# QuestionTemperature on the Moon?

#### mossathewriter

What would be the digit recorded by a thermometer suspended in the shade in a hit-by-sunrays site on the Moon? bearing on mind that the thermometer would be in a vacuum, since there is no air on the Moon, and that the seething temperature of the surroundings would have no effect on the thermometer, since heat does not transfer through a vacuum.

#### billslugg

A thermometer would stabilize at a temperature of the average of what it sees. Take the percentage of outer space at -457°F seen by it, the temperature of the shaded Moon surface at -280°F seen by it and the temperature of the sunlit surface at +260°F seen by it, then calculate a weighted average.

#### mossathewriter

A thermometer would stabilize at a temperature of the average of what it sees. Take the percentage of outer space at -457°F seen by it, the temperature of the shaded Moon surface at -280°F seen by it and the temperature of the sunlit surface at +260°F seen by it, then calculate a weighted average.
One centimeter above the ground and upward anywhere on the Moon, whether the site is sunlit or shaded, it is -457° F, as there is no medium through which the heat of the Moon's surface can transfer upwardly.

#### billslugg

You are correct that there is no medium to transfer heat by conduction. However, heat transfer by radiation heats any lunar soil in sunlight to +260°F. Any soil in the shade loses its heat to the open sky which is at -457°F. Any bit of soil in the shade which looks at both unshaded soil and the open sky reaches a temperature in between the two in proportion to how much of each it sees.