A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Teacher: So you've got a few minutes to discuss with your partner.

Student 1: So, as far as I know, the main similarity between Mars and Earth is that they can both support human life.

Student 2: Yeah, but do we know that's actually true? I mean, Mars is much colder than Earth, isn't it? It says here it's about minus 55 degrees most of the time, whereas on Earth only places like Antarctica get that cold.

Student 1: True. Well then, I suppose you could say both planets are a similar distance from the Sun?

Student 2: No way! Mars is much further away! It says here it's about 228 million kilometres, while Earth is about 150 million.

Student 1: Yes, but in space that's not that far. Jupiter is, like, almost 780 million kilometres. That's why we use astronomical units when we talk about distances in space. Earth is 1 astronomical unit from the Sun and Mars is 1.3. The difference doesn't sound so big when you look at it that way.

Student 2: I see what you mean. Jupiter is 5.2 astronomical units so I guess you're right. What other similarities are there between the two planets?

Student 1: Let's see … not the colour, obviously!

Student 2: Yeah! Earth is called the blue planet and Mars is called the red planet for pretty obvious reasons!

Student 1: Their sizes are pretty different. Mars is about half the size of Earth.

Student 2: What about this? It looks like the days on both planets are almost the same length. Earth's day is 24 hours but Mars's is about half an hour longer.

Student 1: You're right. OK, any other things they both share?

Student 2: I suppose you could say they have water in common.

Student 1: Could you? How?

Student 2: Well, Earth is 70 per cent water and Mars probably had huge oceans in the past. It's just that most of the water there now is probably frozen.

Student 1: Ah, I see. I don't think we can say the air is the same, though. Most of Earth's air is nitrogen and oxygen, but Mars …?

Student 2: Mars doesn't really have air, not compared with Earth. It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth.

Student 1: Right, and it's mostly carbon dioxide.

Student 2: Gravity is another difference. I didn't know this, but Mars has higher gravity than the Moon. But it's much less than on Earth, of course.

Student 1: Oh, yes. It says Mars has about 38 per cent of Earth's gravity.

Teacher: OK, let's see what you've found …


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Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Submitted by Sarah-njzh on Sun, 26/05/2019 - 07:01

it may be not in this situation.as science developed it is possible even it's a long-term project. but who knows, everything is possible. including human living on Mars or other planets of curse.

Submitted by maria.khazaee on Sat, 25/05/2019 - 18:45

Living in Mars,has been a scietific dream for a long time.a lot of budgets and money have been spent on this challenge. Maybe one day, by special and highly_cost Eqiupment it become possible to simulate the earth condition on Mars for living but certainly it won't be at my time! in my opinon,another issue to consider,is mental situation of people there.it is like a huge immigration and need to evaluate carefully.

Submitted by hiba saadi on Thu, 23/05/2019 - 11:08

As far as i'am concerned it's impossible to live in Mars since it's poor on oxygen

Submitted by Nyi Nyi Min Htet on Thu, 23/05/2019 - 02:38

May be people will live there one day because they have critical power how to be stay alive where thay are.

Submitted by Charis Chang on Wed, 22/05/2019 - 04:40

I think it is possible that people move to another planet or appear in another planet. Because of species evaluation, everything is possible.

Submitted by pointofnoreturn on Mon, 20/05/2019 - 20:06

I don't think people will live on Mars one day. People have to cover up around Mars with oxygen. To be honest It seems like it will be with current technologhy.I hope to buy field in Mars in the future.

I think they can.Now science is so developed and may be it will be possible to make the right conditions for life on Mars later.But I wish they could save the Earth first...

Submitted by liaben on Sun, 12/05/2019 - 19:27

In my opinion it won't be possible soon. There are should be many advances to reach it.

Submitted by Nattage on Sun, 12/05/2019 - 17:31

Now it is very difficult to say! The technology is grow every day. And may be whenever people will on the Mars!