Etienne Klein, a famous physicist and director at France’s Commission on Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy, shared a photo of the spicy Spanish sausage on Twitter last week, praising the “level of detail” it provided.
“This image of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, is located 4.2 light-years away from us. It was captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail…a new world is being revealed every day,” he told him further. From 91,000 followers on Sunday.
The post was retweeted and commented on by thousands of users, who took the world at their words.
However, things were not what they seemed.
Klein later admitted in a follow-up series of tweets that the photo was, in fact, a close-up of a slice of chorizo taken against a black background.
“Well, when it’s cocktail hour, cognitive bias seems to find plenty to enjoy…beware of that. According to contemporary cosmology, there is no being associated with Spanish charcuterie anywhere other than on Earth”
After facing a backlash from members of the online community to the joke, he wrote, “In light of some of the comments, I feel compelled to determine that this tweet showing an purported photo of Proxima Centauri was a joke. Let’s learn to be wary of arguments from positions of authority as much as rhetoric. spontaneity of certain images.
On Wednesday, Klein apologized for the hoax, saying his intention was to “urge caution with regard to images that appear to speak for themselves.”
In an effort to make up for it, he posted a photo of the amazing Cartwheel Galaxy, assuring followers that the image is original this time around.
The Webb Telescope, the most powerful telescope ever launched into space, officially began its science operations on July 12. It will be able to look inside the envelopes of exoplanets and observe some of the first galaxies created after the universe began by viewing them through infrared light. It is invisible to the human eye.
CNN’s Amandine Hess, Xiaofei Xu and Joseph Attaman contributed to this report.