French scientist, Étienne Klein, is a celebrated physicist and director at France’s Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.

He recently shared an image of a distant star taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.

He captioned the post “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. She was taken by the JWST. This level of detail… A new world is revealed day after day.”

Thousands of space fans commented on the post commending the scientist, but things were not all what they seemed.

Klein admitted later in a series of follow-up tweets that the image was, in fact, a close-up of a slice of chorizo taken against a black background.

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“Well, when it’s cocktail hour, cognitive bias seem to find plenty to enjoy… Beware of it. According to contemporary cosmology, no object related to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere else other than on Earth,” he said.

After facing a backlash from members of the online community for the prank, he wrote: “In view of certain comments, I feel obliged to specify that this tweet showing an alleged picture of Proxima Centauri was a joke. “Let’s learn to be wary of the arguments from positions of authority as much as the spontaneous eloquence of certain images.”

Here's one of our favourite moments from Robin Terry & Kip!