Most recent addition: 7 February 2017
All boiling points are measured at standard atmospheric pressure (101,325 pascals) unless otherwise stated.
IPTS-68 = International Practical Temperature Scale of 1968; ITS-90 = International Temperature Scale of 1990.
|Not yet observed|
|Not yet observed|
|Not yet observed|
|Not yet observed|
|450 ± 80||
Courtesy Ketterle Lab, MIT
A. E. Leonhardt, T. A. Pasquini, M.
Saba, A. Schirotzek, Y. Shin, D. Kielpinski, D. E. Pritchard and W.
Courtesy Mike Matthews and UC Boulder.
Anderson, J. R. Ensher, M. R. Matthews, C. E. Wieman and E. A. Cornell.
|~360||Aluminum membrane cooled by "squeezed" laser light.
Jeremy B. Clark, Florent Lecocq, Raymond W. Simmons, Jose Aumentado and John D. Teufel.
|~400||First successes in cooling large numbers of molecules to ~400 µK
that did not involve combining precooled atoms.
E. B. Norrgard, D. J. McCarron, M. H. Steinecker, M. R. Tarbutt and D. DeMille.
Alexander Prehn, Martin Ibrügger, Rosa Glöckner, Gerhard Rempe and Martin Zeppenfeld.
|2||Below this temperature, helium-3 is a superfluid.
D. D. Osheroff,
R. C. Richardson, and D. M. Lee.
|6||Inner chamber of the detector built by the Cryogenic
Underground Observatory for Rare Events in Gran Sasso, Italy.
Temperature maintained for 2 weeks in 2014.
Though described as "the coldest cubic meter in the universe," the actual
operating volume is about 636 liters.
|20||Operating temperature of the Edelweiss-III detectors in Modane, France, an attempt to detect WIMPs.|
Hubble Heritage Team, J. Biretta (STSci) et al., (STSci/AURA),ESA,NASA
Perhaps the coldest spot in the universe, outside of laboratories.
Raghvendra Sahai and Lars-Åke Nyman.
|1.95||Estimated temperature of the Cosmic Neutrino Background, formed when the universe was 2 seconds old.|
|2.17||Below this temperature, helium-4 becomes a superfluid.|
|2.72548 ± 0.00057||
D. J. Fixsen.
|4.2||Highest temperature at which mercury is a superconductor.|
|4.2||Boiling point of helium-4 at atmospheric pressure. (For helium-3, it is 3.2 K.)|
|5 - 7||Large dust particles in the protoplanetary disk of gas and
dust around star 2MASS J16281370-2431391
S. Guilloteau, V. Piétu, E. Chapillon, E. Di Folco, A. Dutrey, T. Henning, D. Semenov, T. Birnstiel and N. Grosso.
|9.26||Antimatter cooled at the CERN laboratory, 2010. A record low.|
|13.8033||Triple point of H2 (ITS-90). (Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68, at 13.81 K.)|
|17.042||Hydrogen boils at a pressure of 33,330.6 pascals. (Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|20.28||Hydrogen boils. (Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|24.5561||Triple point of neon (ITS-90).|
|27.102||Neon boils. (A primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|50||Surface of the minor planet Pluto.|
|54.3584||Triple point of O2 (ITS-90)|
|56||Surface of the planet Neptune.|
|58||Surface of the planet Uranus.|
|70 to 110||
JPL, GSFC, Ames/NASA
|83.8058||Triple point of argon. (ITS-90) (Was 83.798, a primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|90.188||Oxygen boils. (A primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|97||Surface of the planet Saturn.|
|104.3||Antimatter cooled at Harvard University, 1989. A record low at that time.|
|129||Surface of the planet Jupiter.|
|135||Highest temperature at which yttrium barium copper oxide remains a superconductor.|
|180.0||East Antarctica Plateau, 10 August 2010. Temperature of surface as measured by satellite. Lowest air temperature recorded on Earth (by 2013)|
Vostok, Antarctica, 21 July 1983.
