Friday, January 27, 2023

Which is the coldest place in the universe?

To answer this question we can start by asking ourselves which is the coldest place on earth… and keep going down. In that case we could think it’s in the North Pole, but it’s cold Antarctica: The temperature at our South Pole is less than 20 to 30 degrees. Interestingly, despite all odds, animals and plants continue to live in this frozen wasteland, where over 1,000 species of plants have been cataloged. The most abundant living animal in Antarctica is tip, and it is not for less that it is the most extreme cold-born survivor: in the laboratory it has survived temperatures near absolute zero (-273.16 ºC). It’s beneath the frozen Antarctic surface where we’re going to find, if scientists’ predictions are true, absolutely amazing biotopes.
In particular, experts are amazed at a freshwater lake discovered in 1974 under a 4 km layer of continental ice in East Antarctica. is that lago vostokWith a maximum length of 200 km and an average depth of 125 m. Drilling that was intended to reach it stopped in 1998 at 100 meters from the lake’s surface: isolated from the rest of the world for 15 million years the environment could be destroyed. The first frozen water sample was obtained in 2013, but as the ice sheet was drilled, lake water mixed with freon and kerosene kept the well cold, contaminating the sample. In January 2015, a new well was drilled and a supposedly “clean” water sample was obtained. In it, RNA and DNA sequences were found indicating the presence of organisms, some similar to those found in the digestive tracts of fish, crustaceans and annelid worms. About 94% were bacteria and 6% eukaryotes, mostly fungi. However, accessing the lake’s water remains a major challenge as it is unclear how to access it without contaminating it.

lago vostok

Well, on the surface, where the Vostok research base is located, is the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth: -88.3º C. But it is not the coldest place. In other smaller valleys on the East Antarctic Plateau, winter temperatures of −98 °C have been recorded from 2004 to 2016. Five degrees less than previously estimated, according to a study published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research. letter. In 2018.

coolness in the solar system

This may sound like a lot, but it is nothing compared to the temperatures reached on other planets in our solar system. Jupiter’s moon, Europa, is one of the places where some types of prebiotic chemicals occur, with a surface temperature of -170º C. This Jovian satellite appears completely frozen and with a thickness of between 10 and 100 kilometers of ice beneath its surface. A vast sea of ​​salt water is spread.

of the moon

At the beginning of the Solar System, Europa was at the right distance to receive the heat radiated by a young Jupiter still in formation. Its atmosphere was rich in carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water vapor, ammonia, methane, and hydrogen, and various volcanic eruptions spewed lava into a vast ocean of water. But its fate was sealed: Jupiter’s contraction ended, it stopped emitting radiation, and Europa’s vast ocean froze over.

Our neighbor Mars is also a very cold place. The average temperature at the surface is -63º C, with a range of 20º C to -140º C. But the most important thing is the sudden change in its temperature. In just one minute, at dawn, the temperature can change by 20°C. Furthermore, if we were to stand on Mars, the temperature difference between our feet and our head would be about 15°C.


coldest place

For cold, cold, our own universe. Its average temperature is about -270º C. So we can say that interstellar space, away from any star, is the coldest place in the universe. No. Although it may seem incredible to us, space is not the coldest place we can find. In fact, if we want to visit the coldest place in Spain, we have to go to the basement of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Zaragoza. There, in one of the laboratories of the Institute of Materials Science of Aragon (ICMA), we will find a weak refrigerator that cools to a temperature of 12 thousand degrees Celsius above absolute zero (-273.16 ºC).

Of course, we have the record for the coldest place at the Center for Applied Space Technology and Microgravity at the University of Bremen in Germany: In 2021, scientists broke the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in a laboratory: a temperature 38 billionths of a degree per degree above absolute zero by dropping magnetized gas from a height of 120 m to the bottom of the tower. Of course it only fell over the course of a few seconds.
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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