SANTIAGO, CHILE –
A little known astronomer working at the Santiago De Postale Observatory caused a worldwide uproar in the scientific community today when astronomers mistook his red lifesaver candy on the lens of a powerful telescope for an image of a black hole billions of miles away.
“You’ve got be kidding me,” said Professor Martin Van Sleiman of the University of Glent. “I just applied for a 200,000 grant to study a chunk of sugar? My career is over!”
The astronomer, Luis Borges Johannes, was standing on some scaffolding polishing the telescope’s massive refractor lens last Tuesday when he decided he wanted to save the piece of candy he was sucking on to enjoy when he was finished.
“I looked for somewhere to put the candy but didn’t want to get any dust on it, so the glass was the perfect place.”
“Normally when I put a candy on the lens, I clean it with my shirt sleeve after I remove it,” he said. “But I got a call on the radio from my boss and forgot all about the candy and went downstairs.”
After Mr. Johannes emptied the wastebasket in the restroom as his supervisor had asked, he didn’t think about the lifesaver again until the ghostly images began appearing on the telescope monitors.
“At first, I thought ‘My God! It’s a Black Hole!’ But later, after my boss sent the image to the all the newspapers, I realized what it was. Of course, it was all a big mistake.”
As astrophysicists and astronomers around the world grappled with the heart-breaking news that they had not seen an image of the most fascinating and elusive object in the cosmos, but instead, a cherry-flavored piece of hard candy containing 15 calories, many were despondent.
“I feel as if I have a black hole in my stomach,” said the observatory’s Chief Astronomer, Professor Heinrich Schkurwagon, who had shared the news with the world. To which Mr. Johannes replied, “That’s alright. Here, have a lifesaver. You’ll feel better.”
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