John Turner, Phil Anderson, Tom Lachlan-Cope, Steve Colwell, Tony Phillips, Amélie Kirchgaessner, Gareth J. Marshall, John C. King, Tom Bracegirdle, David G. Vaughan, Victor Lagun, Andrew Orr.
|205.4||Verkhoyansk, 2 May 1892, and Oimekon, 6 February 1933, both in northeastern Siberia, Russia, a tie for lowest air temperature recorded by 2013 in the northern hemisphere, or in any permanently inhabited place.|
|207.1||North Ice, Greenland 21 July 1983, lowest air temperature recorded in the western hemisphere by 2010.|
|210.2||Snag, Yukon Territory, Canada, 3 February 1947. Lowest air temperature recorded in North America by 2010.|
|215.05||Ust 'Schugor, Russia, 31 December 1978. Lowest air temperature recorded in Europe by 2010.|
|218||Surface of the planet Mars.|
|229||Lowest temperature at which microdroplets of water remained
J. A. Sellberg, C. Huang, T. A. McQueen, N. D. Loh, H. Laksmono, D. Schlesinger, R. G. Sierra, D. Nordlund,
C. Y. Hampton, D. Starodub, D. P. DePonte, M. Beye, C. Chen, A. V. Martin, A. Barty, K. T. Wikfeldt, T. M. Weiss, C. Caronna, J. Feldkamp, L. B. Skinner, M. M. Seibert, M. Messerschmidt, G. J. Williams, S. Boutet, L. G. M. Pettersson, M. J. Bogan and A. Nilsson.
|230||On Ellesmere Island, Canada, the high arctic woolybear caterpillar (Gynaephora groenlandica), survives hibernation at this temperature.|
|234.3156||Triple point of mercury. (ITS-90) (In IPTS-68, mercury freezing was a secondary reference point at 234.288 K.)|
|240.4||Samiento, Argentina, 1 June 1907. Lowest air temperature recorded in South America by 2010.|
|249.3||Ifrane, Morocco, 11 February 1935. Lowest air temperature recorded in Africa by 2010.|
|250.2||Charlotte Pass, New South Wales, Australia, 29 June 1994. Lowest air temperature recorded in Australia by 2010.|
|273.16||Triple-point of water, by definition. The temperature at which water can simultaneously exist in liquid, solid, and gaseous forms. (ITS-90)|
|288||Surface of the planet Earth. (Some say 255K.)|
|288.2||Vanda Station, Antarctica, 1 May 1974. Highest air temperature recorded in Antarctica by 2010.|
|300.02||Phenoxy benzene (diphenyl ether) triple point, a secondary reference point in IPTS-68.|
|302.9146||Gallium melts. (ITS-90)|
|310||Typical human body temperature.|
|315.4||Tuguegarao, Philippines, 29 April 1912. Highest air temperature recorded in Oceania by 2010.|
|321.2||Athens and Elefsina, Greece, 10 July 1977. Highest air temperature recorded in Europe by 2010.|
|322.1||Rivadavia, Argentina, 11 December 1905. Highest air temperature recorded in South America by 2010.|
|323||The Saharan silver ant Cataglyphis bombycina, survives 10 minutes foraging in the
desert at this temperature.
Walter J. Gehring and Rudiger Wehner.
R. Wehner and A. C. Marsh.
|323.9||Oodnadatta, Australia, 2 January 1960. Highest air temperature recorded in the southern hemisphere by 2010.|
|327||Mitribah, Kuwait on 21 July 2016|
|327.1||Tirat Tsvi (Tirat Zevi), Israel 21 June 1942. Highest air temperature recorded in Asia by 2010.|
|331||El Azizia, Libya, 13 September 1922. Highest air temperature recorded on Earth as of 2010.|
|370±40||Coolest known brown dwarf star, CFBDSIR J1458+1013B, as of 2011.
