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By Lumistar's Chief Scientist

January 15, 2014

Coldest Spot On Earth Found By Thermal Camera

Lumistar coldest spot on eath

If one had to guess where the coldest place on Earth is, if you guessed Antarctica you’d be right. The coldest place on Earth has been measured by a space-borne high resolution thermal infrared camera sensor on the recently launched satellite named Landsat-8. On August 10, 2010 during the 24hr dark Antarctic winter months, it was recorded to be a bitter -135.8 Fahrenheit/-93.2 Celsius at a latitude of 81.8 degrees South and a longitude of 59.3 degrees East, at an elevation of about 3,900 meters. It turns out there are many cold spots in Antarctica “strung out like pearls” at each peak along the ridges. The satellite’s sophisticated thermal camera sensor made its way through the dry and clear air that surrounds the interior of Antarctica all the way to the ice’s surface where the temperature was taken. Traditionally, the temperature has to be taken in the air for it to count in the world record books, but scientists are certain the air above the surface is cold enough to beat the current record in 1983 by the Russians also in Antarctica, by at least -4 degrees Celsius/-25 Fahrenheit. In fact, the thermal camera is at such high resolution scientists aren’t sure how to fully calibrate it’s sensor until it has more time to understand all the data Landsat-8 is giving them. Scientists speculate it is in fact be even colder in these spots by several degrees. They hope to get some ground based instruments capable of air temperature there in order to take a measurement and secure the world record. By comparison, the coldest temperature recorded in Alaska and Siberia is about -43/ -45F, and the summit of Greenland being -63C/ -81F. The lowest temperature recorded on Earth’s moon is that of -238C/ -396F.

In case you were wondering if this high resolution thermal sensor also happen to record the hottest place on earth — it did. The hottest surface temperature on earth recorded by Landsat-8 was in Dasht-e Lut salt desert in southeast Iran, where it reached +70.7 Celsius/+159.3 Fahrenheit in 2005.

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Filed under: Camera,Infrared,Lumistar,Technology,Thermal Imaging — Tags: , — Lumistar @ 08:00


  1. Thanks for another great read. Time to make a frosty.

    Comment by Yi Min Tsai — January 15, 2014 @ 10:23


  3. I couldn’t help from commenting. Very well written!

    Comment by Bniealkg — January 15, 2014 @ 18:18


  5. Someone alert the media or Al Gore.

    Comment by Randal Giles — January 16, 2014 @ 11:49


  7. Both the hot and cold places on this list sound like Hell. Except one froze over.

    Comment by Mia Townson — January 17, 2014 @ 04:02


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  11. Someone remind me when the Russians didn’t try to one up the Americans?

    Comment by Brant Mason — January 18, 2014 @ 09:48


  13. Maybe McDonald’s or a Starbucks should open a location there since it’s now a notable location.

    Comment by Leila Goncalves Alves — January 21, 2014 @ 13:14


  15. Wow, this thermal space camera sensor must be unbelievably powerful. Maybe Lumistar can get it’s hands on that tech.

    Comment by Leo Marsh — January 22, 2014 @ 17:50


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