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The effective temperature -- radius relationship of M-dwarfs

Cassisi, S and Salaris, M (2019) The effective temperature -- radius relationship of M-dwarfs. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 626. ISSN 0004-6361

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M-dwarf stars provide very favourable conditions to find habitable worlds beyond our solar system. The estimation of the fundamental parameters of the transiting exoplanets rely on the accuracy of the theoretical predictions for radius and effective temperature of the host M-dwarf, hence the importance of multiple empirical tests of very low-mass star (VLM) models, the theoretical counterpart of M-dwarfs. Recent determinations of mass, radius and effective temperature of a sample of M-dwarfs of known metallicity have disclosed a supposed discontinuity in the effective temperature-radius diagram corresponding to a stellar mass of about 0.2Mo, that has been ascribed to the transition from partially convective to fully convective stars. In this paper we compare existing VLM models to these observations, and find that theory does not predict any discontinuity at around 0.2Mo, rather a smooth change of slope of the effective temperature-radius relationship around this mass value. The appearance of a discontinuity 5is due to naively fitting the empirical data with linear segments. Also, its origin is unrelated to the transition to fully convective structures. We find that this feature is instead an empirical signature for the transition to a regime where electron degeneracy provides an important contribution to the stellar EOS, and constitutes an additional test of the consistency of the theoretical framework for VLM models.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 10:46
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 09:24
DOI or ID number: 10.1051/0004-6361/201935468
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10724
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