Have you seen the magnificent photo of Proxima Centauri sent to the internet this week by the James Webb Space Telescope? I apologize; you were tricked. The image just shows a bit of chorizo; it does not show the star that is closest to our Sun.

The 4.2 light-years away Proxima Centauri was purportedly captured in a photograph posted on Twitter over the weekend by French physicist Tienne Klein posted (Opens in a new window) .

Tweet (Opens in a new window) The image appears to provide a close-up glimpse of the nearest stars’ red surfaces that no other telescope has ever managed. This level of specificity Every day a new universe is exposed, Klein stated in the tweet. The French scientist later added two other posts (Opens in a new window) to the tweet to clarify that the image was a hoax meant to alert people about cognitive biases.

According to modern cosmology, only Earth is the only place where items from Spanish charcuterie may be found.

The hoax photograph wasn’t just posted by Klein. Astrophysicist Peter Coles made a similar joke with the same image before Klein did, writing in his own tweet, “These #JWST images simply get better and better.”

Tweet (Opens in a new window) However, not everyone was aware that they were gazing at a sausage rather than a star. Over 12,500 people liked Klein’s alleged photo of Proxima Centauri, which has been shared 1,700 times.

Klein published another tweet on Wednesday indicating the image is a fake in order to stop the disinformation (though the original tweet remains). I’m here to apologize to everybody who was stunned by my hoax, which was completely unoriginal, Klein wrote (Opens in a new window) . His intention was to warn the public about the dangers of false information.

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I also believe that it would not have been as effective if I hadn’t identified it as a James-Webb photograph, according to the French newspaper Le Point.

The fact that astronomers have been posting actual photos acquired by the James Webb Space Telescope on Twitter, which can make it difficult to distinguish between official and unofficial images, is not helping the situation. Therefore, it is always a good idea to find the photographs’ original source. For the most recent images, you may also follow the James Space Webb Telescope account (Opens in a new window) on Twitter.

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