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Is the Sun Hotter than Lightning?

Last Reviewed and Updated on June 17, 2022

Both the sun and the lightning have something in common, they are both in the state of plasma. But is the sun hotter than lightning? Or could it be the other way around? We’ll explore the temperatures of both the sun and lightning to see which one is hotter and if the answer is really a simple yes or no.

Temperatures of the Sun

The temperatures of the sun aren’t uniform, the deeper you go, the hotter it gets.

The surface temperature of the sun is about 10.000° Fahrenheit / 5.500° Celsius.

As you go deeper, the temperature will rise, reaching an insane 27 million ° Fahrenheit / 15 million ° Celsius.

Surprisingly, suns corona, the outmost region of the sun is a lot hotter than the surface is. In fact, it’s 150 to 459 times hotter than the surface of the Sun is.

Wondering how these temperatures are measured, as bringing a thermometer to the sun isn’t exactly possible? They are measured by complex mathematical models which take emitted light and the properties of light into account.

Also read: fun facts about the Sun

Temperature of Lightning

Lightning is a very powerful electrostatic discharge. Lightning comes in different shapes and sizes, so its properties are not the same for each and every lightning strike.

The return stroke, the part of lightning we see and it goes from the ground to the cloud, can reach extremely high temperatures, it can exceed 50.000 ° F / 27.000 ° C.

As with the Sun, the temperatures of lightning can’t be measured directly. They are measured through spectral analysis and calculation of light emitted.

So, is the Sun Hotter than Lightning?

Looking at the numbers you can see the answer is both yes and no and it depends on which part of the Sun you look at.

Lightning can be a lot hotter than the surface of the sun, more than 5 times hotter even which is fascinating.

If you compare the temperature of the Sun’s core to that of s lightning, you will see that the lightning fades in comparison. The core is a million times hotter than the lightning is.

Corona is a lot hotter than the lightning is as well.

Is the Sun hotter than lightning? Depends on how you form your question. If you would average the temperature of the Sun’s surface, corona, and core, the answer would be a resounding no.

If you just focus on the surface of the Sun, the answer would be yes.

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