Fluorine Abundances in the Galactic Nuclear Star Cluster

Rafael Guerço, Solange Ramírez, Katia Cunha, Verne V. Smith, Nikos Prantzos, Kris Sellgren, Simone Daflon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abundances of fluorine (19F), as well as isotopic ratios of 16O/17O, are derived in a sample of luminous young (∼107-108 yr) red giants in the Galactic center (with galactocentric distances ranging from 0.6-30 pc), using high-resolution infrared spectra and vibration-rotation lines of H19F near λ2.3 μm. Five of the six red giants are members of the Nuclear star cluster that orbits the central supermassive black hole. Previous investigations of the chemical evolution of 19F in Galactic thin and thick-disk stars have revealed that the nucleosynthetic origins of 19F may be rather complex, resulting from two, or more, astrophysical sites; fluorine abundances behave as a primary element with respect to Fe abundances for thick-disk stars and as a secondary element in thin-disk stars. The Galactic center red giants analyzed fall within the thin-disk relation of F with Fe, having near-solar, to slightly larger, abundances of Fe ([Fe/H] = +0.08 ± 0.04), with a slight enhancement of the F/Fe abundance ratio ([F/Fe] = +0.28 ± 0.17). In terms of their F and Fe abundances, the Galactic center stars follow the thin-disk population, which requires an efficient source of 19F that could be the winds from core-He burning Wolf-Rayet stars, or thermally pulsing AGB stars, or a combination of both. The observed increase of [F/Fe] with increasing [Fe/H] found in thin-disk and Galactic center stars is not predicted by any published chemical evolution models that are discussed, thus a quantitative understanding of yields from the various possible sources of 19F remains unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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