Distant ‘star’ was piece of sausage, admits French physicist


A French scientist has apologized for passing off a slice of chorizo for a distant star spotted with a high-powered telescope.

“I come to present my apologies to those whom my hoax, which had nothing original about it, may have shocked,” reads a tweet from physicist Etienne Klein, which was translated to English on Twitter.

On Sunday, Klein, a research director at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, posted an image of what he said was Proxima Centauri, which is four light years from the sun. Klein claimed the image was taken with the James Webb Space Telescope.

He faux-marveled over the “new world” that telescope had opened up thanks to the unprecedented “level of detail” its photos possess.

The prankster called his posting a “scientist’s joke” and reminded social media users that images aren’t always what they seem.

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on Dec. 25. It was named in honor of James E. Webb, who was the NASA administrator throughout the 1960s, when the space agency experiences some of space exploration’s biggest breakthroughs.

Chorizo is a spicy Spanish cured sausage made from pork. It’s sometimes served with eggs.

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