The LUNA (Laboratory for Underground Nuclear Astrophysics) main aim is to investigate nuclear fusion reactions that generate most of the stellar energy and allowed the synthesis of the elements in stars and in the primordial Universe. Such reactions have a very low probability (cross section) at energies of astrophysical interest and are thus very difficult to be measured in a laboratory at the Earth’s surface, where the cosmic background would mask the feeble signal. During the last 25 years, LUNA installed two accelerators in the underground laboratories of LNGS and measured a few key reactions of the Hydrogen burning and of primordial nucleosynthesis. In the next future, a new accelerator that will allow to measure reactions of the Helium and Carbon burning cycles will be installed.
The official site of LUNA is luna.lngs.infn.it