Tag Archives: weather

Summer on Mars versus winter in Canada

31 Dec

We all know that it gets cold in Canada in the winter. It was -30° in Winnipeg today (and reportedly touched -50°C with the windchill early in the morning). And it routinely gets even colder.

We also think of Mars as a cold, desolate world – and it is. But it is also a world of weather. It has wind, snow, and seasons.

And as we’re enjoying winter here in Canada, it’s actually warmer in the southern hemisphere on Mars where the Curiosity rover is roving around these days. It continues to trek towards Mount Sharp in the Gale Crater.

The best part of this: summer on Mars can actually get comfortably warm. Temperatures on Mars can reach 20°C. Though in the winters it drops as low as -150°C. (read more about Mars’ climate here)

All the same, it’s still fun to think about the times that it’s warmer on Mars than it is here on Earth.

(for those concerned, it’s a balmy -8°C here in Toronto today)

Toronto’s Night Sky – Astronomy Forecast

20 Jan

For all my fellow astronomers out there, this is your one-stop page for doing astronomy in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Feel free to bookmark the address: http://www.HarrisonRuess.com/sky to find this page.

Here is a Clear Sky Chart for Toronto.


For the clear sky chart, generally darker = better for astronomy. For full details on how to read the chart, click here. A big “cheers” to Attilla Danko for developing the Clear Sky Chart website using data from the Canadian Meteorological Center. Visit the website to find charts for thousands of other cities around North America.

Click here to view the latest GOES-East Satellite data (IR + Visible; animation available).

A Star Chart for Toronto, courtesy The National Research Council of Canada:

To view a list of upcoming satellite fly-bys (including the International Space Station – ISS) click here.

Toronto’s weather forecast:

My shoes leak (and other rainy day musings)

1 Jun

Rain on my window

I woke up this morning very excited. My new patio furniture was being delivered! I was keen to set it up and have one of my friends over for a BBQ. The BBQ by the way just got delivered last week.

I was a little keener on this than I would perhaps normally be, however I only recently moved into this house, and so getting it populated with furniture, BBQ – and friends – is something I’ve been working on. There haven’t been any major jobs to be done (aside from the existing A/C needing replacement), just lots of little things that I’ve been plugging away at. Filling holes from where pictures used to hang, doing the garden, some painting, and so on. It is amazing though how much time all these little things take. It being rainy today also let me get a couple other things done around the house (laundry, dishes, and the like) that I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. I guess this is what people call a silver lining.

Back to the patio set for today: It got delivered nice and early as I hoped it would, however considering that it is a monsoon today I am going to hold off on setting it up, and that BBQ is also going to wait for another day. Summer is coming soon though, so I am sure the patio will get lots of use – regardless of when we pop its cherry.

Speaking of popping things, I did pop around the corner to visit my dad at work today. When I was young I regularly would be at my dad’s office. My mum and I (and my little brother, once he came into the picture) would go downtown to meet my dad at work, run around his office for a little bit, and then go next door to a Chinese restaurant we liked. On weekends I would often play squash with my dad at a gym near where he worked, and virtually every time after playing squash we would go to the corner store, buy some Glosette’s Chocolate Raisins, and take them up to his office to snack on them while he checked his messages, or whatever needed some quick attention. I would have been 8-10 years old during all this so I don’t remember every detail of our outings, but I do remember sitting at his big dark desk (it was probably a dark cherry, but that’s a guess), looking over his papers as though I was an expert, and calling home from his “executive” phone. He has since moved on from that old job and office, but it was pleasant – and still oddly familiar – to look in on him today.

On my way home from the visit I stopped by the bank and the closest parking was around the corner a 2-3 minute walk away. Normally this wouldn’t bother me in the least. For that matter I probably would just walk to the bank from home – considering it is only a 12-15 minute walk to begin with. But since the weather is foul – lots of rain, wind whipping around the buildings, and on the cool side – I was driving. During my walk I noted that my favourite pair of shoes were doing a remarkably good job of directing rain water squarely into the shoes. So I guess they have worn out, but since this is the first time I’ve worn them in the rain this year I didn’t know until today. They’ve had a good run (pardon the pun) though since I bought them a couple years ago, so I’m not upset about it. And I have an excuse to sit with my feet up right now so my socks can dry off.

Maybe now I will go make a pot of coffee and read a good book to pass some time until I head out later for my little brother’s 19th birthday dinner. I’ll have to buy him a drink.

Programming notes useful for a rainy night ahead: The Toronto Marlies will be on at 7pm vs. Norfolk in the Calder Cup final (watch it on LeafsTV). This is the first time since 1992 (and the first time while the team has been located in Toronto) that the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate is in the Calder Cup final. Also the Toronto Blue Jays begin a 3-game series versus the Boston Red Sox. The Jays enter the game one game up on Boston and two games behind Baltimore & Tampa Bay for tops in the AL East. The Yankees are 1/2 game ahead of Toronto (talk about a close division right now!). The Jays game is on SportsNet at 7pm as well.