The temperature distribution of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy plates under a friction stir butt-welding was investigated by using experiment and numerical simulation. A real-time temperature measuring system was used to measure the temperature change in the welding process. Vickers hardness profiles were made on the cross-section of the weld after welding. A commercial software of FlexPDE, a solver for partial different equations with finite element method, was used to simulate the experimental welding process of this study. Comparison the experimental and numerical results, the temperature cycles calculated by numerical are similar to those measured by experiment. The temperature distribution profile obtained from the numerical simulation is symmetrical to the weld center and has a close correspondence with the hardness configuration and the microstructure of the weld. The region with the temperature over 300 °C is the zone of softening within the boundaries of base material and HAZ. The regions of 350 °C with minimum hardness are located near the boundary of HAZ and TMAZ. The maxima temperature about 500 °C distributes around the upper part of the weld center. However, the region above 400 °C only matches with the upper half of the weld nugget.