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How cold is it in space? The reason that I&#39;m asking is I often wonder how do the satellites that we send to other plantes survive? There are satellites that have been working for almost 30 yrs now and they are so far out in space that our sun would look like a normal stars, on cold mornings in the winter I have a hard enough time starting my car let alone trying to firgure out how a man made satellites could survive such extreme,LOL Thank you MBPSR1

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With no air, and therefore no convection, temperature varies a lot. Basically the object&#39;s temperature in space will depend on how much heat it absorbs, and weather or not it is experiencing direct sunlight. For example, in the shade on the moon, temperatures are so cold that you would get frostbite touching the rock. In the sunlight however, moon rock can reach temperatures of over 100 degrees.

It&#39;s not like on Earth, where the atmosphere HAS a temperature&#33;

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Originally posted by mbpsr1@Dec 4 2003, 09:22 AM
How cold is it in space? The reason that I&#39;m asking is I often wonder how do the satellites that we send to other plantes survive? There are satellites that have been working for almost 30 yrs now and they are so far out in space that our sun would look like a normal stars, on cold mornings in the winter I have a hard enough time starting my car let alone trying to firgure out how a man made satellites could survive such extreme,LOL Thank you MBPSR1
sometime below -0 degree and sometime more than 15mil K

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Thank you kashi for your reply back and yes you kinda answered part of my question, I just find it so hard to understand that a satellites being 6 to 8 billion miles out in space could function in such extremes, i guess they have heaters within them, thank you MBPSR1

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Well background radiation has a temperature of about 3 K, or slightly less than -270 degrees C. But in space heat travels only as radiation.

6. Andres Hung Guest
Originally posted by mbpsr1@Dec 4 2003, 09:22 AM
How cold is it in space? The reason that I&#39;m asking is I often wonder how do the satellites that we send to other plantes survive? There are satellites that have been working for almost 30 yrs now and they are so far out in space that our sun would look like a normal stars, on cold mornings in the winter I have a hard enough time starting my car let alone trying to firgure out how a man made satellites could survive such extreme,LOL Thank you MBPSR1
How cold is space?

7. StarLab Guest
Really cold. Some 270-and-some-odd degrees below Celsius zero...that&#39;s really cold, so don&#39;t go out there wearing a Hawaiian shirt and boxers&#33;

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Originally posted by mbpsr1@Dec 5 2003, 02:35 PM
Thank you kashi for your reply back and yes you kinda answered part of my question, I just find it so hard to understand that a satellites being 6 to 8 billion miles out in space could function in such extremes, i guess they have heaters within them, thank you MBPSR1
I&#39;ve just been reading about the pioneer spacecraft, trying to understand some stuff for a different thread.

The one that&#39;s still functioning (Pioneer 10) is about 80 AU from the sun (that must be the 8 billion miles you were referring to) but the temperature telemetry has been pinned at the bottom of the range for a while. It does have internal heaters, powered by non-fissionable plutonium. It also has louvres operated by bi-metalic strips designed to allow heat to escape back when it was closer to the sun. They reach the fully closed position at a temperature of 40 degrees F, and have been closed for years. In 2000, the platform temperature was -41 degrees F. The thing was designed to operate between -63 and 180 degrees F.

Other spacecraft, designed for other missions are likely quite different.

9. Originally posted by Andres Hung@Sep 30 2004, 10:40 PM
How cold is space?
There is a difference between the temperature that a large solid body such as a spacecraft will get to in space and the temperature of the gas/plasma that it is flying through.

A spacecraft without a heat source between stars should get down pretty close to 3 Kelvins because it can radiate heat pretty efficiently even though the gas it is flying through may have a temperature between five and ten thousand Kelvins.

10. Temperature in the conventional sense doesn&#39;t really mean anything for a diffuse plasma. It could be anything from zero to a billion degrees with almost no effective physical difference in behavior. So the "temperature" of space is effectively absolute zero. The temperature of your spacecraft, on the other hand, is what is important. It recieves heat through radiative absorption, from the sun usually, since it is pretty much the only source of so much light in space. It loses heat through radiative emmission, either through radiator panels or other devices. The spacecraft is only warmed on one side (only has a heat flux (power)) on the side facing the sun. How hot it gets depends on how effectively the spacecraft conducts this heat across it&#39;s surface and interior, and how much it recieves to how much it radiates. For deep space probes where the sun is dim and heat fluxes are low, alternative heat sources are needed to keep the computers, ect within operating temperature.

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## I heard...

I havn't yet verified this for myself, but, in watching a special feature movie commentary piece from the DVD of the movie Sunshine, I was informed by the person doing the commentary, supposedly someone who's educated and is knowledgeable in the area of space, he had stated that absolute zero is -273 degrees celcius. And that space is close to this, at -270 degrees celcius, only a 3 degrees differnce.
He then explained an interesting theory that supposedly (at least, in his opinion) scientists are adopting, which is that space should theoretically be at absolute zero, but isn't because they believe that heat from 'the big bang' still exists in our universe today, despite this apparently having happened something like 13.7 billion years ago.

Hope that helps, though do note that I havn't yet verified that information myself.

13. That's referring to the CMB (cosmic microwave background radiation). See here:

And it does exist, and is being extensively studied.

Oh, and welcome to BAUT!

14. Absolute zero shouldn't exist, there is always some motion.

15. Originally Posted by mbpsr1
How cold is it in space? The reason that I'm asking is I often wonder how do the satellites that we send to other plantes survive? There are satellites that have been working for almost 30 yrs now and they are so far out in space that our sun would look like a normal stars, on cold mornings in the winter I have a hard enough time starting my car let alone trying to firgure out how a man made satellites could survive such extreme,LOL Thank you MBPSR1
I believe the temperture can vary from -250 to 250 F depending on if it's in the sun light.

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## Temperature in space

I know this is an old blog, but this link is the most definitive answer I was able to find!

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/astronomy/f...ection-14.html

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