French Physicist’s Beautiful Photo Of Proxima Centauri Turns Out To Be A Piece Of Sausage

Earlier this week, French physicist Etienne Klein appeared to post a photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest known star to our own, located about 4.2 light-years away. The photo was beautiful and quickly racked up thousands of likes.

There was just one problem: the photo was actually just some sausage.

As translated by IGN, Klein originally posted the photo with the caption: “Closest photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the sun, located 4.2 light-years from us. It was taken by the [James Webb Space Telescope]. This level of detail… a new world is revealed day after day.”

It was quickly learned that the photo was fake; a scientist’s practical joke.

“Well, when it comes to snack time, cognitive biases seem to have a field day, so watch out for them.” Klein tweeted. “According to contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to the Spanish delicatessen exists anywhere else than on Earth.”

He then warned against disinformation online.

“Seeing certain comments, I feel compelled to point out that the tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri was a form of fun. After this, we must be careful with the arguments of authority as much as with the spontaneous eloquence of certain images”.

If Klein wanted to draw attention to misinformation, then mission accomplished. The tweet was reported in several major publications around the world and continues to make the rounds online.

Fortunately, there are plenty of actual photos of the James Webb Space Telescope, which was successfully deployed on January 24. The telescope’s mission is to see objects too distant and faint for the Hubble Space Telescope. His first image was tweeted by President Biden, and he has subsequently returned other images as well.

For even more space coverage, learn about how Earth recently set a new speed record, as well as the growing space tourism industry.

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