Stellar explosion

What Is The Hottest Thing In The Universe?

For the most part, the universe is a fairly cold place. The average temperature of the universe is minus 455-degrees Fahrenheit (minus 270-degrees Celsius). Space is simply so empty that despite the number of stars, temperatures remain exceedingly cold. However, not everywhere in the universe is this cold. What is the hottest known object in the universe?

The Hottest Temperature In Space

Carb Nebula
Supernovae are the hottest known objects in the universe. Image credit: NASA/ESA

Although there is a limit to how cold something can be, a temperature called absolute zero, there is virtually no limit to how hot something can be. As of yet, the hottest known objects in the universe are supernovae, which can reach temperatures exceeding 100-billion degrees. A supernova represents the final moments of a massive star’s life, wherein its own gravity causes the star to collapse inward and rebound as a massive explosion. Supernovae are also among the most energetic, brightest events in the cosmos. A single supernova can release more energy than an entire galaxy, and its brightness can exceed the combined total of billions of stars. 

The Hottest Temperature In a Lab

Large Hadron Collider
The hottest temperature ever recorded was produced at the Large Hadron Collider

Interestingly, the hottest recorded temperature in the universe was right here on Earth in scientific laboratories. The hottest temperature ever recorded was at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2012, scientists managed to produce a temperature of nearly 10-trillion degrees Fahrenheit, which is many magnitudes larger than even the hottest supernova. The temperature produced at CERN is about 30 times hotter than the core of the sun. 

Hottest Temperature To Ever Exist

The Big Bang
The hottest temperatures to ever exist were during the first moments of the Big Bang

The reason why the Large Hadron Collider produces such extreme temperatures is because scientists are trying to recreate the conditions that would have existed during the Big Bang. The universe may be fairly cold today, yet things were not always this way. During the first moment of the Big Bang, temperatures likely reached a staggering 180-million trillion trillion degrees Fahrenheit. Within the first 100-seconds of time, temperatures cooled to around 180-billion degrees Fahrenheit. 

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