# 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.

### Transcript

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 …

### Language level

Hello Ademola, I'm not sure what kind of difficulty you mean, I'm afraid. Could you explain what exactly the problem is, please? If we can understand this then we'll be better able to give you some help. ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by parisa1995 on Fri, 31/05/2019 - 17:43

Hello In the grammar part in this site you have said that for planets we have to use capital letters except for "earth" , moon and sun. But here these words were written with capital letters. Could you please explain it? Thanks

Submitted by Kirk Moore on Mon, 03/06/2019 - 07:47

In reply to by parisa1995

Hello parisa1995 I'm sorry about the confusion here. We are working on updating all of our grammar pages and the page you refer to will soon change to reflect the spelling that you see on this page here. In other words, the spelling on this page (A student discussion) is correct. All the best Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by leoci on Thu, 30/05/2019 - 16:43

Excuse me, admin, I've some problems about task1 and task2...the windows can't include all the items ( firefox )...can you help me ? thanks
Hello leoci To add items to the boxes, first click on the item and then click on the box itself (the grey border), not on the middle of the box. If you click inside the box, you will swap one item for another; if you click on the box itself you will add new items. ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team

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