Small Group Activity: Black space capsule

Contemporary Challenges 2021
In this activity, students apply the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the principle of energy balance in steady state to find the steady state temperature of a black object in near-Earth orbit.

This activity follows Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law

You're in charge of designing a black cylindrical space capsule for a manned trip to the Moon. You need a volume you will be comfortable in, and you want the temperature to be cozy. What dimensions should your capsule be (assuming the entire surface is a uniform temperature), and how should it be oriented?

stefan-boltzmann blackbody radiation
Learning Outcomes