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Temperature

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Temperature is the measurement on a thermometric scale of the average heat energy of an object or an environment.

Earth scales

Celsius

Main article: Celsius

The degree Celsius (°C) was named after Earth astronomer Anders Celsius, and was designed so that the freezing and boiling points of water would be 0 °C and 100 °C respectively at 1 Earth atm.

The replicators aboard a Federation starship like the USS Enterprise-D are calibrated to the Celsius scale. (TNG: "The Defector")

Fahrenheit

Main article: Fahrenheit

The degree Fahrenheit (°F) was named after Earth physicist Gabriel Fahrenheit, and was designed so that the freezing and boiling points of water would be 32 °F and 212 °F respectively at 1 Earth atm.

Sensors aboard 23rd century Federation starships could be calibrated to read in degrees Fahrenheit. However, like the mile, this antiquated means of measurement was used only on rare occasions. (Star Trek: The Original Series)

Kelvin

Main article: Kelvin. You might also be looking for the alien species from the Andromeda Galaxy known as the Kelvans.

The Kelvin (K) was named after Earth physicist and engineer Lord Kelvin. The scale was designed so that 0 K would be absolute zero, with the magnitude of each unit equal to one degree Celsius. As a result, water freezes at 273.15 K and boils at 373.15 K

Other scales

Onkian

Main article: Onkian

An Onkian is a thermometric scale used within the Romulan Star Empire. Twelve onkians are equivalent to a temperature above the freezing point of water. Admiral Alidar Jarok, after requesting political asylum on the USS Enterprise-D, ordered water with a temperature of twelve onkians from the replicator in his guest quarters. (TNG: "The Defector")

Absolute zero

Absolute zero is the term used for zero heat energy, the lower limit of possible temperatures.

Comparative list of temperatures

Theta 116 VIII graphic

An impossible temperature of −291 °C

  • ( 0 K, −273.15 °C, −459.67 °F ) – When the USS Enterprise first scanned the insectoid ship it encountered in 2270, it appeared to have a temperature of exactly absolute zero, a theoretical impossibility. Later, it was discovered that the insectoid ship's energy accumulating wands, which collected many types of energy, were causing the sensors to return false data. The heat was being absorbed by the wands, leaving none to be detected. (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star")
In the episode he and an Okudagram said "°C", which is impossible. The actual script read "°F".
  • ( 298 K, 24 °C, 76 °F ) – The Federation and Bourget habitat zones, found on board a Nyrian biosphere vessel, both had an ambient temperature of 76°. (VOY: "Displaced")
The dialog said "degrees Celsius", completely unreasonable for normal Human tolerances. This fact was reinforced by Jake Sisko's statement, when he wondered how the Bajoran laborers on Terok Nor could survive working in conditions reaching 55 °C. This was probably the same mistake made with the temperature of Theta VII. 76 °Fahrenheit is a tad on the warm side, but certainly comfortable for Humans.
  • ( 305 K, 32 °C, 90 °F ) – When the Federation took over Deep Space 9, the station's average temperature was at 32 °Celsius, indicating the temperature preference of Cardassians. (DS9: "Emissary")
  • ( 310.1 K, 36.9 °C, 98.5 °F ) – While scanning the surface of a planet, Spock's sensor readings discovered a Human being, later determined to be named Lazarus, with a body temperature of 98.5 °Fahrenheit. (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")
  • ( 312.6 K, 39.4 °C, 102.9 °F ) – Initial scans made by the USS Grissom on Sector 2 of the Genesis Planet indicated that it had a desert terrain, with minimal vegetation and a temperature of 39.4 °Celsius. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
  • ( 319 K, 46 °C, 115 °F ) – The Zooabud and Tanatuva habitat zones, found on board a Nyrian biosphere vessel, both had an ambient temperature of 46 °Celsius. (VOY: "Displaced")
  • ( 423 K, 150 °C, 302 °F ) – The Legarans preferred to inhabit in a pool of thick swirling ooze, which was carefully maintained at the constant of 150 °Celsius. (TNG: "Sarek")
  • ( 473 K, 200 °C, 392 °F ) – The temperature at the lunar prison on Meldrar I reached 200° in the shade. (DS9: "Necessary Evil")
If this reference was actually in Fahrenheit, then the equivalent temperatures would be ( 366 K, 93 °C, 200 °F ).
  • ( 500 K, 227 °C, 440 °F ) – The surface of a Y-class planet was categorized by a surface on which the temperature exceeds 500 Kelvin, with an extremely turbulent, toxic atmosphere with thermionic radiation. (VOY: "Demon")

Extreme heat

At very high temperatures, the difference between Kelvin and Celsius becomes inconsequential, as 273 degrees becomes less than the measurement and/or rounding error.

  • ( 60e3×103 K, °C, 108e3×103 °F ) – While conducting an experiment on the star Praxillus, in order to revitalize the Kaelon sun, the results of their initial experiment yielded seventeen hundred percent rise in gamma radiation levels, while the stars' density was measured at eleven hundred grams per cubic centimeter, with a temperature approaching 60 thousand degrees Kelvin. (TNG: "Half a Life")
  • ( 260e6×106 K, °C, 468e6×106 °F ) – In order to stabilize the core of a star, the temperature has to reach 220 million degrees Kelvin. The core density of a star becomes unstable at 260 million degrees Kelvin. (TNG: "Half a Life")

Fluctuation in temperature

Although not explicitly stated in terms of "degrees of what", the following temperature fluctuation references are most likely made in Celsius.

  • Once the wind died down on the planet where Dukat and Sisko were stranded in 2374, Dukat noted that the temperature increased by 20 degrees – much to the liking of his Cardassian physiology. (DS9: "Waltz")

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