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Solar System's Coldest Spot

Solar System's Coldest Spot
Mid-winter nighttime temperatures inside the coldest craters in the north polar region of the moon are 26 Kelvin (-416 F or -249 C). These are the coldest temperatures that have been measured thus far anywhere in the solar system. See comments for info.


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Posted by nova on December 22, 2009
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Comments

Posted by nova on December 22, 2009 at 8:24 am
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's Diviner instrument has discovered that the bottoms of polar craters in permanent shadow can be brutally cold. Mid-winter nighttime surface temperatures inside the coldest craters in the north polar region dip down to 26 Kelvin (-416 F, or -249 C). "These are the coldest temperatures that have been measured thus far anywhere in the solar system," said David Paige, Diviner principal investigator at the University of California, Los Angeles. "These regions are cold enough to trap a wide range of compounds such as water, carbon dioxide, and organic molecules. There could be all kinds of interesting compounds trapped there."

This movie shows an animated flyover of the north polar region that terminates at the coldest measured areas inside of Hermite Crater.

Credit: NASA/GSFC/UCLA
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