The origin of fluorine: Abundances in AGB carbon stars revisited

C. Abia, K. Cunha, S. Cristallo, P. De Laverny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Context. Revised spectroscopic parameters for the HF molecule and a new CN line list in the 2.3 μm region have recently become available, facilitating a revision of the F content in asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Aims. AGB carbon stars are the only observationally confirmed sources of fluorine. Currently, there is no consensus on the relevance of AGB stars in its Galactic chemical evolution. The aim of this article is to better constrain the contribution of these stars with a more accurate estimate of their fluorine abundances. Methods. Using new spectroscopic tools and local thermodynamical equilibrium spectral synthesis, we redetermine fluorine abundances from several HF lines in the K-band in a sample of Galactic and extragalactic AGB carbon stars of spectral types N, J, and SC, spanning a wide range of metallicities. Results. On average, the new derived fluorine abundances are systematically lower by 0.33 dex with respect to previous determinations. This may derive from a combination of the lower excitation energies of the HF lines and the larger macroturbulence parameters used here as well as from the new adopted CN line list. Yet, theoretical nucleosynthesis models in AGB stars agree with the new fluorine determinations at solar metallicities. At low metallicities, an agreement between theory and observations can be found by handling the radiative/convective interface at the base of the convective envelope in a different way. Conclusions. New fluorine spectroscopic measurements agree with theoretical models at low and at solar metallicity. Despite this, complementary sources are needed to explain its observed abundance in the solar neighbourhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA88
JournalAstronomy and astrophysics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Nuclear reactions, nucleosynthesis, abundances
  • Stars: AGB and post-AGB
  • Stars: abundances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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