Glossary term: Temperature

Description: Temperature is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter. The heat content of a body (or particle) is the source of the flow of energy when a body is in contact with a colder or hotter body. Temperature is important in all disciplines of natural science as well as most aspects of everyday life. The most common temperature scales are the Celsius scale (former name centigrade, denoted as °C), the Fahrenheit scale (denoted as °F), and the Kelvin scale (denoted as K). The latter is predominantly used for scientific purposes. The lowest theoretical temperature is absolute zero (0 K = -273.16 °C), at which no more thermal energy can be extracted from a body. In the nucleus of stars, the temperature exceeds 10 million K, while in interstellar space it is below 10 K.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".