Is Hell hotter than Heaven?

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is the Bible: Isaiah 30:26 reads, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7 times 7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that. With these figures we can compute the temperature of Heaven.

The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation,

(H/E)^4 = 50

where E is the absolute temperature of the earth (300K),
gives H, the temperature of Heaven, as 798K (525 C).

The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone (or sulphur) means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6 C.

We have, then, that Heaven, at 525 C is hotter than Hell at 445 C.

From "Applied Optics" vol. 11, A14, 1972
From "A random walk in science", Ed E Mendoza 1973

Based on an unoriginal email forwarded by Richard Walters, January 1999.