Sunday September 20, 2020

Venus discovery shows jumping the gun is an alien concept in astronomy

Comment: Everybody wants to be the first to find life beyond Earth, but nobody wants to be ridiculed for making a false declaration

Emmet Ryan

Technology Correspondent

@emmetjryan
14th September, 2020
Are we alone? The evidence suggests we may have company in the form of microbial life in the upper atmosphere of Venus. Picture: Getty

Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. The Sherlock Holmes approach was how the Royal Astronomical Society stopped just short of saying it had discovered life on Venus while saying there really could not be any other explanation.

Part of this is down to an unusual mood within astronomy. Everyone wants to be the first to discover life beyond Earth but everyone is equally terrified of being ridiculed...

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