Debra Fischer is a Professor of Astronomy at Yale University who obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa (1975), her master’s degree in Physics from the San Francisco State University (1992) and her Ph. D. in Astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz (1998). Her research is focused on exoplanets. She began her hunt for exoplanets in 1997 by measuring tiny periodic shifts in the radial velocities of other stars. She was the first to discover a multiple planet system in 1999 and contributed to the understanding of planet formation with her analysis that quantified the impact of chemical composition on the formation of planets. In her lab at Yale, Fischer’s team is developing next generation instrument designs that aim to break current records for the detection of Earth analogues. These newly discovered planets will be targets of the search for extraterrestrial life.
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