Yeah, think I touched on this issue in the opener, speculating that the oft quoted +/-105 degrees c during the lunar day was simply the limit to credulity that a supposed ‘air conditioned’ space suit could cope with
The more one thinks about it, the odder the Moon becomes. From the fable that is a heliocentric solar system placing the Sun at about 93m miles distant and the Moon a further / closer 1/4 million miles (depending on position of orbit around us) then its surface should logically be at least equal to the high temperatures of the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere (anything up to 2,500c ).
Yet I don’t think that it can be, as we know with certainty that all but a handful of the known elements melt and absolutely all solids will radiate an intense white/ blue light and as we can all see with our own eyes, the Moon’s surface is neither of these. It has structure...is not a molten sphere of goo and does not emit the kind of light known solids do under these conditions.
As fbenario has pointed out, in true ‘Clues’ fashion it’s feasible that the stated high altitude temperatures of the so called ‘Thermosphere’ might simply be wrong / a hoax even. I’ve been searching high and low for answers as regards our history of understanding into this glaring contradiction to space travel and so far come up empty handed...no names, no dates of discovery but can’t help feeling that it must have been ‘consensus of opinion‘ in way, way before NASA ventured where no man had ever ventured before*
So unless future digging proves us wrong, I’m with Lux on this. NASA were left with a choice of either attempting a re-write of known and accepted observations prior to kissing Earth goodbye or had to explain it away as a non-problem, which is evidently what they did. Copied almost verbatim throughout the interwebs the explanation is thus...
“The highly diluted gas in this layer can reach 2,500 °C (4,530 °F) during the day. Even though the temperature is so high, one would not feel warm in the thermosphere, because it is so near vacuum that there is not enough contact with the few atoms of gas to transfer much heat. A normal thermometer would read significantly below 0 °C (32 °F), because the energy lost by thermal radiation would exceed the energy acquired from the atmospheric gas by direct contact.”
... which as Lux correctly points out, is pure garbage. The energy that heats these sparse molecules can only come from the Sun’s electromagnetic radiation. Doesn’t matter if molecules are ‘loose’ (thin atmosphere) or packed (spacecraft) the resulting temperature on exposure will be the same...melted / ionised, burnt to a fracking crisp.
Just as a footnote to this, it seems that the atmospheric layers have been designated various terms (Troposphere, Stratosphere etc) in accordance with their temperature characteristics. There is a different equation that gives us something and something or other against altitude to arrive at how hot / cold each is... http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/A ... print.html
Here is an online calculator that uses these parameters... http://www.digitaldutch.com/atmoscalc/
...as you will see (and typical of every other) it does not accept a height input above 86Km. I’m guessing that the reason for this is that our region in question is recognised to be forever in a state of flux, changing properties in direct relationship to solar activity and therefore cannot be reliably modeled mathematically.
So, back to the Moon. Well obviously this is all speculation because I think that we can be quite sure that if the above is only half the truth then we have not ventured vertically, manned or unmanned the equivalent of a two hour journey on a London bus (not very far at all). However, if it is a solid tangible object (it may not be...who knows) that is sans atmosphere or magnetosphere as we are so assuredly told then it does stand to reason that its surface temp’ is at least equivalent to that of the highest reaches of Earth’s envelope since it too is completely exposed to the raw energy of the Sun.
I stated in the opener to this thread that I thought that it might perhaps be possible that the Moon was massive enough to enable absorption through conduction from its surface and then to re-radiate this heat back into ‘space‘ during the lunar night to prevent melting or heat glow but that kind of sounds like a cop out to me now.
Perhaps it’s composed of an element / elements that are not found on Earth. After all, the night time light it emits appears to be far too bright to be a simple reflection from old Sol of which many independents agree...some sort of phosphorescent, heat resistant material? Explaining why we see it in such crystal clarity on a cloudless day / night when landscapes here on Earth, thousands of times closer fade comparatively in resolution...No idea.
What about SC member ‘Totalrecall’s’ assertion of the stars disappearing with altitude? http://www.wildheretic.com/disappearing-stars/
This one really interests me as I know he’s right...you cannot see the stars from 35 - 40,000 feet up as one would expect and it isn’t anything to do with that smeary plastic window and dim cabin lights. Earth’s surface (+/- a bit) a focal point for the entire cosmos?...dunno, just guessing.