physicist apologizes for fake photo prank

French physicist Etienne Klein “trolled” his followers on Twitter by sharing an image of a slice of chorizo, claiming that it would be a new image captured by the James Webb telescope.

The director of research at the French Alternative Energy and Atomic Energy Commission decided to make the joke on July 31, according to The HuffPost France.

In the photo’s caption, the scientist stated that it was an image of a Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our Solar System. “This level of detail… A new world is revealed day by day,” tweeted Klein.

The image was widely shared on social media, so Klein posted a tweet apologizing for the joke, calling it a “scientific joke”.

According to Klein, the post was a retelling of an earlier joke by fellow astrophysicist Peter Coles. The physicist adds that although many noticed immediately, “it also took two tweets to clarify”.

“On this type of social network, fake news is always more successful than real news,” Klein told HuffPost.

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