APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

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APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:05 am

Image The Coldest Place on Earth

Explanation: How cold can it get on Earth? In the interior of the Antarctica, a record low temperature of -93.2 °C (-135.8 °F) has been recorded. This is about 25 °C (45 °F) colder than the coldest lows noted for any place humans live permanently. The record temperature occurred in 2010 August -- winter in Antarctica -- and was found by scientists sifting through decades of climate data taken by Earth-orbiting satellites. The coldest spots were found near peaks because higher air is generally colder, although specifically in depressions near these peaks because relatively dense cold air settled there and was further cooled by the frozen ground. Summer is a much better time to visit Antarctica, as some regions will warm up as high as 15 °C (59 °F).

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:04 am

That is so not hot right now! But if we were to look at this from another point of view -- about 180 degrees around and 180 degrees lower, say -- we'd get to -273.15&deg;C, or zero kelvins, or absolute zero. Clever scientists on Earth have managed to cool matter down so close to this temperature, that to everyday folk like me, calling it absolute zero would be 0K.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero
The average temperature of the universe today is approximately 2.73 kelvins, based on measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Beyond » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:10 am

Who,,, in his right, or left mind, would ever go to a place like that :?: Even the 'cats' don't go there. Although i see they put 'man's best friend' to work, sifting through records. :lol2:
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Beyond » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:14 am

Nitpicker wrote:That is so not hot right now! But if we were to look at this from another point of view -- about 180 degrees around and 180 degrees lower, say -- we'd get to -273.15&deg;C, or zero kelvins, or absolute zero. Clever scientists on Earth have managed to cool matter down so close to this temperature, that to everyday folk like me, calling it absolute zero would be 0K.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_zero
The average temperature of the universe today is approximately 2.73 kelvins, based on measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation.
Kelvins<---s :?: I didn't know there was more than one Kelvin.
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Ann » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:16 am

Beyond wrote:Who,,, in his right, or left mind, would ever go to a place like that :?: Even the 'cats' don't go there. Although i see they put 'man's best friend' to work, sifting through records. :lol2:
I'm pretty sure I've seen a TV documentary about the adaptability of cats, where some cats (male and female) that had been abandoned sowewhere terribly cold had founded their own colony there.

Although perhaps it wasn't in Antarctica.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:32 am

Beyond wrote: Kelvins<---s :?: I didn't know there was more than one Kelvin.
The kelvin (SI symbol K) is a unit named after Lord Kelvin. The plural of kelvin is kelvins. This is true of all units named after people: the unit has a lower-case first letter, is abbreviated with an upper-case letter and is pluralised with an 's'. Compare with newtons, volts, amperes, for instance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Th ... ron_Kelvin

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:35 am


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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:58 am

Much better just look go there....by WEB CAMERA!!!!

Brrrrrr....had enough of the cold and it is not officially Winter yet....

Interesting picture, and Explanation.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Markus Schwarz » Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:00 am

This is below the melting point of carbon dioxide. Very cold indeed.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by timgregg » Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:45 am

Are those elevations in feet or in meters?

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:15 pm

timgregg wrote:Are those elevations in feet or in meters?
They are in metres and indicate the elevation of the top of the ice. The highest elevation in Antarctica is almost 5000m, at Vinson Massif in western Antarctica, although that area is not nearly as vast as the eastern ice shelf.

According to this link, if you don't consider the ice, the highest elevation in Antarctica is less than 3000m:
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartne ... l-the-ice/

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:19 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
Correction: almost all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sc ... ter_people
Raylly? Are you trying to Mach nitpicker?
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:24 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
The highest elevation in Antarctica is almost 5000m, at Vinson Massif in western Antarctica, although that area is not nearly as vast as the eastern ice shelf.

According to this link, if you don't consider the ice, the highest elevation in Antarctica is less than 3000m:
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartne ... l-the-ice/
You mean the highest in eastern Antarctica :?:
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:27 pm

neufer wrote:Raylly? Are you trying to Mach nitpicker?
I'd never heard of Rayls before, so maybe I'm not trying hard enough. :p

Not sure that Mach number (Ma) belongs in that list. I think it belongs with Rayleigh number (Ra), in a list of dimensionless quantities.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:30 pm

neufer wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:
The highest elevation in Antarctica is almost 5000m, at Vinson Massif in western Antarctica, although that area is not nearly as vast as the eastern ice shelf.

According to this link, if you don't consider the ice, the highest elevation in Antarctica is less than 3000m:
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartne ... l-the-ice/
You mean the highest in eastern Antarctica :?:
No, western. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinson_Massif

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:46 pm

The coldest place on Earth? I wouldn't go there! There is enough cold here in Nebraska! :wink:
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by Messican » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:18 pm

Now take some real thermometers there and see if it's valid. That would make Guinness records happy.

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 1:54 pm

Nitpicker wrote:
neufer wrote:
Nitpicker wrote:
The highest elevation in Antarctica is almost 5000m, at Vinson Massif in western Antarctica, although that area is not nearly as vast as the eastern ice shelf.

According to this link, if you don't consider the ice, the highest elevation in Antarctica is less than 3000m:
http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartne ... l-the-ice/
You mean the highest in eastern Antarctica :?:
No, western. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinson_Massif
But I was questioning your comment: "the highest elevation in Antarctica is less than 3000m"
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by CuriousJeff » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:03 pm

My understanding is that CO2 freezes at one atmoshpere and -80 C. Was any frozen CO2 observed at this location?

