us interpret what we observe in stars, and young, solar-type stars give us a glimpse of the solar system in its youth, in the epoch of planet formation.