Lava cascades from Mauna Ulu flowing down right into Alae crater, Kilauea, Hawaii, joined States. Image credit: USGS.


Generally speaking, the answer come this one is yes: and also we have actually a little of a hint already from the phase of matter they’re each in.

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Stars, usually speaking, are made that plasma; a state of matter so energetic the the electrons and also protons which normally comprise a hydrogen atom have split apart and also are careening off of things separately. Lava, through contrast, is a liquid. That a weird, particularly viscous liquid, but fundamentally the molten rock, and also is because of this technically a liquid till it cools.

Your common star, a ring blob the plasma in space, generates heat and also light by fusing elements in its core. Typically speaking, this is the fusion of hydrogen into helium. The temperature that the star is regulated by the price at which fusion occurs in the core. The much faster helium is accumulated from hydrogen, the an ext light is produced, and also the name is the star overall.

That blend rate, in turn, is managed by the mass of the star. The much more massive the star, the an ext it can compress product down into higher densities in ~ its core, and also it’s this rise in density that results in a faster combination process.

So once we’re compare the temperature that stars come the temperature of lava, the precise results will vary depending on how huge your star is. However, for any kind of star i beg your pardon is fusing hydrogen right into helium, even the lowest mass stars which are the coolest that the lot, the surface ar temperature (defined as the suggest at which light is able come stream openly into space) is still much, lot hotter than the temperature of the sexy lava top top Earth.


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The surface temperature that the Sun, i m sorry is an typical mass star, is about 5500 levels Celsius. A red dwarf star, the coolest the the stars that deserve to fuse hydrogen, sit at around 3000 C. Lava generally checks in at a temperature somewhere between 700 degrees and also 1200 degrees. At its hottest, lava is only half the temperature the the surface ar of the dimmest stars.

There are, however, mainly objects which do fall within the temperature selection of lava, despite they’re not thought about full stars. This is the brown dwarf class; they aren’t able come fuse hydrogen right into helium with the standard pathway, because they’re not massive enough come compress your cores down into the temperatures and also pressures compelled to create a blend reaction. However they space still warmth (both loved one to the vacuum that space, and also on person terms).


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Brown dwarfs expectancy the space between a particularly massive planet and also the the smallest hydrogen burn stars. Due to the fact that they are so much less massive, the the smallest brown dwarfs have the right to be lava-temperatures at their surfaces. There are three large classes of brown dwarfs; L, T & Y dwarfs. L dwarfs are still maintaining surface temperatures of approximately 1400 degrees C - the T dwarf is cooler again, in ~ 900 levels Celsius, now firmly in ~ the realm of the temperatures of molten lava. And also the Y dwarf checks in at only 300 levels Celsius. The coldest Y dwarfs are within the range of temperatures us encounter in non-lava scenarios on planet - somewhere in between 40 and also 90 degrees C. This is a drinkable temperature.

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So while the celestial objects we think about “stars” will constantly win in a game of “which is hotter”, if you desire to include the coolest brown dwarfs, lava deserve to win out.

The trick with a brown dwarf is that these objects room no longer furious balls the plasma, as is true of ours Sun. The boundaries in between a an extremely low fixed brown dwarf and a high massive Jupiter-like planet are fairly fuzzy, and also so the faintest and coolest brown dwarfs are expected to it is in shrouded in a Jupiter-style great of special clouds. That this cloud class that us see once we watch them indigenous Earth, and also so while your cores may still it is in plasma, the outer layers room simply heat gas.