Catching up on the exciting news about #Venus? We've just been taking a look at the way the UK press has reported the story about phosphine being detected in the atmosphere of Venus. Ready for a newspaper review? Buckle-up, here we go! #VenusNews
(Only) two papers decided to put the Venus story on their front page - @thetimes and @theipaper #VenusNews #Venus Both of them note that it's not Mars we're talking about in the search for life this time...
The Times piece is measured and gives a clear explanation of the story - noting that @jgreaves6 was "stunned" by the discovery. Final line is a quote from Caleb Sharf, Director of the Columbia Astrobiology Centre who doesn't seem so excited by the result. #VenusNews #Venus
It's definitely the most negative final line of all the pieces we read - his quote points out that "the field is littered with 'failed' life detections". (To be fair to the research team, they are clear they are NOT making a definitive claim of discovering life. #VenusNews #Venus
On to @theipaper. They trail the story on the front page, but their piece is actually on page 5, where they have given over 90% of the page to #VenusNews and have included several images. Image of page 5 of the iPaper reporting on Venus news
Despite starting the piece with the word "alien" the piece explains the research well and mentions @EAO_jcmt. Good selection of researcher quotes and our President @drbuncen also mentioned - calling for a new mission to Venus. Plus a context piece on Venus. #VenusNews
Very nicely done @theipaper - bit of a shame that no-one updated the headline on their section sharing reactions to the story. We can say definitively that the paper in Nature Astronomy does NOT suggest there are sheep on Venus! Oops! #Venus #VenusNews Headline blooper in iPaper - it reads "Headline 18 one
Next up it's @thesun - who have put the story on page 19. Unsure about the accuracy of the headline "Scientists' cloud claim - 'Life on Venus'". The team was very careful about what they said - and were certainly not definitively saying there *is* life on Venus #VenusNews #Venus Article in the Sun - headlined "Scientists' cloud claim
Minus points for the use of the term "boffins".🤔The Sun piece doesn't say how the phosphine was discovered, uses Fahrenheit(!) as its primary unit of measurement, and mentions a possible future NASA mission - Veritas. Pg 10: "The Sun Says" - 'think of the poor Venusian aliens" The Sun says... "Frying saucer: As if 2020 wasn't alrea
Still - it means #VenusNews gets two mentions in The Sun. Next up we have @DailyMirror - page 7- the first (and only!) to use "alien" in their headline! They've been more definitive than the researchers in terms of saying Venus is harbouring life. #VenusNews #Venus Article from Daily Mirror titled "First signs of alien
We reckon they probably could have found a better picture of Venus to use too - look! We have some here with our press release! ras.ac.uk/news-and-press… #Venus #VenusNews
What has @DailyMailUK got to say about the discovery? Their piece makes it on to page 5, has an explainer box about Venus, and notes it is the home of Dan Dare's adversary, the Mekon. #Venus #VenusNews Image of Daily Mail article. Headline: Is there life on Venu
Full marks to @dailymailuk on headline asking whether there is life on Venus, rather than stating that there is (because we just don't know). Nice summary of the research and mentions the role of both @eao_jcmt & @eso @almaobs in detecting phosphine. Good work! #Venus #VenusNews
Turn over the first page of @guardian today and you'll immediately see their coverage of the phosphine discovery on page 3. Great images - very eye-catching! #Venus #VenusNews Image of Guardian article on Venus: Headline "Microbial
Good explanation of the work that was done, mentions of both @eao_jcmt and @eso and a good collection of quotes from researchers on the paper, and astrobiologists sharing their views on the work. Nice one. 👍
The @Telegraph has also put the story on page three (a sought out space in a newspaper), but no exciting space pictures to be found here. Perhaps win the prize for longest headline though! "Whiff of garlicky gas suggests there may be life in Venus's clouds". #Venus #VenusNews Image of article in the Telegraph
The piece does a good job of explaining the work, mentions @eao_jcmt and @ESO and communicates the nuances of the work well. Ends with a great quote from @jgreaves6 encouraging people to tell the researchers what they might have missed, "this is how science works".
Lastly it's @Daily_Express who put the story on page two. It's a short piece and doesn't say much about the research at all, but does highlight the UK connection to the research both in the headline and in the piece. #Venus #VenusNews
The Daily Express quotes @jgreaves6 talking about her hope that space agencies will want to go back to Venus. So how about it @esa @nasa @JAXA_en @roscosmos @isro @spacegovuk? Fancy a trip to Venus? #Venus #VenusNews
Overall the papers have done a nice job of explaining the exciting #VenusNews without getting carried away with the idea of aliens. That testament to the hard work by all the researchers, the RAS team and all organisations involved in this announcement, like @eao_jcmt and @eso.
The research by Prof. Jane Greaves et al is exciting whatever we learn in future. Either we discover a new process that creates phosphine - which would be cool - or we confirm it is life that is producing it - also cool! That's the beauty of science - you keep learning! #Venus

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