WHY IS SPACE EXTREMELY COLD DESPITE THE SUN?
We all feel the warmth of the sun every day. But why is space so cold when the Sun is so hot? To learn the answer to this question, there are two terms that we must first know the difference between: heat and temperature.
Heat is a form of energy that depends on the amount of matter, while temperature is just a measurement. Heat; When transferred to an object, the temperature of the object rises, and when removed from the object, the temperature of the object decreases. These transfers also take place in different ways.
How does heat transfer occur in objects?
This heat transfer occurs in three ways: conduction (conduction), convection (convection) and radiation (radiation).
- We see conduction type heat transfer in solids. When the particles that make up solids are heated, their vibrations increase. In this process, heat is transferred from warmer particles to colder ones by striking each other. This type of heat transfer is the cause of what burns our hands after an iron stick or an iron spoon you hold on fire comes into contact with something hot.
- We witness the convection type in liquids or gases. When the fluid is heated, the molecules rise and carry the heat energy with it. For example, the heaters in our rooms work with this type of heat transfer principle.
- The radiation path, on the other hand, is different from these two processes, and heat is spread by light waves. All objects emit thermal energy radiation at a certain level depending on their temperature. At room temperature, it emits heat in the form of infrared waves, including us. In this way, the temperature of people can be measured with thermal cameras. That is, matter does not occur with particles, but with waves.
That's why the Sun's energy reaches the Earth, even though the Sun is 150 million km away from the Earth.
Space is a vacuum in which no matter exists. It is impossible to talk about heat transfer by conduction or convection. Since there are not enough particles in space, we naturally cannot talk about a heat transfer. This transfer seems possible through a single radiation. When the sun's heat in the form of radiation falls on an object, the atoms that make up the object begin to absorb energy, and this energy moves the atoms, producing heat as the atoms vibrate.
The temperature of objects in space does not change for a long time. To explain this simply, the temperature does not change because there are no particles in space. For example, even if a rock is heated until it boils by the sun's rays, it will eventually return to its original temperature and cool. Because this heat cannot be transferred to anything in empty space, so it easily disappears. The answer to our question arises: Space is actually very cold, as it has nothing to absorb energy from the Sun.
The sunless side of the Earth is comparatively colder. However, thanks to the atmosphere of our Earth, it is fortunately not close to absolute zero compared to other celestial bodies that do not have an atmosphere. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to talk about life.
Let's take Earth's satellite as an example. The temperature on the constantly sunny surface of the Moon is around 127 degrees. But on the dark side of the Moon, the temperature drops to -173.
What is the temperature of space?
Scientists say the temperature of space is -270 degrees, but this is just an average temperature. According to research, it is also known that different parts of space have different temperatures.
Because there is nothing to absorb the energy from the Sun, space is therefore very cold despite the scorching Sun.
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