Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

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Coldest Known Place in the Universe is Technically on Earth

2 min read

coldest known place in the universe

The coldest known place in the universe is on Earth, technically that is. While this certainly comes as a surprise, especially considering how temperate much of the globe can be, this itself doesn’t constitute a natural coolness. That’s right, we faked it, but how is the coldest known place in the universe on Earth?

Alright, here’s what we know so far, and considering the vast size of the universe it really isn’t that much. We know that the absolute minimum the temperature can reach is −273.15° Celsius (−459.67° Fahrenheit), otherwise known as absolute zero. That’s a really really cold temperature, and most things will instantly freeze on contact. We also know through technical measurements that there are places out there in the universe that get very close to this chilly level. On Earth, the coldest natural temperature ever recorded was a bone chilling -93 ° C (-136 °F) in Antarctica in 2013 which surpassed the previous record of −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F; 184.0 K) on July 21, 1983 at Vostok Station in Russia. While these natural temperatures on Earth are indeed cold, we need to go to a laboratory to get even colder, which is where the coldest known place in the universe is, and it’s on Earth of course.

Technically speaking, the coldest known place in the universe is on Earth, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. In 2003 a team of physicists were attempting to get as close as possible to absolute zero as is possible, because you can never actually get to the exact figure. In this experiment the team actually got incredibly close, immeasurably close in fact. They got the temperature 810 trillionths of a degree F above absolute zero, which is quite the accomplishment and recognized by Guinness as the world record. But what about the natural universe?

As far as naturally occurring goes, the coldest known place in the universe was detected in 1995 using the 15-metre Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope in Chile. Astronomers discovered that the Boomerang Nebula is only one degree above absolute zero, making it the coldest place yet discovered by humans.

While the Boomerang Nebula is the coldest yet known, it is with little doubt that as time progresses these records will fall, and new ones will rise in their place. In any event though, all places mentioned in this article are absolutely frigid.

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