Right now, it's as cold in Canada as where our rover is on Mars

Snow on the polar cap of Mars ... during the summer on the planet, photographed in April of 2000.

A frigid spell has brought Winnipeg's temperature down to that of a planet more than 100 million miles further from the sun than we are.

Canada is having a cold snap at the moment. This week, in Southern Manitoba, the temperature reached a blisteringly frigid -31 degrees Celsius, or nearly -24 Fahrenheit. (Wind chill values in Winnipeg—in case you were curious and/or in need of some meteorological schadenfreude—dipped to -58 Fahrenheit.) Which is crazy, and which makes for, as Yahoo's Geekquinox blog puts it, "the coldest afternoon temperatures the area has seen in several years."

The cold spell also puts Canada into some rarified company. Because you know what other place has recently registered a temperature of -31 degrees Celsius? Mars. Yep, Mars—a planet located an average of 140 million miles farther from the sun than we are. Over on the Red Planet, NASA's Curiosity rover regularly sends temperature data to us via its REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) instrument. And over the past month, Yahoo notes, REMS has been reporting daily high temperatures on Mars that range from -25 to -31 degrees Celsius. (Mars seems to be having its own cold spell: The -31 degrees Celsius temperature is the coldest daily high the rover has recorded since it landed on the planet in August 2012.) 

It's worth noting that Mars, like Earth, has its own climates—and the area where Curiosity is tooling around, The Smithsonian notes, is roughly equivalent to the latitude of Venezuela. So the temperature comparison is a bit of an apples-to-oranges matchup ... just with really cold apples. And really, really cold oranges.

The Manitoba Museum via The Smithsonian

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