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How to Convert Temperatures on Mars...and Everywhere Else

Taking temperature conversions to the next level.

By
Jason Marshall, PhD,

In a recent Math Dude episode we learned how to convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius, and vice versa. To go from degrees Fahrenheit (°F) to degrees Celsius (°C) you have to subtract 32 from the Fahrenheit temperature and then divide by 1.8, like this:

°C = (°F – 32°) / 1.8

To go from degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit you have to multiply the Celsius temperature by 1.8 and then add 32°, like this:

°F = (°C • 1.8) + 32°

Once you know that, you can convert temperatures to your heart's content and figure out lots of things, including:

  • The average temperature of the surface of Mercury is:

354 °F … or (354° – 32°) / 1.8 ≈ 179 °C

  • The average temperature of the surface of Mars is:

–47 °C … or (–47° • 1.8) + 32° ≈ –53 °F

  • The average temperature of the surface of Pluto is:

–380 °F … or (–380° – 32°) / 1.8 ≈ –229 °C

 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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