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NASA Spitzer Space Telescope • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
• California Institute of Technology
• Vision for Space Exploration
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What Is Kelvin?

Astronomers generally adopt the Kelvin temperature scale, named after Lord (William Thompson) Kelvin, a 19th century Scottish physicist and mathematician. A difference of one degree on the Kelvin (K) scale is the same as for the Celsius (or centigrade) scale. However, the zero-point is defined to be absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature and the point where atomic and molecular motion ceases. [There are no negative temperatures, or readings "below zero," on the Kelvin scale.] Note that no degree symbol () is used for the Kelvin scale.

  Kelvin (K) Celsius (C) Farenheit (F)
Boiling Point of Water 373 100 212
Healthy Human Body 310 37 99
Room Temperature 295 22 72
Freezing Point of Water & Melting Point of Ice 273 0 32
Deep Space 35 -238 -396
Spitzer operating temperature 5 -268 -450
Absolute Zero 0 -273 -460

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The Spitzer Space Telescope is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This website is maintained by the Spitzer Science Center, located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology and part of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. Privacy Policy

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