There is a cold place outside the planet. It is none other than a cloud of gas and dust kept at the Boomerang Nebula. The contents move quickly and are usually at a temperature of 1 degree Kelvin. Its equivalent is -458 degrees Fahrenheit. For a long time, it had remained the coldest space on earth. However, that changed last year. That was after a successful attempt to make something more chilled than that. As of now, there is an object as cold as having a temperature of 0.00036 degrees Kelvin. That is about -459 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nevertheless, that is bound to change. Yesterday there was the launch of the Cygnus spacecraft. Among its content, that which it was to take to the International Space Station, there Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) experiment. If its installation on the station will be safe and prosperous, the cloud’s gas may cool up to a temperature of 0.000000001 degrees Kelvin. If converted to degrees Fahrenheit, that will be about -459. That will be slightly lower than the current coldest spot if we consider all the decimals.
Compared to space’s background temperature that of the experiment will be relatively lower. Why not when that of space is about -455 degrees Fahrenheit? The CAL is studying clouds of an atom whose temperature is not far from the absolute zero. That is the Bose-Einstein condensates which are about -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit.
Those operating the experiment are doing it remotely. The people behind it are not astronauts in the ISS but people on earth. On a daily basis, researchers will get almost 7 hours to work on that experiment. As of now, there are seven proposals regarding research. According to the current plan, the investigation will take place for three years. Depending on what happens, that would change once the pledged period elapses.
The fact that this experiment is near becoming a reality calls for a celebration. Initially, the plan was that it commence in 2016. After that failed to go through, the team did not hesitate to give it another date. The next one was August 2017. Not even that turned out to be the real date, but they did not give up either. The team can smile, eventually. The Cygnus cargo ship will arrive on May 24 if things go as planned. The CAL is just one of the many experiments that depend on the arrival of the spacecraft launched to the ISS yesterday.