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:19 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
The coldest place on Earth? I wouldn't go there! There is enough cold here in Nebraska! :wink:
We all know, Orin, that if they offered you the chance to be the first man to land on Pluto you couldn't possibly refuse.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto#Atmosphere wrote:
<<Pluto's atmosphere consists of a thin envelope of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide gases, which are derived from the ices of these substances on its surface. Its surface pressure ranges from 6.5 to 24 μbar. Pluto's elongated orbit is predicted to have a major effect on its atmosphere: as Pluto moves away from the Sun, its atmosphere should gradually freeze out, and fall to the ground. When Pluto is closer to the Sun, the temperature of Pluto's solid surface increases, causing the ices to sublimate into gas. This creates an anti-greenhouse effect; much as sweat cools the body as it evaporates from the surface of the skin, this sublimation cools the surface of Pluto. Scientists using the Submillimeter Array have recently discovered that Pluto's temperature is about 43 K (−230 °C), 10 K colder than would otherwise be expected.

The presence of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in Pluto's atmosphere creates a temperature inversion, with average temperatures 36 K warmer 10 km above the surface. The lower atmosphere contains a higher concentration of methane than its upper atmosphere.>>
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:34 pm

Messican wrote:
Now take some real thermometers there and see if it's valid. That would make Guinness records happy.
I would trust a well calibrated satellite measurement of record surface temperature
over any single human measurement of record surface temperature.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_weather_records wrote:
<<World Record highest temperature ever recorded: 56.7 °C (134 °F) : Furnace Creek Ranch, in Death Valley, California, United States, 1913-07-10. The former highest official temperature on Earth, held for 90 years by ‘Aziziya, Libya, was de-certified by the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) in January 2012 as the record for the world's highest surface temperature (this temperature of 57.8 °C (136 °F), registered on September 13, 1922, is currently considered to have been a recorder's error. [On 16 January 1889, a temperature of 53 °C (128 °F) was recorded at Cloncurry, Queensland. It was measured with a non-standard thermometer, so it is unknown if this reading was valid or not. The reading is not recognised by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.] There are a few reports of temperatures higher than 56.7 °C during phenomena known as heat bursts, including a report of 87 °C (188 °F) in Abadan, Iran in June 1967. These temperatures have never been confirmed, and are not recognized as world records.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dasht-e_Lut wrote:

<<Dasht-e Lut (Persian: کویر لوت‎, "Emptiness Desert"), also spelled Dasht-i-Lut and known as the Lut Desert, is a large salt desert in southeastern Kerman Iran and is the world's 25th largest desert. Measurements of MODIS (Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) installed on NASA's satellite "Aqua" from 2003 to 2005 testify that the hottest land surface on Earth is located in Dasht-e Lut and land surface temperatures reach here 70.7 °C (159.3 °F), though the air temperature is cooler. Precision of measurements is 0.5 K to 1 K. The hottest part of Dasht-e Lut is Gandom Beryan, a large plateau covered in dark lava, approximately 480 square kilometres in area.According to a local legend, the name (in translation from Persian — "Toasted wheat") originates from an accident where a load of wheat was left in the desert and was eventually scorched by the heat in a few days.>>
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:47 pm

CuriousJeff wrote:
My understanding is that CO2 freezes at one atmosphere and -80 C. Was any frozen CO2 observed at this location?
CO2 freezes at one atmosphere of CO2 at -78.5 C.

However, the partial pressure of CO2 is less than 0.0004.

Polar stratospheric clouds or PSCs, also known as nacreous clouds, are water ice clouds in the winter polar stratosphere at altitudes of 15,000–25,000 meters which only form at temperatures below −78 °C (−108 °F) due to the low partial pressures of water vapor.
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by biddie67 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:09 pm

Re:: the map of Antarctica above ...

It seems that from the South Pole, every point is "north". If "west" is to one's right when looking at a map facing northward, Antarctica's "west" would change as one turned around ... As silly as it sounds, how did West and East Antarctica get their names?

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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:21 pm

biddie67 wrote:
It seems that from the South Pole, every point is "north". If "west" is to one's right when looking at a map facing northward, Antarctica's "west" would change as one turned around ... As silly as it sounds, how did West and East Antarctica get their names?
  • It was an occidental coincidence:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Antarctica wrote:
<<The Western Hemisphere or occidental hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian (which crosses Greenwich, London, United Kingdom) and east of the Antimeridian, the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere, or "oriental hemisphere". West Antarctica, or Lesser Antarctica, one of the two major regions of Antarctica, is the part of the continent that lies within the Western Hemisphere including the Antarctic Peninsula. It is separated from East Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains and is covered by the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The name has existed for more than 100 years (Balch, 1902; Nordenskiöld, 1905), but its greatest use followed the International Geophysical Year (1957–58) and explorations disclosing that the Transantarctic Mountains provide a useful regional separation of West Antarctica and East Antarctica. The name was approved by Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (US-ACAN) in 1962.>>
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Re: APOD: The Coldest Place on Earth (2013 Dec 11)

Post by biddie67 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:14 pm

Wow ~~ as simple as that !! Thanks, neufer!!