|Please answer our question about space. The sun
is out in space. Around the earth it gets very
cold and the air around us is cold. Out in space
is it cold warm or very hot?
|Question Date: 2000-04-11|
We feel warm depending on how much energy we
absorb from the sun. Heavy things like metal and
pavement (in physics they have a lot of mass) can
get very hot on sunny days because they can absorb
(and hold) a lot of energy from the sun. Air gets
hot too, becuase it absorbs solar energy,but not
as hot as pavement because it is not as heavy. In
space there isn't anything, and not even any air
to absorb energy. Without anything to absorb
energy from the sun it is very cold, in fact much
colder than here on earth.
The depths of space, specifically in the regions
beyond our solar systems and in between the stars,
are the coldest naturally occurring areas in the
universe of which we are aware.The temperature in
these areas of space is about 3 degrees Kelvin
(about -454 degrees F). This very close to what
is known as "Absolute Zero" or zero degrees
Kelvin (about -459 degrees F). Absolute zero is
the point at which atoms will essentially stop
moving - it is, in some sense, a theoretical limit
to how cold things can be. Given the vast
distances between stars in deep space, one might
wonder why the temperature between them is at 3 K
and not much closer to, if not actually at,
absolute zero. The reason, physicists believe, is
that there is still residual heat from the Big
Bang (left in the form of radiation). It is that
radiation that is keeping the universe at 3 K,
although, as time continues, that temperature will
continue, albeit very slowly, to decrease.
its very cold in space. its warmer here because
the planet is surrounded by a thin (~10 miles )
atmosphere that acts like an insulating
without that blanket, baby, you
would freeze your buns off.
Good question. Earth is "cool" planet even though
it is relatively close to the sun. This is because
Earth has an atmosphere. That is, our atmosphere
helps deflect some of the sun's rays. But the
atmosphere also helps ot trap heat and moisture as
well. In space, the heat and light dissipates , so
it is very cold. In fact, even high in ur own
atmosphere, it is quite cold.
You can find out
lost more about this by researching the layers of
the atmosphere and checking out some of NASA's
websites. Dealing with the extreme temperatures of
space is one of the biggest challenges to human
space exploration and even the space station
P.S. Having lots of questions is a
good thing (it is the opposite of "dumb!")-- when
you don't have questions, it means you aren't
thinking about stuff or taking charge of your own
life! So keep asking questions!
If you're in space orbiting the Earth facing the
sun, its super-hot because the sun's rays are not
blocked at all by the air surrounding the earth.
I'm not sure how hot but for sure you'll be
roasted. But then when you're in the shadow, or
far away from the sun, it gets super-cold, like
500 degrees Farenheit below zero.
This a very good question actually.
First, there are three main methods of
heat transfer: radiation, convection, and
conduction. An example of radiation is sunlight.
When you are out in the sun you get warm because
the sun is shining on you and absorb heat from the
light hitting you. You get sunburned if you
absorb too much ultraviolet radiation which is
energetic enough to damage skin cells. Normally
we don't notice radiation unless we are near
something hot (like a campfire) because most
everything is at room temperature so there isn't
much exchange of radiation.
An example of
convection is wind chill. The wind blowing on you
causes more heat to be transfered from you to the
air than if the air is still.
conduction, imagine touching a piece of metal at
room temperature. It feels cool because heat is
easily transfered from you to the metal. If you
touch a piece of plastic it doesn't feel as cool
because, even though it is at the same
temperature, it doesn't
cause heat to be moved
from you to the plastic as easily. People can
walk on hot (wood) coals because they don't have a
lot of heat capacity, so, even though they are
very hot, they don't have a lot of energy to
transfer to you and cause a burn.
let's say that if we lose heat from our bodies
quickly that our environment is "cold". If we get
heated by what's around us then it is "hot." If
we jump into the ocean, it feels cool because the
water is colder than our bodies and because water
conducts heat away from us very easily. You can
die much more quickly in cold water
cold air because it is much easier to lose heat to
the water than to the air.
So what happens
in space? You are a person at a temperature of
about 37 degrees Celsius (around 100 F). There is
very little matter in space so you can't gain or
lose heat from your surroundings via conduction or
convection. That just leaves
emit radiation from your body and it just goes off
into space. No radiation comes back because there
is nothing around you that is radiating. This
means you lose heat to space and you cool
off...unless you are facing the sun. In that
case, the sun is shining on you full blast with no
protection from the atmosphere at all. So you
would absorb a lot of heat from the sun. So what
do you think? Is space "cold" or "hot?" How do
you think satellites are designed so that they
don't heat up too much if the sun is shining on
them and don't cool down to much if it's not?
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.