What is the temperature on the moon?

The moon is Earth‘s closest celestial neighbor, but the two bodies are worlds apart in terms of temperature. 

The moon’s temperature can reach a boiling 250° Fahrenheit (120° Celsius or 400 Kelvin) during lunar daytime at the moon’s equator, according to NASA. Lunar daytime is roughly two Earth-weeks long, since the moon takes a little less than one month – about 27.3 days – to complete one of its days, according to a study published in August 2019 by the Journal of Geophysical Research

Lunar night time is also about two weeks long, during which the moon’s temperature plummets to -208 degrees F (-130° C, 140 K) according to NASA. In certain spots near the moon’s poles temperatures can drop even further, reaching – 424° F (- 253°C or 20 K). 

Moon north pole

The Wide Angle Camera on NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured 983 images that make up this mosaic of the moon’s north pole. Since these images were taken when the north pole was best illuminated, the shadowy places seen here are likely permanently shadowed regions (PSRs). (Image credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

One reason for these dramatic extremes is that the moon has no atmosphere to insulate heat. Its lack of a gaseous blanket also means that craters and major dramatic landmarks do not erode the way they do on Earth, leaving perpetual pockets of darkness near the moon’s poles that host the moon’s most frigid temperatures.