LUNA - Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics
Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso

Welcome on the LUNA pages at LNGS

What is LUNA about

It is in the nature of astrophysics that many of the processes and objects one tries to understand are physically inaccessible. Thus, it is important that those aspects that can be studied in the laboratory be rather well understood. One such aspect are the nuclear fusion reactions, which are at the heart of nuclear astrophysics: they influence sensitively the nucleosynthesis of the elements in the earliest stages of the universe and in all the objects formed thereafter, and control the associated energy generation, neutrino luminosity, and evolution of stars. LUNA (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics) is a new experimental approach for the study of nuclear fusion reactions based on an underground accelerator laboratory.
Since 20 years the LUNA Collaboration has been directly measuring cross sections of the Hydrogen burning in the underground laboratories of Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS) publishing more than 40 papers.

The present program of LUNA is descibed in the Proposal presented to the Scientific Commitee of LNGS in March 2007.

Setting up the LUNA-MV collaboration

LUNA-MV In summer 2012 INFN recievied funding by the Italian Ministray for Research to setup LUNA-MV in the underground laboratories of LNGS. The LUNA MV project will focus on the measurement of the key astrophysical reactions 3He(a,g)7Be, 12C(a,g)16O, 13C(a,n)16O and 22Ne(a,n)25Mg using a MV machine located in the Gran Sasso underground laboratory.

On Feb 6-8 2013 a workshop took place at LNGS to establish the LUNA MV Collaboration, define its structure, and formalize the tasks of its partecipating institutions.

If you are interested in being involved in the LUNA-MV Collaboration do not hesitate to contact Alessandra Guglielmetti (alessandra.guglielmetti at

Reviews articles about LUNA

Reviews on the LUNA activies has been published in Reports on Progress in Physics 72(2009) p.086301 and in Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science, 60 (2010) p.53.


The Hans A. Bethe Prize 2010 of the American Physical Society has been assigned to Claus Rolfs "for seminal contributions to the experimental determination of nuclear cross-sections in stars, including the first direct measurement of the key 3He fusion reaction at solar conditions." Claus Rolfs is co-founder and member of the LUNA-Collaboration.
To celebrate this prize LNGS organizes CLARO 2010 on April 2010.

Past Events

LUNA On February 10-11,2011 LNGS has hosted a round table on underground accelerator LUNA-MV. At the meeting the status of the Underground accelerator projects in Europe and in the USA and in particular the LUNA-MV project have been presented. This slides of the presentations and the proceedings are available on-line.
Following the meeting a document on a next-generation underground laboratory for Nuclear Astrophysics has been prepared and made available to the communty.

Design by Nicolas Fafchamps adapted for LUNA by Matthias Junker