- Etienne Klein posted a photo on Twitter of what he claimed to be the closest star to the Sun.
- The photo was actually a picture of a spicy Spanish sausage called chorizo.
- Klein later apologized for the joking post, warning readers of “cognitive bias”.
A French scientist has apologized after posting a photo on Twitter that he claimed was a picture of a red star, but was in fact a shot of spicy Spanish sausage.
“Image of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light-years away from us. Captured by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail…a new world is being unveiled every day,” CNN reported Physicist Etienne Klein told his followers on Sunday.
—Etienne Klein July 31, 2022
In fact, the image was an enlarged image of a slice of chorizo, a type of smoked pork sausage.
Less than an hour later, he sent the scientist back in to explain the joke and added, “Well, when it’s cocktail hour, it seems cognitive bias finds much to enjoy… Beware of that. According to contemporary cosmology, nothing related to Spanish charcuterie is present in any A place other than Earth.
The viral tweet sparked a variety of reactions – some expressed disbelief or immediately grabbed the joke, while others Criticize Director of Research at France’s Commission on Alternative Energy and Atomic Energy for his timing and abuse of his power.
“In light of some of the comments, I feel compelled to determine that this tweet showing an purported photo of Proxima Centauri was a joke,” Klein added In a later post. “Let us learn to be wary of arguments from positions of authority as much as the spontaneous rhetoric of certain images.”
Klein did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.