Being a scientist doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of humor. This was demonstrated by Étienne Klein, a renowned French physicist director of the French Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies. He recently posted on Twitter a photo of the star Proxima Centauri, taken with the James Webb Space Telescope.
In the tweet, he wrote: “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. The level of detail… a new world is revealed to us every day.” However, the scientist’s joke was soon discovered and people quickly realized that it was a piece of sausage.
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The scientist had to apologize publicly for his joke, but added that it was an attempt to make people aware of the dangers of “fake news”. Currently anyone with authority in his field can fool many people with just one publication, even if he is someone of prestige, and that is what Klein was trying to demonstrate.
Underneath his original tweet, he wrote: “I come to apologize to those who may have been shocked by my joke, which was not at all original. Let us learn to distrust the arguments of authority, like the spontaneous eloquence of certain images”.
The physicist closed: “According to contemporary cosmology, Spanish delicatessens do not exist anywhere other than on Earth.” To be fair to the Frenchman, the images that arrive from the telescope have a detail never seen before and it can be hard to tell the difference between a real photo and something edited or doctored.
Many joined the French initiative and provided their own “scientific evidence.”
Elon Musk joked about NASA images
To be fair to the Frenchman, the images that come from the telescope have a detail never seen before and it can be difficult to tell the difference between a real photo and something edited or doctored. Elon Musk posted a meme comparing the images of the stars to a black granite marble.
Recent images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which cost 8.4 billion pounds, have revealed some of the most detailed moments of the early universe, with parts dating back more than 13 billion years.