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Jane Greaves

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Jane Greaves
Academic background
Academic work

Jane Greaves is a Professor of Astronomy based at Cardiff University. While at the University of St Andrews she led the team which discovered a protoplanet within the protoplanetary disk around the young star HL Tauri.[1]

In 2017, she was awarded the Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize of the Institute of Physics for her "significant contribution to our understanding of planet formation and exoplanet habitability through her seminal imaging of debris discs around Sun-like stars and solar system bodies using far-infrared telescopes".[2]

In 2018, she announced preliminary results from studies of the presence of phosphorus in supernova remnants, indicating that the level of phosphorus in the Crab Nebula is much lower than in Cassiopeia A, leading to speculations that a paucity of phosphorus might limit the formation of alien life.[3]

On September 14, 2020, her team announced the discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus.[4] Subsequent analysis led Greaves' team to reduce their initial estimates of phosphine levels, with some astronomers disputing the presence of phosphine entirely.[5]


  1. ^ Rincon, Paul (2 April 2008). "Astronomers see 'youngest planet'". BBC News. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
    - Highfield, Roger (2 April 2008). "Baby planet found around star HL Tau". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Fred Hoyle Medal and Prize recipients". Awards. Institute of Physics. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Paucity of phosphorus hints at precarious path for extraterrestrial life". Phys.org. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
    - "Alien life may be more unlikely than previously thought, according to new study". The Daily Telegraph. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  4. ^ Perkins, Sid (14 September 2020). "'Curious and unexplained.' Gas spotted in Venus's atmosphere is also spewed by microbes on Earth". Science. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  5. ^ Chang, Kenneth; Stirone, Shannon (22 June 2021). "Life on Venus? The Picture Gets Cloudier". New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2022.

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