Etienne Klein, scientist, apologizes for the false post that misidentified CHORIZO as Proxima Centauri. – Techno Trenz

The image, which a prominent French scientist claimed belonged to NASA’s new space observatory but was actually a piece of chorizo, prompted him to apologize. The research director of the French Atomic Energy Commission is the respected Etienne Klein.

Last Sunday, July 31, he tweeted that with the latest James Webb Space Telescope he had obtained the most amazing image of the star Proxima Centauri. According to the image, it shows a bright red ball of cosmic energy raging across the surface of a nearby star and covered in bright solar flares.

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The closest star to the Sun, Proxima Centauri, was described in a tweet as being 4.2 light-years away. JWST kidnapped her. At this level of detail, a new world is constantly being discovered.


The image resembled famous images of the Sun taken with the European Space Agency’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI), which records deep solar flares on the outer side of the Sun 75 million miles away. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to Earth, at a distance of 5.9 trillion miles.

While most Twitter users seemed to be able to tell that the image posted by the famous scientist was actually a piece of Spanish chorizo, some were more gullible.

Someone posted a photo of the star and added: “The last photo of Proxima Centauri was like this. This is significant progress.


Another person commented, “I can’t figure out if this is a joke or if Proxima really looks like chorizo. The image was fake, according to a third: “It’s a slice of chorizo.”

After this “hoax post”, a social media buzz quickly began on Twitter.

“Coming from the director of research, it is completely inappropriate to share such things without indicating in the first tweet that this is false information when you know the speed at which false information is spreading,” one user commented.

Indeed, there has been a loss of resolution, which makes the joke more believable and therefore more toxic,” wrote another.

According to Klein, the joke was simply meant to inspire people to be critical and to refrain from willingly accepting seductive images from those in positions of power. He admitted that some viewers didn’t understand his joke, so he sent an apology letter on August 4.

According to Klein, “I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged image of Proxima Centauri was a form of fun in light of some of the comments. Let’s learn to be skeptical of authoritative arguments in the same way that one should be skeptical of the impromptu eloquence of some images.



“Well, cognitive biases seem to have a field day when it’s time for an aperitif… So be careful with them. According to modern cosmology, not a single piece of Spanish sausage exists anywhere else, he continued.

I came to apologize to those who may have been shocked by my joke, which had nothing original in it, he wrote in another post, called “a scientist’s joke.”


Prior to this, he published a “REAL This Time” image of the Chariotwheel Galaxy and its surrounding galaxies taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. “Located 500 million light-years away, it was undoubtedly spiral in its past, but took on this strange appearance after a violent cluster of galaxies,” the image caption reads.


Famous people were known to issue humorous puns before Klein. Elon Musk joked about NASA by posting a meme on Twitter the previous month poking fun at JWST by contrasting an image of space with a granite kitchen countertop.


This article includes comments submitted online by both individuals and organizations. MEAWW cannot independently verify them and does not endorse any statements or opinions expressed on the Internet.


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