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Video Showing a Rocket Launch Shared as 'Artificial Sun' Made by China

The video showed the launch of a rocket at the Wenchang Spacecraft launch site in China.

Published
WebQoof
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Fact-Check | Video shows the launching of a rocket and not an 'artificial sun'.</p></div>
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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".

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CLAIM

Those sharing the video claim said, "देखिये ऐसे निकला था चीन का 'नकली सूरज'".

[Translation: Look how Chinese artificial sun rose.]

<div class="paragraphs"><p>An archive of the post can be found <a href="https://perma.cc/CD9D-NNRZ">here</a>.&nbsp;</p></div>

An archive of the post can be found here

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

The video was also shared with an English caption that read, "China debuted a new artificial sun".

Archives of more such posts on Facebook can be found here and here.

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.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST)</p></div>

The experimental advanced superconducting tokamak (EAST)

(Photo: IANS)

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.

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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.

We found news reports of launch of the Long March-7A rocket on 23 December.

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.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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