Have you seen this stunning image of Proxima Centauri taken online this week by the James Webb Space Telescope? Sorry, you were deceived. This photo doesn’t depict the closest star to our sun; it’s just a piece of sausage.
Last weekend, French physicist Étienne Klein post(opens in new window) An image on Twitter and claims that the space telescope took an image of Proxima Centauri 4.2 light-years away.
The image appears to show the reddish surface of a nearby star in a close-up view not possible with other telescopes. “This level of detail…a new world is being revealed day in and day out,” Klein tweeted.However, the French scientist later tweeted two other posts(opens in new window) Arguably the image is a hoax meant to warn people of “cognitive bias”.
He added: “According to contemporary cosmology, there are no objects on Earth that belong to Spanish deli.”
Klein wasn’t alone in posting the prank pictures. Before Klein’s tweet, astrophysicist Peter Coles made a similar joke with the same image: “These #JWST images are getting better and better…” he tweeted in his own post. wrote in the tweet.
Still, not everyone realizes they’re staring at a slice of sausage instead of a star. Klein’s alleged image of Proxima Centauri was retweeted 1,700 times and attracted more than 12,500 likes.
In a bid to stem the misinformation, Klein posted another tweet Wednesday, making it clear that the image was fake (though the original tweet still exists). “I came to apologise to those who may have been shocked by a hoax without any originality,” Klein wrote(opens in new window). His goal is to urge the public to be cautious about fake news.
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“I also don’t think it would have been as successful if I hadn’t said it was a James Webb picture,” he said. Tell(opens in new window) French publication Happy Point.
What the astronomers are doing doesn’t help the matter share(opens in new window) From real photos taken by the James Webb Space Telescope on Twitter, it can be hard to tell what’s official and what’s not. So it’s always a good idea to look for the original source of the image.Also follow the official James Space Webb Telescope account(opens in new window) Get the latest photos on Twitter.
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