A scientist passes chorizo ​​for a star

It was pretty well seen. French researcher Etienne Klein, who notably presents a science program on France Culture, posted an image on his Twitter account purporting to be Proxima Centauri, photographed by the James Webb Space Telescope. Except that the most attentive Internet users quickly saw that it was a slice of chorizo.

The resemblance to a star was however well found, even if the images sent to us by the space telescope are much more beautiful and above all sharper than this close-up of spicy charcuterie. Some have even gotten caught up in it. But the director of research at the Commissariat for Atomic Energy (CEA) then put things to the point: “According to contemporary cosmology, no object relating to Spanish charcuterie exists elsewhere than on Earth. In view of some comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri was a form of amusement. Let us learn to be wary of arguments from authority as much as the spontaneous eloquence of certain images…”, as relayed by the HuffPost.

Some pointed out that this gag had already been done on the Web long before while others were offended that a scientific authority could similarly have fun spreading false information. So much so that Etienne Klein felt compelled to apologise: “I come to apologize to those whom my hoax, which was in no way original, may have shocked. He simply wanted to urge caution with images that seem eloquent on their own.” Between the art of the joke and the pig, some get lost, while others were treated to a good slice of fun.

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