With the aim to understand nothing less than the universe, astrophysics applies physics to processes in space. This approach has proven to be very successful and consequently modern astrophysical research covers all scales from individual stars and their planetary systems up to the cosmic web formed by dark matter and embedded galaxy clusters.
Essential for all astrophysical studies are observations. Astrophysicists can neither enter their laboratory nor can they set up experiments. Answering questions in astrophysics thus means building telescopes and suitable instruments, performing well planned observations, and interpreting the data with appropriate theoretical models.