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Raissa is a JPL Postdoctoral Fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working on characterizing exoplanet atmospheres. She uses space observations to detect and characterize the composition of exoplanets' atmospheres. She also investigates the effects of external (stellar radiation and activity) and internal (planetary surface) sources that impact the atmospheric evolution of exoplanets. She is a member of the NESSI team, a new multi-object spectrograph at Palomar Observatory built specifically to examine exoplanets' atmospheres.
Raissa started her scientific career studying Ecology and Physics in Natal, Brazil, close to the Equator and surrounded by beautiful beaches and dunes. She studied stellar properties (rotation, activity, and pulsation) using the space satellites CoRoT and Kepler. Then, she moved to Sao Paulo to study stellar activity during her master's. She used 4-year data observed by the Kepler telescope to characterize short magnetic cycles in active stars. Similarly to the Sun, in which sunspots are used to determine the 11 years solar cycle, she used the number of spots found in planetary transits to determine the magnetic cycle duration in other solar-type stars. In 2017, she started a Ph.D. in the same institution. During the first year, she focused on the impact of stellar activity (i.e., flares) on the habitability of exoplanets orbiting close to their host star. For the following Ph.D. years, she had the opportunity to continue it abroad at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she developed the calibration of the instrument STIS of the Hubble Space Telescope to characterize the atmospheres of the exoplanets in the visible wavelengths (i.e., aerosols in the upper atmosphere). In parallel, she also investigated the impact of XUV radiation in leading to the atmospheric escape in super-Earths and sub-Neptunes planets. She received her Ph.D. in Geospatial Sciences and Applications from the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Sao Paulo, Brazil) in 2020.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory: