December 9, 2022
A famous scientist apologizes for publishing a picture of Salami and says she is a star |  Sciences

A famous scientist apologizes for publishing a picture of Salami and says she is a star | Sciences

Etienne Klein, a French scientist who heads the research department of the French Atomic Energy Commission, posted on Twitter an image he said was the closest star to the Sun captured by the powerful James Webb Telescope lens.

The post, which has already exceeded 17,000 likes, showed his 92,000 followers what a reddish planet might look like, with white and orange nebulae on a black background.

But it was just a big joke. The photo was of an Iberian salami chorizo.

tweet (see below in French) It read: “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.”

The scientist apologized for the “gotcha” and said it was a way of questioning the credibility of expert voices on social media and what he saw as checking for shaky content.

“In light of some of the comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet featuring an alleged photo of Proxima Centauro was a form of entertainment. Let’s learn not to trust both the authorities’ arguments and the spontaneous rhetoric of some of the photos…” he wrote.

He added, “Well, at snack time, cognitive biases seem to find something to have fun with…so be careful with it. According to contemporary cosmology, no being belongs to the Spanish charcuterie, except for the Earth.”

Klein, a physicist and philosopher of science, told the French portal Le Point that it was “the first time I’ve ever made a joke on this web as a figure with a scientific authority. The good news is that some immediately understood the lie, though it also took two tweets to fully explain.” “.

He said it was an experiment and that the reaction to the post “illustrates the fact that fake news is always more successful on these types of social media than real news.”

The scientist believed that if he had not attached the image of salami to the James Webb telescope, “it would not have been so successful.”

Image from space – Image: Reuters via BBC

James Webb, launched on December 25 last year, cost $10 billion (about R$53 billion) and is the successor to the famous Hubble Space Telescope.

In July, the image was released that is the deepest and most detailed infrared view of the universe to date, containing galactic light that took billions of years to reach us.

The telescope will make several types of sky observations, but the two main goals are to explore distant planets to see if they are habitable.