Nearly a month after revealing plans to launch an “artificial moon” just above Chengdu, China, a university just announced that they have created an “artificial sun” that is believed to be six times as powerful as Earth’s own sun.
Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences officially announced on Tuesday that they have managed to reach a scorching level of 180 million degrees Fahrenheit (100 million degrees Celsius) for its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor.
EAST, the nickname for China’s artificial sun, made its remarkable achievement during the superconductor’s four-month-long experiment campaign this year.
The actual sun, meanwhile, only burns to about 27 million degrees Fahrenheit (14.9 million degrees Celsius), according to Shanghaiist.
“Scientists carried out the experiments on plasma equilibrium and instability, confinement and transport, plasma-wall interaction and energetic particle physics to demonstrate the long time scale steady-state H-mode operation with good control of impurity, core/edge MHD stability, heat exhaust using an ITER-like tungsten divertor,” the institute wrote in its announcement article.
The purpose of this reactor is to replicate the process that the sun uses to produce energy. The institute hopes that this could unlock the secrets of how scientists could make nuclear fusion a reality on this planet, according to the Shanghaiist report.
Reaching over 100 million degrees Celsius is an important step as this is the minimum temperature needed for them to create the conditions that are suitable for nuclear fusion on Earth. This mark also serves as a scientific breakthrough as it could provide a safe way for humans to generate massive clean energy.
Images via Shanghaiist