The Sun is a giant magnet with a dynamic surface, showing varying amounts of magnetic features at any given time, most notably changing with the 11-year solar cycle. These varying magnetic features produce very small color-dependent variations in the brightness of the Sun, which allows us to use brightness changes as a proxy for the Sun's magnetism. The same principle applies to other more distant stars, allowing us to study their magnetic variability. I will discuss proxy observations of solar and stellar magnetism as well as the feasibility of observing stellar spectra on an amateur budget.
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