Fact Check: Did China launch artificial sun into space?

The viral video shows a group of people watching as a ball of light shoots into the sky and claims that this was the launch of an artificial sun into space by China.

By Misha Rajani  Published on  11 Jan 2022 12:56 PM GMT
Fact Check: Did China launch artificial sun into space?

Hyderabad: A video claiming to show China launching its much-awaited 'artificial sun' is viral on YouTube, Twitter, and other platforms.

The video shows a group of people watching as a ball of light shoots into the sky and claims that this was the launch of an artificial sun into space by China.

Many social media platforms have captioned the video, "China launched their artificial sun."




Fact Check:

While it is true that China did test its "artificial sun", the viral video does not show this launch.

The "artificial sun" experiment took place at the Hefei Institute of Physical Science in Anhui, China for about 17 minutes. The project sustained a nuclear fusion reaction for more than 17 minutes and the superheated plasma reached 126 million degrees Fahrenheit (roughly five times hotter than the sun).

Various news reports carry details and pictures of this experiment highlighting that the experiment took place at the Hefei Institute of Physical Science, and not in space as seen in the viral video.

(Source: NDTV, Republic World, Down to Earth, News 18)

Mete Sohtaoğlu, a journalist and researcher, shared a few more images of the Chinese "artificial sun."


It should be noted that the EAST reactor is often referred to as an "artificial sun" not because it is a literal "sunlike" object being launched into the sky but because it replicates the fusion processes that occur within stars. The EAST reactor is a large, ground-based structure. (Source: News Week)

With regards to the viral video, a similar video was published by the account Proven Facts on YouTube. The caption includes keywords such as "spaceX launch today channel | space x rocket launch today." SpaceX and other similar nighttime launches show a similar "fireball" being launched into space, such as the Falcon 9 rocket that was launched in 2015.



In the viral "artificial sun" video, one can see the exhaust trail left behind by the rocket as it is being launched. This trail of exhaust gasses matches the launch of satellites Shiyan-12-01 and Shiyan-12-02 on board a Chang Zheng 7A rocket.


Clearly, the viral video does not show China's recent launch of its "artificial sun".

Claim Review:Video claiming to show China launching its ‘artificial sun’
Claimed By:Social media users
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Social media
Claim Fact Check:False
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