Michael C. Liu, Philippe Delorme,
Trent J. Dupuy, Brendan P. Bowler, Loic Albert, Etienne Artigau, Celine Reyle,
Thierry Forveille and Xavier Delfosse.
|373.15||Water boils at standard pressure. (A primary reference point in IPTS-68)|
|394||Record high temperature for an organism to live and reproduce: a
microorganism dubbed strain
121, collected from a “black smoker”, an active oceanic hydrothermal vent
on the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the northeast Pacific. (It was not the 121st
organism tested; the name comes from the Celsius temperature, 121°C,
i.e., 394 K, at which they were cultured.) DNA analysis showed the species belongs
to the domain Archaea. It survived 2 hours at 403 K, but without
Kazem Kashefi and Derek R. Lovley.
|394||Temperature to which most medical autoclaves are set, to sterilize instruments.|
|395.52||Benzoic acid triple point. (A secondary reference point in IPTS-68.)|
|429.7485||Indium freezes. (ITS-90) (In IPTS-68, freezing indium was a secondary reference point at 429.784 K)|
|440||Surface of the planet Mercury.|
|505.078||Tin freezes. (ITS-90) (Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68 at 505.1181 K)|
|540 ± 40||Brown dwarf UGPS 0722-05, 13.3 light years from Earth, discovered
P. W. Lucas, C. G. Tinney, Ben Burningham, S. K. Leggett, David
J. Pinfield, Richard Smart, Hugh R. A. Jones, Federico Marocco, Robert
J. Barber, Sergei N. Yurchenko, Jonathan Tennyson, Miki Ishii, Motohide
Tamura, Avril C. Day-Jones, Andrew Adamson, France Allard and Derek
|594.22||Cadmium melts. (In IPTS-68, freezing cadmium was a secondary reference point at 594.258 K.)|
|600.61||Lead melts. (In IPTS-68, freezing lead was a secondary reference point at 600.652 K.)|
|630||Mercury boils. (In IPTS-68, freezing mercury was a secondary reference point at 629.81 K.)|
|653||Water issuing from a hydrothermal vent on the seafloor (East Pacific Rise, off Baja California)|
|692.677||Zinc freezes. (ITS-90) (Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68 at 692.73 K)|
|730||Surface of the planet Venus.|
|800||Midlatitude temperatures on Jupiter.|
©iStockphoto.com/Mary Ann Shmueli
|1.1 to 1.3||Rhyolite lava.|
|1.23493||Silver freezes. (ITS-90)
(Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68, at 1.23508 K)
|1.3 to 1.5||
(Was a primary reference point in IPTS-68, at 1.33758 K.)
|1.35777||Copper freezes. (ITS-90)|
|1.58||Over the Great Red Spot on Jupiter.
J. O’Donoghue, L. Moore, T. S. Stallard and H. Melin.
|1.89||The mineral olivine begins to crystallize out of a pure olivine melt.|
|3.62||Daylight side of the planet WASP-33b, hottest planet found (as of
A. M. S. Smith, D. R. Anderson, I. Skillen, A. Collier
Cameron and B. Smalley.
|5.5||The sun's photosphere.|
|4.5 to 10||
|50||Blue supergiant star.|
|1 to 1.8||
|15||The sun's core.|
|4||A quark-gluon plasma made by colliding gold ions at speeds near that of light at the Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. The blob was about 100 nanometers across and lasted for a little more than 1 attosecond. The temperature was estimated by measuring the average wavelength of photons emitted by the plasma (like measuring the temperature of a skillet from the infrared it emits). To compensate for the fact that the blob was cooling, researchers calculated backwards to estimate its peak temperature.|
|200||Core of the supernova 1987A, during collapse, estimated from neutrinos.|
|5.5||A collision between lead nuclei at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN,
Switzerland, on 13 August 2012. Quark-gluon plasma. Highest temperature
reached in a laboratory at time of writing (2015),
often described as highest temperature anywhere in present-day universe.
|1,416,683,300||The Planck temperature, the temperature of a body by virtue of which it emits radiation with a wavelength of the Planck length. As hot as it gets, in the standard theory.|
Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold.
Mark S. Blumberg.
Body Heat: Temperature and Life on Earth.
Cambridge; Harvard University Press, 2002.
A Matter of Degrees: What Temperature Reveals about the Past and Future of Our Species, Planet, and Universe.
New York: Viking, 2002.
Copyright © 2002-2014 Sizes, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last revised: 20 December 2014.