We present an activity, involving a parked car, for estimating the surface temperature of the Sun. The activity entails both outdoor quantitative observations and theoretical analysis, and yields a result for the surface temperature of the Sun within 12% of the accepted value. It can be used as an independent study project to spark students’ interest and facilitate learning.

This content is only available via PDF.
AAPT members receive access to the American Journal of Physics and The Physics Teacher as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.