What’s the temperature of lava? Is it hotter than magma? And what’s the difference between lava and magma? Well, lava is the stuff that flows from volcanoes. Magma earns its lava status once it surfaces. It’s not just a terminology thing – that magma also loses some gases and acids when it gets its new nametag.
It’s hottest when it first erupts from underground and cools down as it flows. You can make an educated guess of its temperature based on the color. It starts out bright orange and burning at about 2,000°F! Then it “cools” down to bright red (around 1,600°), dark red (1,300°), brownish-red (1,000°), and finally black once it’s hardened. So, what happens if you touch hot lava?