Exploring Stars in Underground Laboratories: Challenges and Solutions

Marialuisa Aliotta*, Axel Boeltzig, Rosanna Depalo, György Gyürky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For millennia, mankind has been fascinated by the marvel of the starry night sky. Yet, a proper scientific understanding of how stars form, shine, and die is a relatively recent achievement, made possible by the interplay of different disciplines as well as by significant technological, theoretical, and observational progress. We now know that stars are sustained by nuclear fusion reactions and are the furnaces where all chemical elements continue to be forged out of primordial hydrogen and helium. Studying these reactions in terrestrial laboratories presents serious challenges and often requires developing ingenious instrumentation and detection techniques. Here, we reveal how some of the major breakthroughs in our quest to unveil the inner workings of stars have come from the most unexpected of places: deep underground. As we celebrate 30 years of activity at the first underground laboratory for nuclear astrophysics, LUNA, we review some of the key milestones and anticipate future opportunities for further advances both at LUNA and at other underground laboratories worldwide.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-204
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science
Early online date8 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2022


  • Stellar evolution
  • background suppression underground
  • nuclear astrophysics experiments
  • nucleosynthesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Stars in Underground Laboratories: Challenges and Solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this