Proxima Centauri or a slice of salami? The scientist Étienne Klein and the fake star

Many believed that that slice of chorizo ​​was the closest star to the Sun but in reality it was just a “scientist’s joke”

“This is a photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us. It was taken from the Jwst. This level of detail … A new world unfolds day after day ». The fever for the new James Webb space telescope also infects the famous French physicist Étienne Klein. Almost.

In fact, the scientist and historian of science shared those thoughts on Twitter accompanied by a very evocative photo. Of a salami. The image we see above, and which was attached to the twitter shows a slice of chorizo, the sausage with paprika typical of the Iberian Peninsula. In short, nothing further from Proxima Centuari (which is, in fact, 4.2 light years from the salami).

Proxima Centauri or a slice of salami?  The scientist makes fun of the web and warns:

Space salami

In short, a full-blown joke by a man of science but not only. Klein’s tweet received over 2,300 retweets and 15,000 «likes», a sign that many have fallen into the trap. Hence the jab: “When it’s aperitif time”, Klein writes commenting on his tweet, “cognitive biases turn to mad joy … So beware of them. According to contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to Spanish cured meats exists anywhere except on Earth ».


But the joke is not enough and so, during the day, Klein adds to the dose: “In the light of some comments, I feel compelled to clarify that this tweet showing an alleged snapshot of Proxima Centauri it was a joke“. He therefore urges us to exercise critical thinking and not to take for sure everything that is posted even by well-known personalities. Closed story then? Actually no because three days after the first tweet, on August 3, Klein posted an apology message in which he again urges caution and then concludes: “Scherzo da scientist”.

06 August


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About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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