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Chemical evolution of fluorine in the Milky Way

Womack, Kate; Vincenzo, Fiorenzo; Gibson, Brad; Côté, Benoit; Pignatari, Marco; Brinkman, Hannah E.; Ventura, Paolo; Karakas, Amanda


Kate Womack

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Professor Brad Gibson
Head of Physics; Director, E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics; Director of Research, Natural Sciences; Interim Associate Dean , Science & Engineering

Benoit Côté

Marco Pignatari

Hannah E. Brinkman

Paolo Ventura

Amanda Karakas


Fluorine has many different potential sites and channels of production, making narrowing down a dominant site of fluorine production particularly challenging. In this work, we investigate which sources are the dominant contributors to the galactic fluorine by comparing chemical evolution models to observations of fluorine abundances in Milky Way stars covering a metallicity range of -2 < [Fe/H] < 0.4 and upper limits in the range of -3.4 < [Fe/H] < -2.3. In our models, we use a variety of stellar yield sets in order to explore the impact of varying both asymptotic giant branch (AGB) and massive star yields on the chemical evolution of fluorine. In particular, we investigate different prescriptions for initial rotational velocity in massive stars as well as a metallicity-dependent mix of rotational velocities. We find that the observed [F/O] and [F/Fe] abundance ratios at low metallicity and the increasing trend of [F/Ba] at [Fe/H] ≳ -1 can only be reproduced by chemical evolution models assuming, at all metallicities, a contribution from rapidly rotating massive stars with initial rotational velocities as high as 300 km s-1. A mix of rotational velocities may provide a more physical solution than the sole use of massive stars with vrot = 300 km s-1, which are predicted to overestimate the fluorine and average s-process elemental abundances at [Fe/H] ≳ -1. The contribution from AGB stars is predicted to start at [Fe/H] ≈ -1 and becomes increasingly important at high metallicity, being strictly coupled to the evolution of the nitrogen abundance. Finally, by using modern yield sets, we investigate the fluorine abundances of Wolf-Rayet winds, ruling them out as dominant contributors to the galactic fluorine.


Womack, K., Vincenzo, F., Gibson, B., Côté, B., Pignatari, M., Brinkman, H. E., …Karakas, A. (2023). Chemical evolution of fluorine in the Milky Way. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 518(1), 1543-1556.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2022
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 24, 2022
Journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Print ISSN 0035-8711
Electronic ISSN 1365-2966
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 518
Issue 1
Pages 1543-1556
Keywords Stars: abundances; Galaxy: abundances; Galaxy: disc; Galaxy: evolution
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Published article (1.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. &copy; 2022 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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