“I want to apologize to those who may have been shocked by my hoax, which was nothing original. I simply wanted to urge caution about images that – it seems – speak for themselves,” the physicist and philosopher of science tweeted on Wednesday.

Late last week, Klein posted a close-up shot of a chorizo ​​slice against a black background on the same social network. “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the star closest to the Sun,” he wrote in the post, saying the photo was taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. It was sent into space by the American space agency NASA together with partners from Europe and Canada, and in July it published the first images from the device, including the breathtaking Carina Nebula or a view of a cluster of galaxies.

“Such details… Every day we discover a new world,” the physicist wrote on the image of the sausage.

The red color of the pepper chorizo ​​and the white to dark red bits of meat and fat confused many people who saw them as a red-hot star. Hundreds of people commented on the post and it was shared by thousands — far more than the actual images from the space telescope that Klein shared.

“I was surprised by the impact it took. I thought people would immediately notice that it was a fake image,” Klein told AFP, adding that the photo was unironically shared by journalists from major French stations. The physicist insists he didn’t mean to make fun of anyone; just to spread awareness of how easy it is to fall for false information.