A French scientist has apologized after posting a photo on Twitter that he claimed was taken by the James Webb telescope. The scientist said it was a photo of a star, but it turned out to be a slice of chorizo.
Étienne Klein, a world-renowned scientist and director of the French nuclear commissioner CEA, shared the photo of the chorizo last week.
“A photo of Proxima Centauri, a star closest to the sun, about 4.2 light-years away. This image was taken by the James Webb telescope. These details… A new world is discovered every day” , the scientist wrote to his 91,000 followers.
Nothing turned out to be less true, but by now his thousands of followers had taken over the Tweet or responded to it. Klein later said in a few subsequent messages that it was not a star, but a slice of Spanish sausage. “As soon as it cocktail hour it seems cognitive bias (systematic fallacies that people make when forming a judgment) can do its job just fine… Beware of that. According to contemporary cosmology, an object related to Spanish charcuterie exists only on Earth,” the scientist joked.
But not all his followers could laugh at this. After multiple angry messages, Klein wrote: “Given the comments I’m getting, I feel compelled to specify that this tweet featuring the alleged photo of Proxima Centauri was a joke.” He later also apologized, explaining that he wanted to warn about the way people sometimes believe things right away.