Caltech Astronomy Graduate Student

About Me

I recently started a new job as a Systems Engineer at Lockheed Martin Space! Find me on LinkedIn or email me at jackiepezzato95@hotmail.com.

My name is Jacklyn (Jackie) Pezzato and I use she/her or they/them pronouns. I am a third year graduate student in Caltech's Astronomy department working in Professor Dimitri Mawet's research group. My specialty is high dispersion coronagraphy--a technique that combines direct imaging of exoplanets and brown dwarfs with spectroscopy. I am currently using this technique to analyze the cloud cover and weather patterns of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs. I have also recently joined the instrumentation side of this group and am getting involved with Phase II of the Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC), which is a module downstream of the current Keck AO system that has two channels that feed existing Keck instruments: an IR imaging (NIRC2) channel and a fiber-fed high resolution spectroscopy (NIRSPEC) channel. I am also starting to be involved with Multi-fiber High-resolution NIR spectometer (MODHIS) and Planetary Science Imager (PSI) teams for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). However, I believe that because science is done by people, it cannot be done properly without careful consideration of the influence of culture, history, and politics. I encourage my collaborators to pause and reflect upon this, especially the precedent that we are setting for military and police action against peaceful protesters in the name of science.

I recieved a BA in Astrophysics and a BS in Engineering from Swarthmore College in 2017. I worked primarily with David Cohen on analyzing X-ray spectroscopy of massive stars. I also participated two NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs: one at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory with Kenneth Mighell and another at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory with Eric Murphy.

When I am not doing research, I enjoy powerlifting and day hikes with my dog, Sadey, who is shown posing in front of the Orion Nebula in the infrared (Credit: Caltech/JPL/NASA/2MASS/T. Megeath) in the background of this site.