A French physicist posted a photo on social media purportedly taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. Proxima was supposed to represent Centauri – the second star closest to Earth. However, it turns out that the world indulged in a joke that many observers took seriously.
Etienne Klein – the famous director of physics at the French Atomic Energy Commission – shared a “cosmic” photo on Twitter on Sunday. “This image of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, 4.2 light-years away. Captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail… a new world is being discovered every day,” he wrote in the image description on his profile. Viewed by over 91,000 person.
Lots of comments from users who thought the finder appeared under the post.
Meanwhile, it all turned into a joke.
Not a star, but a sausage
Klein later admitted, also via social media, that the photo actually shows…a slice of chorizo sausage on a black background. “According to modern cosmology, there is no ingredient related to Spanish cold meat anywhere other than on Earth,” he admitted.
After he was subjected to thunder for posting the photo, he explained: “In light of some of the comments, I am compelled to point out that this tweet, which shows the alleged image of Proxima Centauri, was a joke.” He called for caution in dealing with content transmitted on the Internet, even by “authorities”.
I finally apologise
In the end, Klein apologized to everyone for his joke. He added that his intention was to “encourage caution with images that appear to speak for themselves”. As compensation, he posted a photo of the Cartwell Wheel Galaxy (ESO 350-G40) and confirmed that the photo was original this time around.
The James Webb Space Telescope is the most powerful telescope ever launched Universe. The device was officially launched on July 12. Its mission is to study the far corners of the universe, including the first galaxies invisible to the human eye from Earth.
Main image source: ESA / Hubble & NASA / Twitter
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