176Lu in a stellar photon bath and hence for the use of this isotope as a stellar chronometer. Using an enriched sample, 29 transitions ascribed to
176Lu were detected below 2.9-MeV excitation energy. The corresponding excitation strengths were determined. For the previously proposed lowest IS at 839 keV, an upper limit for the excitation strength corresponding to a lifetime of
τ⩾1.5 ps can be given. Astrophysical consequences, also in view of new Stuttgart photoactivation experiments, are discussed. The fragmentation of the dipole strength is compared to those in neighboring even-even and odd-even nuclei.