China’s so-called ‘artificial sun’ has set a new world record after superheating a loop of plasma to temperatures five times hotter than the sun for more than 17 minutes. LiveScience reports that the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak nuclear fusion reactor maintained a temperature of 70 million degrees Celsius for 1,056 seconds, bringing scientists a small yet significant step closer to the creation of a source of near-unlimited clean energy. EAST is expected to cost China more than $1 trillion by the time the experiment finishes running in June, and it is being used to test out technologies for an even bigger fusion project — the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor — that’s currently being built in Marseille, France.