UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
What is the temperature in space?
Question Date: 2003-03-20
Answer 1:

The temperature in outer space is quite cold. It is only a few degrees above absolute zero ( at -273 Celsius the coldest possible). If you are interested, you might look up some articles on recent research into this. Scientists are looking carefully at differences in the temperature as they look at different parts of the sky. They are doing this to try to understand the beginnings of the universe.

Answer 2:

Well, it depends on where you are! If you are way out, in between galaxies, the background temperature of space is about 2.726 Kelvin, or about -270 Celsius, or - 456 Fahrenheit.

Answer 3:

Temperature is really a way to measure the amount of energy a substance has. So when we say that room temperature is 22 degrees Celsius, we're really talking about how much energy an average air particle has. The air would be at absolute zero when all of the particles had completely stopped moving. Though space is not completely empty (it does have a few particles in it and it does have some radiation) it is, in fact, pretty empty by our standards here on Earth. So in a manner of speaking, space has no temperature at all

What is more relevant in space is how easily you gain or lose heat. For example, if you lose heat very quickly (by emitting infrared radiation, for example), you will get very cold. If you absorb heat easily and you're close enough to the sun, you will absorb a lot of heat from the sun and be very hot (this is how the earth gets most of its heat). As I understand it, this is a much more important effect than the temperature of that tiny amount of gas that is in space.

Answer 4:

A vacuum doesn't have a particular temperature, however, a body in space, far away from any star will come to equilibrium eventually with the background radiation from the big bang, which is currently about 2.73 Kelvin (very cold indeed).

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use