The C2 Swan band emission spectroscopy was performed on an arc fullerene reactor to determine the plasma temperature in the anodic region of the arc. In parallel, mathematical model of the fullerene reactor was developed. The two dimensional model solved for the velocities, temperature and total concentration of carbon species. In order to validate the code, the predictions of the model were compared with emission spectroscopy measurements of the temperature distribution in the immediate vicinity of the anode of a typical fullerene reactor for the case in which ambient gas was helium, at 13kPa pressure, 80A current intensity and 4mm arc length. The predicted temperature profiles were strongly dependent on the experimental conditions and specially on the anode erosion rate measurements which are the required input data for the model.