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China hit headlines last week after switching on their ‘artificial sun’ for its first test and, spoiler alert, it was very hot. However, considering the fast-pace social media world we live in, the incident got majorly misconstrued across the internet.
A number of images and videos of what looks like a ball of light and gas went viral, with users claiming China had actually launched its recent experiment into the sky.
One video, which has been retweeted over 20,000 times, pictures a bright light ascending into the air followed by billows of smoke, with a crowd of onlookers on the beach avidly capturing the moment on their phones.
The posts have since been debunked, as they reportedly picture a completely different event – the launch of a Chinese rocket a few weeks prior.
Snopes reports that the video is likely to be from a launch from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang, Hainan, China.
Another viral video, captioned ‘the moment China launched the artificial sun, as night turned into day’, shows a similar ball of light, with its ascension taking place at night.
Twitter users commented on the event, with many frightened by the possibility of a fake sun.
One said: “If they don’t stop this sh*t before the end of the world.”
Another replied: “This is legit scary.”
A third joked: “Now why in the hell would y’all want more day time.”
A fourth pondered: “This looks dangerous on the environment. What if that thing collides with the real sun.”
Of course, any tech-savvy social media users took the opportunity to mock those who actually believed the fake news.
One sarcastically commented: “Yeah, I’m in China, this is 100% real. It’s winter so the extra sun has been pretty sweet, little dimmer and more yellow than the old one, but I hear they’re working on it.”
Another wrote: “We all have the same internet, just look into it and lets share info.”
China’s actual experiment, which remains firmly on the ground at a nuclear fusion facility in Shanghai, is designed to hopefully one day create 'unlimited clean energy'.
The machine managed to reach temperatures of up to 70 million degrees Celsius.
To understand just how hot that is, our Sun, the one that Earth rotates around in the solar system, only burns at roughly 15 million degrees C.
That means China's EAST machine can burn almost five times hotter than the thing that is literally keeping everyone on Earth alive.
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