Renowned physicist has apologised over his (most would say) hilarious prank of posting a ‘planet’ photo which was actually piece of chorizo.
A renowned physicist’s joke has slightly backfired after tricking people into believing that an artfully photographed slice of chorizo was actually one of Proxima Centauri, the nearest-known star to the Sun.
Etienne Klein eventually decided to apologise for the prank, humorously saying that "no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth."
It all began when he posted a tweet which said the photograph came from the James Webb Space Telescope. Klein tweeted: “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. She was taken by the JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealed day after day.”
Klein’s tweet sparked plenty of debate, and while some users immediately spotted the image for what it truly was, others fell for the joke hook, line and sinker. One said: "This is a huge step forward.” Another wryly observed that “I can't tell if it's a prank or really proxima that looks like a chorizo.”
But Twitter user Ned Boeuf could see through the joke straight away and said: “Fake, it's a slice of chorizo.”
Not everyone saw the funny side, as another user chimed in: “Coming from a scientific research director, it's quite inappropriate to share this type of thing without specifying from the 1st tweet that it is false information when you know the speed at which a false information spreads."
This prompted Klein to issue his apology: “In view of some comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri was a form of amusement," he tweeted to his 89,200 followers.
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