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Is it colder in parts of the US than Mars? Yes, but ... - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Is it colder in parts of the US than Mars? Yes, but ...

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Most of the Eastern United States is trying to keep warm after a winter storm dumped snow across parts of the Southeast before heading north to wallop New England.

Seriously, it's really cold. More than 30% of the US population are forecast to brave temperatures below zero in the next week, while 75% of the Lower 48 will see temps below freezing.

If you're looking to escape the dreadful weather, perhaps you may think you could do worse than Mars, where NASA's rover Curiosity recorded a temperature of minus 11 degrees Fahrenheit on New Year's Day.

That's warmer than some places in the United States, but there's a catch.

Media outlets -- including CNN -- have pointed out that some parts of the country will have temperature readings below those on the red planet.

And it's true it may be 11 below in some areas of the US this weekend. For instance, a high of minus 20 is expected on Mount Washington in New Hampshire on Saturday. The brave souls at the observatory on the Northeast's highest peak will likely tell you enduring these blustery temperatures can be an out-of-the world experience.

But don't make plans for Mars just yet. Most of the Earth still can't compete with the low temperatures found on that barren planet.

Temperatures can reach about 32 degrees F in the direct sunlight on Mars, but the surface doesn't retain heat like the Earth does. At night, temperatures on Mars dip far lower than anywhere on our planet. Lows can reach 100 below zero.

Keep this in mind. The last low temperature recorded on Mars was minus 110, and the low forecast for Mount Washington on Saturday is 34 below zero. So, it could be worse.

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