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Dr. Bhattacharyya’s primary research interest is in studying atmospheric escape from planets both within the Solar System as well as outside it (exoplanets). She has developed a radiative transfer model to study hydrogen escape from planetary atmospheres by looking at Lyman-alpha emission emitted by H atoms which make up the exospheres of terrestrial planets. Hydrogen escape from a planet like Mars is a good tracer of its water escape history. At Earth, it helps in understanding the magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions. At Venus, the properties of the hydrogen exosphere can be used to constrain thermospheric processes. Presently, Dr. Bhattacharyya has been involved with Hubble Space Telescope observing campaigns of Mars’ hydrogen exosphere. She is also a science team member of the Mars MAVEN mission and is specifically involved in the analysis and modeling of observations of hydrogen and deuterium Lyman alpha emissions at Mars with MAVEN’s Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph’s (IUVS) high resolution Echelle channel.
Research Interests: modeling and observation of planetary exospheres, specifically hydrogen and deuterium Lyman alpha emission in order to understand atmospheric escape from planets/exoplanets.