No, James Webb Did Not Spot A Distant Star Made Of Sausage
The initial response to Klein’s tweet was definitely that of amazement. That level of detail on a celestial object so far away from us spoke volumes about the true power of the James Webb Space Telescope, and the wonders of the universe we’re a part of. Only a little later did Klein reveal that what we were seeing was not, in fact, Proxima Centauri at all. It was, in reality, a slice of chorizo. Delicious, most likely; prone to record-setting stellar flares, not so much.
Unsurprisingly, many users were fooled by Klein’s little joke, which the scientist claims was the whole purpose of his “experiment.” Klein later told Le Point, a French news outlet, that his goal was to show the masses that you shouldn’t always believe in everything you read, or see, on the news. The fact that Klein is normally such a credible source only gave this more weight, because if you can’t trust a renowned physicist, who can you really trust?
Klein came clean on Twitter with another joke. “According to contemporary cosmology,” he tweeted, “no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth.” Whether it was meant as a lesson or not, it’s certainly good to know that JWST is not busying itself by taking photos of Spanish sausages. It’s also nice to (kind of) confirm that Proxima Centauri is, in all likelihood, not made of sausage.
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