An eminent French physicist has issued an apology after confessing that a photo of a “distant star” that he had posted on Twitter was basically a chunk of chorizo pork sausage and not a picture taken by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The photo had created a buzz after the scientist posted it.
On the 31st of July, Etienne Klein, the research director of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, shared the picture to his more than 90,000 followers on Twitter and stated that it was a new shot taken by the Webb telescope displaying the star that is nearest to our Sun.
Je viens présenter mes excuses à ceux que mon canular, qui n’avait rien d’original, a pu choquer. Il voulait simplement inciter à la prudence vis-à-vis des images qui semblent éloquentes par elles-mêmes.
La blague d'un scientifique https://t.co/wHiJWxscxq #Astronomie via @LePoint
— Etienne KLEIN (@EtienneKlein) August 3, 2022
I come to present my apologies to those whom my hoax, which had nothing original about it, may have shocked. It simply wanted to urge caution with images that seem eloquent on their own. A scientist’s joke lepoint.fr/tiny/1-2485344 #Astronomy via @LePoint
The researcher apologized a few days later for disseminating false news that misled quite a lot of people and said that the tweet was only a joke that was meant to caution his followers to be wary with photographs viewed online. This came after the scientist received severe feedback in response to his post.
Additionally, Klein tweeted Webb’s latest breathtaking photograph of the Cartwheel Galaxy, reassuring his followers that the picture was genuine this time.
Photo de Proxima du Centaure, l’étoile la plus proche du Soleil, située à 4,2 année-lumière de nous.
Elle a été prise par le JWST.
Ce niveau de détails… Un nouveau monde se dévoile jour après jour. pic.twitter.com/88UBbHDQ7Z
— Etienne KLEIN (@EtienneKlein) July 31, 2022
Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. She was taken by the JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealed day after day.
The James Webb Space Telescope was successfully launched into space in December of 2021, and on July 12th, 2022, it started its mission of conducting scientific observations. It is now the biggest optical telescope in orbit, and it is utilizing its extraordinary imaging capabilities to take pioneering photographs in the fields of astronomy and cosmology. These images include views of the atmospheres of extrasolar planets, as well as images of the first stars and galaxies that were produced at the beginning of the universe.