China is on course to finish building an “artificial sun” before the end of the year, local media reports.
The incredible structure will be capable of reaching 100 million degrees Celsius (212 million degrees Fahrenheit) – six times hotter than the center of our sun.
Scientists hope that the “artificial sun” will help harness the power of nuclear fusion.
This would bring humanity a step closer to creating “unlimited clean energy” by mimicking reactions that naturally occur inside the sun proper.
The “artificial sun” was first announced by Chinese researchers last November, but the project has just hit an important milestone.
Chinese media reports that early trials have allowed researchers to create stunningly high temperatures.
Researchers are using a device called a “tokamak,” which uses a powerful magnetic field to trap hot plasma.
Our sun hits temperatures of around 15 million degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) at its core.
But the plasma from China’s artificial sun has reached an electron temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) – and an ion temperature of 50 million degrees Celsius (122 million degrees Fahrenheit).