Spanish meat or space star? Scientist's tweet shot of 'distant star' is actually slice of chorizo
Étienne Klein , a physicist and research director at France's Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission , shared the spicy Spanish sausage shot on social media last week, applauding the "level of detail" it provided.
"Picture of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years away from us. It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail ... A new world is unveiled everyday," he posted on Twitter Sunday to more than 91,000 followers.
The first images from the $10 billion telescope – launched Dec. 25, 2021 – went viral throughout July when they were released to the public . The scientific marvel, a joint project involving NASA, the Canadian Space Agency and the European Space Agency, has traveled 1 million miles through space.
A few days after his post, Klein revealed the photo he tweeted was not from the world’s most powerful space telescope. He admitted he tweeted a slice of the reddish, speckled meat.
"When it's time for the aperitif, cognitive biases seem to have a field day … beware, then, of them," he played off in further tweets . "According to contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth."
New space stamp release: James Webb Space Telescope will take flight as a US postage stamp in September
NASA's new telescope images: NASA releases 'sharpest' images of the universe from James Webb Space Telescope
"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 of the spontaneous eloquence of certain images," he wrote, as translated by Google.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund .
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spanish meat or space star? Scientist's tweet shot of 'distant star' is actually slice of chorizo