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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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Scientist’s Webb ‘Space Telescope’ Pic Turns Out To Be Delicious Hoax



Those kooky astrophysicists and their madcap hijinks!

A French scientist punked the internet Sunday with a tweet of what he said was a picture of a distant star taken by the James Webb Space Telescope, only to admit later it was really just a slice of chorizo.

“Picture of Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years away from us,” Étienne Klein, director of France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, told his nearly 100,000 Twitter followers. “It was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. This level of detail… A new world is unveiled everyday.”

Thousands commented on the flaming red image against a black background before Klein came clean about the piece of spicy Spanish sausage that would go great with a piece of the Moon, were it made of green cheese.

“Well, when it’s cocktail hour, cognitive bias seems to find plenty to enjoy…” he wrote. “Beware of it. According to contemporary cosmology, no object related to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere else other than on Earth.”

Klein apologized Wednesday for the hoax, saying he only meant “to urge caution regarding images that seem to speak for themselves.”

The Webb telescope, the most powerful ever launched into space, began scouring the universe on July 12. Scientists believe it will allow them to observe some of the first galaxies created by the Big Bang.

Last month, just days after the telescope began sending images back to Earth, it helped scientists discover a galaxy so old it predates the previously oldest known galaxy by roughly 100 million years. The newly-discovered galaxy has been named GLASS-z13, and it came into existence just 300 million years after the Big Bang, which occurred nearly 14 billion years ago.

“JWST has potentially smashed records, spotting a galaxy which existed when the universe was a mere 300 million years old!” former NASA scientist James O’Donoghue enthused. “The light from GLASS-z13 took 13.4 billion years to hit us, but the distance between us is now 33 billion light years due to the expansion of the universe!”

Hank Berrien contributed to this report.





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