The 2nd AAS Laboratory Astrophysics Division Meeting
Astronomy is primarily an observational science detecting photons generated by atomic, molecular, chemical, and condensed matter processes. Our understanding of the universe also relies on knowledge of the evolution of matter (nuclear and particle physics) and of the dynamical processes shaping it (plasma physics). Planetary science, involving in-situ measurements of solar system bodies, requires knowledge from physics, chemistry, and geology.
Exploring the question of life elsewhere in the Universe draws on all the above as well as biology. Hence, our quest to understand the cosmos rests firmly on theoretical and experimental research in many different branches of science. Taken together, these astrophysically motivated theoretical and experimental studies are known as laboratory astrophysics.