Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Cool Down on a Hot Summer Day

Calvin’s Suggested Places to Cool Down This Summer

Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska: The lowest temperature ever recorded in the United States was minus 80 °F on January 23, 1971 at Prospect Creek Camp, Alaska.

Snag, Yukon, Canada: The record low for North America was minus 81.4 °F that the town of Snag in the Yukon dropped to on February 3, 1947.

Base Vostok, Antarctica: The lowest temperature ever recorded on earth was minus 129F recorded in 1983 at the Russian Base Vostok in Antarctica

The Moon: On the moon, the temperature plunges to a minus 378 Fahrenheit.

Eris: The most distant named object that we know of in the Solar System is Eris – a trans-Neptunian object slightly larger than Pluto. The surface temperature is approximately minus 400 °F. Even though we gave Pluto the cold shoulder and took away it’s “planet status”, Pluto is still a little warmer, as it is closer to the sun and may have a thin insulating atmosphere.

Where's the coldest spot in the universe? It is not even in deepest outer space, which has an estimated background temperature of about minus 455°F. As far as scientists can tell, the lowest temperatures ever attained were recently observed right here on earth.

The coldest place in the Universe: A lab somewhere in the United States. The record-breaking lows were among the latest feats of ultra cold physics, the laboratory study of matter at temperatures so mind-bogglingly frigid that atoms and even light itself behave in highly unusual ways. Electrical resistance in some elements disappears below about minus 440°F, a phenomenon called superconductivity. At even lower temperatures, some liquefied gases become "super fluids" capable of oozing through walls solid enough to hold any other sort of liquid; they even seem to defy gravity as they creep up, over and out of their containers.

Physicists acknowledge they may never be able reach the coldest conceivable temperature, known as absolute zero and long ago calculated to be minus 459.67°F. Temperature is a measure of how fast atoms are moving, a reflection of their energy--and absolute zero is the point at which the motion of the atoms completely stops, and therefore there is absolutely no heat energy remaining to be extracted from a substance.

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