Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine
How close could a living thing get to the Sun? © iStock

How close could a living thing get to the Sun?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

We all know how hot it feels to be outside on a warm sunny day, but how close could a living creature get before it quite literally fries?

Asked by: Jane Thorpe, Lancaster
Some so-called hyperthermophilic bacteria thrive at temperatures in excess of 100°C, which is the temperature it would reach if sitting in space around half the distance of the Earth from the Sun. More realistically, if put inside a protective container, they could get much closer – and certainly well inside the orbit of Mercury, the hottest planet in our Solar System.


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.


Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.


Sponsored content