Top scientist goes viral after admitting his "space telescope image" was actually a slice of chorizo

Publish Date
Friday, 12 August 2022, 3:44PM

A French scientist has had to apologise after he shared a photo of a slice of chorizo, claiming it was an image of a distant star taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

Étienne Klein posted the image of the spicy Spanish sausage on Twitter last week, praising 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 every day," he wrote alongside the image on Sunday.

While the post was retweeted and commented upon by thousands of users, who took the scientist by his word, things, however, were not quite as they seemed.

Klein later admitted that the image was, in fact, a close-up of a slice of chorizo taken against a black background.

"Well, when it's cocktail hour, cognitive bias seems to find plenty to enjoy... Beware of it.

"According to contemporary cosmology, no object related to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere else other than on Earth," he said.

After facing a backlash from members of the online community for the prank, Klein apologised for the hoax.