A French scientist on Wednesday apologized for tweeting a photo of spicy Spanish sausage and captioning it to be an image of a distant star taken from NASA’s most powerful observatory – the James Webb Space Telescope, photos.
Physicist and director of France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission Étienne Klein shared the sausage image on Twitter last week, praising the “level of detail” it provided.
“Picture of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years away from us. It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail… a new world is unveiled every day,” Klein tweeted.
International media reported that thousands of users who believed the scientist retweeted and commented on the post.
However, Klein admitted later in follow-up tweets that the image was, in fact, “a close-up of a slice of chorizo taken against a black background.”
“In view of certain comments, I feel obliged to specify that this tweet showing an alleged picture of Proxima Centauri was a joke. Let’s learn to be wary of the arguments from positions of authority as much as the spontaneous eloquence of certain images,” Klein said after facing a backlash from his 91,000 followers for the prank.
Klein said his intention was “to urge caution regarding images that seem to speak for themselves.”
On the same day, Klein posted an image of the spectacular Cartwheel galaxy, assuring his followers that the picture was genuine, taken by the most powerful telescope ever launched into space.
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