French scientist Etienne Klein used his Twitter account to apologize for a post in which he claimed that a slice of salami was actually a photo of the star Proxima Centauri, captured by the James Webb telescope.
On Sunday, July 31, Klein posted a photo of a slice of salami on a black background, claiming it was a new image of the star closest to the Sun.
“Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light-years from us. It was taken by JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealed day after day,” she wrote.
Days later, Klein said the post was “a form of fun.”
After gaining repercussion, his followers said that, because he was a public figure, the joke would become a “giant” on the Internet.
“The joke is funny. But when it’s published by you, it becomes huge! Your name provides a guarantee so you don’t have to verify the information! one user wrote.
The scientist then made another publication on August 3 to explain the situation and said that it was a measure to “encourage care”, since false images circulate on social networks.
“I come to apologize to those who may have been offended by my unoriginal mistake. I simply wanted to urge caution regarding images that look convincing on their own,” he tweeted.
Je viens présenter mes excuses à ceux que mon canular, qui n’avait rien d’original, a pu chamar. 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 # Astronomy via @LePoint
— Etienne KLEIN (@EtienneKlein) August 3, 2022
The “Proxima Centauri” does indeed exist. It is a red dwarf approximately 4.22 light-years away, found in the constellation Centaur. Due to its low magnitude, the star cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Source: CNN Brasil