Despite the enormous advances in scientific and technological knowledge, the Universe around us is still “obscure”. We can explain a little more than 4%. The rest are matter and energy not visible to our instruments. We only see their imprint: as if we entered our house and found a mess; we don’t know who did it, but we are sure someone has been there. CYGNO is a detector under construction at INFN Frascati National Laboratories for the detection of dark matter and neutrinos coming from the Sun. Its main characteristic is the ability to see – like a telescope – in a determined direction. We can think of dark matter a bit like the air surrounding us: we don’t see it or feel it, but if we move inside it, for example walking, we can perceive a very light “wind” that makes us aware of its existence. Similarly, this detector, located on the Earth and rotating with our entire galaxy in the direction of the CYGNUS constellation, should feel this wind of matter. Moreover, the Sun and the stars of the Cosmos emit an additional wind, composed of many particles, including neutrinos, which are still today mysterious and interesting objects, so much that we think from their study we may find an answer to important unknowns of our knowledge. This wind of particles is so strong that – to study only those rare phenomena we are interested in – we must place the detector behind a suitable screen, beyond which only a few particles survive. For this reason, CYGNO will be installed at INFN Gran Sasso National Laboratories, under 1400 meters of rock.


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Latest modified: 21 February 2020