French Scientist Posts Picture of Sausage Claiming it's a 'Space Telescope Image' of a Distant Star, Apologises

France's love for food is well-known. But sharing a photo of a Spanish delicacy - and then calling it a star left a top scientist embarrassed this week, prompting him to issue an apology to his followers on Twitter.

Étienne Klein, Research Director, The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission or CEA, last week shared a picture on the microblogging site and gave quite an elaborate description, which many ended up believing.

'This Level of Detail...A New World is Unveiled Everyday'

Etienne Klein
The image tweeted by Etienne Klein on Twitter. Twitter

He said the image was taken by the James Webb Telescope. "Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail... A new world is unveiled everyday," read his post, roughly translated from French.

The James Webb Space Telescope is the largest optical telescope in space and its greatly improved infrared resolution and sensitivity allow it to view objects too early, distant, or faint for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Klein Issues Apology After Realizing the Image was of a Slice of Sausage

But, as Klein later revealed, the picture was not of the intriguing star just over four light-years from the Sun but a far more modest slice of the Spanish sausage chorizo.

"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. Let us learn to be wary of arguments from authority as much as of the spontaneous eloquence of certain images....," tweeted Klein on August 1.

On Wednesday, he finally apologised, and added that he intended "to urge caution regarding images that seem to speak for themselves." "I come to present my apologies to those whom my hoax, which had nothing original about it, may have shocked," read his tweet, roughly translated from French.

"Well yes, people fell into the trap because it was a scientist who made the comment," read a post. Another user pointed out that the image was shared earlier too. "However, this joke is old, made during the lunar eclipse of July 27, 2018," the post read.

Related topics : Space