A French scientist has apologized after claiming that a photo of a slice of Spanish chorizo really belongs to Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the sun.
On Sunday, physicist Étienne Klein tweeted a photo of a round red object on a black background that he claimed was taken with the James Webb Space Telescope.
“This level of detail… A new world is revealed every day,” he wrote in the tweet, which can be seen below.
Less than an hour later, Klein posted another tweet where he suggested that his followers beware of ‘cognitive biases’ and noted that ‘according to’ contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to Spanish cured meats exists anywhere but on Earth.”
A few hours later, Klein admitted to posting the original picture of the worst star “as a form of entertainment”, and tried to turn the joke into a teaching moment by saying: “Let us learn to be wary of arguments from authority.”
On Tuesday, Klein posted a photo that was actually taken with the James Webb Space Telescope, promising it was REAL this time.
Klein officially apologized on Wednesday for the “scientist’s joke” and said he only wanted to encourage caution about believing images that seemed too good to be true.
Many Twitter users begrudgingly admired Klein’s “chorizo star” message.