A Gap in the Lower Main Sequence Revealed by Gaia Data Release 2

Wei-Chun Jao, Todd J. Henry, Douglas R. Gies, Nigel C. Hambly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present the discovery of a gap near M G ≈ 10 in the main sequence on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram (HRD) based on measurements presented in Gaia Data Release 2 (DR2). Using an observational form of the HRD with M G representing luminosity and G BP - G RP representing temperature, the gap presents a diagonal feature that dips toward lower luminosities at redder colors. The gap is seen in samples extracted from DR2 with various distances, and is not unique to the Gaia photometry—it also appears when using near-IR (NIR) photometry (J- K s versus {M}{Ks}). The gap is very narrow (˜0.05 mag) and is near the luminosity-temperature regime where M dwarf stars transition from partially to fully convective, i.e., near spectral type M3.0V. This gap provides a new feature in the HRD that hints at an underlying astrophysical cause, and we propose that it is linked to the onset of full convection in M dwarfs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume861
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Hertzsprung–Russell and C–M diagrams
  • stars: distances
  • stars: late-type

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