What is the Hottest Place in the Universe?

February 14, 2024

When it comes to the Universe, there are few things hotter than a supernova explosion. In fact, they can reach temperatures of up to 100 billion degrees Celsius, which is more than the sun itself. A supernova is the death throes of massive stars, a violent and incredibly bright event that sees the star collapse inward under its own gravity, then explode outward again in a fiery display of light and heat. The star is heated by the fusion of hydrogen in its core, which generates a tremendous amount of energy. As the star collapses, it also burns its helium supplies, producing carbon and iron, which makes it even hotter.

But that doesn’t mean the sun is always the hottest thing in the Universe, or even the Solar System for that matter. The hottest man-made temperature ever recorded was created right here on Earth, at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. When scientists smashed gold particles together, for just a split second the temperature reached 7.2 trillion degrees Fahrenheit — that’s hotter than a supernova explosion.

It’s difficult to pin down the hottest place in the Universe, because temperatures of distant objects can’t be measured with thermometers. However, Koushik Chatterjee from the Black Hole Initiative said abrupt events, such as black holes ramming into neutron stars, can produce extreme temperatures. If you’re looking for the hottest sustained temperature, however, it would probably be in the Intracluster Medium, a vast pool of incredibly hot hydrogen and helium that permeates galaxy clusters.


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