With its captivating images of far-flung galaxies, it’s safe to say that it has captured the imagination of the world. It was also the subject of a not-so-charming prank recently. On July 31, Étienne Klein, Director of the French Commission for Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy, divided an image he claimed the JWST took of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to the Sun.
“It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope,” Klein told his more than 91,000 Twitter followers. “This attention to detail… Every day a new world is revealed.” Thousands of people took the post at face value and retweeted it without comment.
Photo de Proxima du Centaure, l’étoile la plus proche du Soleil, située à 4.2 année-lumière de nous.
Elle a été Prize par le JWST.
Ce level de details… Un new world se devoile jour après jour. pic.twitter.com/88UBbHDQ7Z
— Etienne KLEIN (@EtienneKlein) July 31, 2022
A few days later, Klein admitted that what he shared was actually a photo of a slice of chorizo against a black background. “In light of certain comments, I feel compelled to point out that this tweet, which allegedly features an image of Proxima Centauri, was a joke,” Klein said . “Let us learn to be as wary of the arguments of authority figures as we are of the spontaneous eloquence of certain images.”
Klein subsequently apologized for the prank and told the French news agency (above Vice) He posted the image to educate the public about the threat of fake news. “I also think if I hadn’t said it was a James Webb photo it wouldn’t have been as successful,” he noted. After all was said and done, Klein shared the most recent image the JWST captured of the Cartwheel Galaxy. This time, he was quick to reassure his followers that the photo was authentic.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team independently from our parent company. Some of our stories contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may receive an affiliate commission.
https://www.engadget.com/james-webb-space-telescope-chorizo-photo-222957990.html?src=rss Physicist trolls James Webb Space Telescope fans with a photo of a chorizo sausage