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If space is so cold, why is the Earth so warm?


Windevoid
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Because of the greenhouse gases present and its stimulation which are bounded by earth's gravitational pull.

 

 

Because of the greenhouse gases present and its stimulation which are bounded by earth's gravitational pull.

Makes sense.

Oh, okay. So it's being warmed by the sun., but why doesn't the air lose all of its heat to the vacuum of space at night?

Newton's Law of Cooling, right?

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Oh, okay. So it's being warmed by the sun., but why doesn't the air lose all of its heat to the vacuum of space at night?

Yes but the other side of the Earth is still geting warmed by the Sun and the rate of cooling is not such that in a few hours the Earth will become near absolulte zero over night. The oceans alsostore lots of energy.

Edited by ajb
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Where did you get that "space is cold"? This has mislead you.

 

An atmosphere, preferably windy, equalizes object temperatures as it transports heat well, so one can define a common temperature.

 

Vacuum lacks such a common temperature - which does not imply that space is cold! Objects get warmed by Sunlight and they cool by radiating infrared. At Earth's distance to the Sun, half-efficient absorption and emission result in habitable temperature, for Earth as for any object. Greenhouse effect adds a bit to it but is secondary.

 

The main difficulty with temperatures in space is that they vary brutally because no atmosphere regulates them. Sides exposed to Sunlight get hot, sides in the shadow cold - too brutally for humans, batteries, most sensors, many plastics, long-lasting electronics... So obtaining regular bearable temperatures is a difficult challenge in spacecraft design.

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Makes sense.

Oh, okay. So it's being warmed by the sun., but why doesn't the air lose all of its heat to the vacuum of space at night?

Newton's Law of Cooling, right?

 

Heat is lost to space at night.

 

However the supply of energy from the sun is constant. When it's night where you are, it's not night everywhere on the planet.

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If space is so cold, why is the Earth so warm?

 

There is something wrong in the statement, if you would face directly in the sun without atmosphere in space without suit or protection you would have burned, it could reach temperatures up to 200 degree celsius, but since space is almost empty and vast the method of heat transfer is not good. Method of heat transfer is only through radiation. So if the object is hit by radiation then only then it temperature changes. So defibitely space has no general temperature only objects on it has temperature measure.

 

On earth meanwhile we are not vacuum and has good heat conductivity and one radiation from sun reaches us it is scaterred all over by both the surface and moving wind. You know UVs are bad for you so actually its the rays that produces heat and unable to easily escape from our atmosphere. Like in space temperature varies as which receives more radiation and which is not, you would notice it as both poles being extreme cold temperature while near ecuator directly facing the sun is really warm as the magnitude of the ray striking has no horizontal component or is straight line.

 

Remember the basic law of thermodynamics, objects near each other will try to become in thermal equilibrium and since earth is not vacuum and is capable of conducting heat throughout then it will try to reach thermal equilibrum but due to the different heating properties of material it will do that unevenly and take time and somehow will not able to do so since the earth rotates and the process couldnt keep up.

Edited by gabrelov
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There are many factors which creates heat, even the core of the Earth generates a back-reaction of heat from the molten core. But mostly, we capture most of the heat during the day from the sun. Has been like this for centuries and more. Some argue it is getting hotter because of greenhouse gases; we say gases because there is more than one we are most familiar with ie. CO2, but there are as far as I know, 6 different greenhouse gases.

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