PHOTO: Scientists Light Up Largest Artificial Sun (Without Melting the Earth)

artificial sun

Photo from: Getty Images via Wired

Have you tried using a glass to magnify sunlight and fry ants when you were younger? Generally, that is the idea of what a sunlight simulator can do.

At the German Aerospace Center in Juelich, Germany, they turned on the switch on a huge machine that looks like it has a lot of insect eyes. The machine has 149 lamps to simulate sunlight. This machine is a handy tool for testing solar panels or generating clean energy.

The machine was turned on in time for the birthday of the person who designed it, project manager Kai Wieghardt of the German Aerospace Center.

The machine stands 50 feet tall. It is inside a three-storey building in Germany. According to Wired, “Scientists can focus the 350-kilowatt honeycomb of xenon short-arc lamps on an area as small as 61 square inches and create 10,000 times the solar radiation that would otherwise shine on that spot. And the temperature on that spot? Up to 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Apparently, the intense light from this machine can kill a human so scientists monitor it remotely using cameras.

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