SDSS-III APOGEE spectra motivate improved lab-based spectroscopy

A recent Nature editorial argues for the need to support lab-based basic spectroscopy to fully understand the wealth of astronomical data coming from surveys such as SDSS-III and its APOGEE spectrograph.  In particular such spectra contain many atomic and molecular transitions only very rarely studied in Earth-based laboratories.  Understanding the relative strengths of these transitions will be important in using them to fully measure the abundance of elements and molecules in stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

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