A video showing what seems to be a ball of fire rising from the horizon and moving up towards the sky has been shared by several social media users with a claim that it shows an "artificial sun" developed by China.
However, we found that the video showed the launching of a rocket at the Wenchang Spacecraft launch site in China.
The claims were shared at the back of the news reports talking about a world record set by the experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST) for the longest sustained nuclear fusion at 1,056 seconds. The project, which is often referred to as Chinese "artificial sun", began in 2006 and its ultimate goal is to "provide a steady stream of enery like the sun".
Those sharing the video claim said, "देखिये ऐसे निकला था चीन का 'नकली सूरज'".
[Translation: Look how Chinese artificial sun rose.]
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We conducted a keyword search for "China's artificial sun" and found news reports talking about a nuclear fusion reaction conducted at the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP).
According to a report in the Xinhua News Agency the experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST) nuclear fusion reactor, also known as "artificial sun", created a new world record as it maintained a temperature of 158 million degrees Fahrenheit (70 million degrees Celsius) for 1,056 seconds.
According to news agency IANS, EAST is part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) facility - a collaboration of 35 nations, also comprising India.
EAST is designed to replicate the nuclear fusion process that occurs naturally in the sun and stars to provide almost infinite clean energy through controlled nuclear fusion, which is often dubbed the "artificial sun".
The reactor is kept in an controlled environment and not propelled into the sky.
WHAT ABOUT THE VIDEO?
We extracted keyframes using the InVID WeVerify Google Chrome extension and conducted a reverse image search on some of the keyframes. While going through the results, we found more such posts made on Twitter.
In the comments and replies, people had pointed out that people seen in the video were saying the words "rocket launch" in Chinese. Another user said that the video could be from a rocket launch that took place on 23 December 2021.
Taking a cue from the comments and the location mentioned in the news reports, we conducted a keyword search in Chinese and found a video posted from a similar point of view.
Another video of the launch seen from a distance was found on YouTube.
While we were unable to find the source of the viral video, it is clear that the claims made with the viral video are false. It does not show the 'launch' of an artificial sun by China.