It there’s one group of people we tend to look up to when it comes to telling the truth, it’s astrophysicsts, which is why this latest prank pulled by French scientist Etienne Klein – director of research at France’s Atomic Energy Commission – didn’t go down particularly well.
It all started on July 31st when Klein posted a photograph on his Twitter account showing what he claimed to be a photograph of Proxima Centauri taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
“Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light-years from us,” he wrote. “It was taken by the JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealing itself day by day.”
His followers were initially wowed by the detail in the photograph – that was, at least, until it was revealed that the image didn’t show Proxima Centauri at all.
The object in the picture was in fact a slice of sausage meat.
Unsurprisingly, this revelation did not go down very well and Klein was ultimately forced to apologize.
He also indicated that the prank had sought to encourage people “to be wary of arguments from people in positions of authority as well as the spontaneous eloquence of certain images.”