No, this isn’t footage of China launching a fake sun into space – PolitiFact

Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.

We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute


Viral image

stated on January 11, 2022 in an Instagram post:

Video shows China launching an “artificial sun” into space.

false

false

Ciara O'Rourke

No, this isn’t footage of China launching a fake sun into space

If Your Time is short

  • A nuclear fusion reactor in China known as an “artificial sun” recently set a record for sustained high temperatures, but this happened indoors. Footage circulating online of a glowing orb rising in the sky actually shows a rocket launch in the country, not a fake sun. 

A video that’s being shared on social media shows a crowd of people gathered on a beach and holding their phones in the air to record a glowing orb rising in the distance. 

“Apparently China launched its ‘Artificial Sun’ into space,” a Jan. 11 Instagram post sharing the video said. “This world is getting scary.”

“Sooooo nobody’s talking about China making a fake sun,” a Jan. 11 Facebook post said

“Did China really create a fake sun?” another post asked.

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

true

false

By Samantha Putterman • December 15, 2021

China does have something called an “artificial sun.” It’s a nuclear fusion reactor — officially named the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak — that recently set a record for sustained high temperatures after running five times hotter than the sun for more than 17 minutes, according to the Independent, which cited state media in China. It’s one of three “artificial suns” being developed in China in hopes of providing “almost limitless clean energy,” the story says — and they’re all indoors.  

The footage that is wrongly being characterized as showing China launching a fake sun appears to actually show a late December rocket launch from the Wenchang Space Launch Center. 

An English translation of a Dec. 24 Weibo post from a similar vantage point on the beach says: “The rocket launch site, let us witness the great power of China’s aerospace.” 

We rate the claims that China launched an artificial sun into space False.

Our Sources

Read About Our Process

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O’Rourke

No, this isn’t footage of China launching a fake sun into space


  • Viral image

    stated on January 11, 2022 in an Instagram post:

    false

    false

    By Ciara O’Rourke • January 13, 2022

  • Joe Biden

    stated on January 11, 2022 in in a speech on voting rights in Georgia:

    half-true

    half-true

    By Amy Sherman • January 13, 2022
  • false

    false

    By Samantha Putterman • January 12, 2022

  • Bloggers

    stated on January 6, 2022 in an article:

    barely-true

    barely-true

    By Monique Curet • January 12, 2022

  • Jen Psaki

    stated on January 10, 2022 in a White House press briefing:

    true

    true

    By Madison Czopek • January 12, 2022
  • barely-true

    barely-true

    By Monique Curet • January 12, 2022

  • Viral image

    stated on January 10, 2022 in a Facebook post:

    false

    false

    By Ciara O’Rourke • January 12, 2022
  • false

    false

    By Tom Kertscher • January 12, 2022
  • barely-true

    barely-true

    By Jeff Cercone • January 11, 2022
  • false

    false

    By Ciara O’Rourke • January 11, 2022

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.


Sign me up

©All Rights Reserved Poynter Institute 2020, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

.st0,.st1{fill-rule:evenodd;clip-rule:evenodd;fill:#fff}.st1{fill:none;stroke:#afafaf;stroke-width:.25;stroke-miterlimit:10}

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *