An international team of astronomers has detected fluorine, an element found in human teeth and bones, in a distant galaxy 12 light-years away. This is the first time this element has been found in such a distant galaxy. The corresponding study was published in Nature Astronomy.

Like most elements found on Earth, in our solar system, and our bodies, fluorine was formed in the stars' stellar cores, which released it during their explosions. However, the nature of its exact origin was still a mystery for scientists.

Using the ALMA radio telescope, scientists detected fluorine as hydrogen fluoride present in the large clouds of gas in the distant galaxy NGP-190387. Astronomers observe this galaxy as it appeared when our universe was only about 1.4 billion years old.

According to scientists, the most likely source of fluorine in NGP-190387 is the Wolf-Rayet stars. They are incredibly massive and only live for a few million years, which is not a lot compared to our 13-billion-year-old universe. Therefore, the stars that emitted fluorine upon their death seem to have lived quickly and died young.

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Each of the holes is about 20 more massive than the Sun. Most likely, the swarm was formed in supernova explosions when Palomar 5 was still young. Today it is more than 10 billion years old.

Astronomers have previously suggested that Wolf-Rayet stars were likely sources of fluorine, but the latest findings confirm this assumption like never before.

Before this discovery, fluorine was found only in the Milky Way, its neighbors, and some distant celestial bodies. Nevertheless, this discovery attributes fluorine to the elements that existed in the early stages of the development of our universe.