A closer look at the transition between fully convective and partly radiative low-mass stars
University of Exeter, Physics and Astronomy, EX4 4QL Exeter, UK
2 École Normale Supérieure, Lyon, CRAL (UMR CNRS 5574), Université de Lyon, France
Accepted: 19 September 2018
Recently, an analysis of Gaia Data Release 2 revealed a gap in the mid-M dwarf main sequence. The authors suggested the feature is linked to the onset of full convection in M dwarfs. Following the announcement of this discovery, an explanation has been proposed based on standard stellar evolution models. In this paper we re-examine this explanation. We confirm that nuclear burning and mixing processes of 3He provide the best explanation for the observed feature. We also find that a change in the energy transport from convection to radiation does not induce structural changes that could be visible. Regarding the very details of the process, however, we disagree with the details of the published explanation and propose an alternative.
Key words: stars: low-mass / stars: evolution / Hertzsprung-Russell and C-M diagrams / convection
© ESO 2018