August 8, 2022

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The prestigious French scientist who had to apologize for presenting a star who was actually a piece of sausage

The prestigious French scientist who had to apologize for presenting a star who was actually a piece of sausage

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  • BBC News World

image source, Etienne Klein


A picture of a sausage that the French scientist jokingly published as if it were a star captured by the James Webb Telescope.

A reddish planet, with white and orange nebulae on a black background. That was a picture of the closest star to the sun, taken by the James Webb Telescope, which two weeks ago painted the most detailed images we know of the universe.

Etienne Klein, the French scientist who heads the research department at the French Atomic Energy Commission, posted the photo on his Twitter account, which has 92,000 followers.

The text of the original tweet, shared above, reads:

“Image of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light-years away from us. Captured by JWST. This level of detail…a new world is being revealed day by day.”

This post has more than 14,000 likes and 2,000 retweets. It got to such an uproar on social media that Klein felt compelled to admit the truth.

Actually it was picture a piece of chorizo.

That joke, for which the world apologized, was a way to question the credibility that netizens ascribe to expert voices and the fragile verification of content on social networks.

In light of some of the comments, I am compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged shot of Proxima Centauri was a form of a leak. Let’s learn not to trust From the arguments for the authority and spontaneous rhetoric of certain images…”, posted.

educational goal

Klein, a physicist and philosopher of science, explained to the French portal Le Point what his intention was to publish: “This is the first time I have done a joke When I’m on this network as a scholarly reference figure. The good news is that some immediately understood the hoax, although it also took two tweets to clear it up.”

As if it were an experiment, he asserted, the reaction “illustrates the fact that in this type of social network, fake news is always more successful than real news.”

And the scientist saw that if he did not associate the image of the sausage with the James Webb Telescope “It will not be very successful“.

image source, Reuters

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on December 25, 2021 and is the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope.

It is expected to make all kinds of observations of the sky, but it should achieve two main goals: to take pictures of the first stars that brightened in the universe more than 13.5 billion years ago, and to discover distant planets to see if they can. be habitable.

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