How Is Temperature Measured In Space and Who Invented the Kelvin Scale For Temperature?

Astronomers can measure temperature in space by studying various electromagnetic radiation waves.

In the United States, the Fahrenheit (F) scale is usually used to measure temperature. Most of the rest of the world uses the Celsius (C) scale.

Scientists, however, use the Kelvin (K) scale, also known as absolute temperature.

In 1848, Lord Kelvin, also known as William Thomson, proposed the need for a scale whereby “infinite cold”, or absolute zero, was the scale’s null point.

On the Kelvin scale, 0°K = —273°C or —460°F. Water freezes at 32°F, 0°C, and 273°K.

A normal live human body temperature is 98.6°F, 37°C, and 310°K. Water boils at 212°F, 100°C, and 373°K. The surface of the sun measures 10,000°F, 6,000°C, and 5,800°K.

To translate °K into °F, multiply the number of °K by 1.8 and subtract 460 from the answer. To translate °F into °C, subtract 32 from the number of °F and divide by 1.8.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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