A student discussion

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: 4.3 (221 votes)

Submitted by Tolani on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 23:49

I don't think it will be possible to live in Mars.

Submitted by Dorian Recio on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:33

I think that is a good listening because it is easy and you learn new things from Mars. An example would be that Mars is further from the Sun than Earth and that it has lees gravity.

Submitted by Pol Martin on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 11:33

It is good listening because everything is understood well, and can be done easily.

Submitted by ademyonet on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 08:29

Yeah! People will live a day on Mars in the future. Because there is life on Mars. They sometimes come on the Earth ve we see them but we say that we saw UFO this night. Also NASA found some life signs. Even people will build city on Mars in the future. SpaceX, Elon Mask started to study before a long time. I wait that we will go to Mars ve trip of Mars.

Submitted by khosro on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 11:24

Hi everybody. I think we will be able to live in mars in future, but not now. But it is more important to learn better living in our planet,earth. We most learn living in peace. Not polluting the environment , help each other to have a better life. If we wouldn’t learn, we would destroy the Mars too.
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Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 00:09

Of course, because this planet is not eternal.

Submitted by SANDRA YINNET on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 02:08

I think that this a possibility in the future if we don't become aware and responsability with our planet, the NASA have was studing this possibility during years looking one alternattive for the future, but the conditions of this planet don't are the better for us. I think that the best is take care our planet for next generations.
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Submitted by gstavale on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 23:37

I am not sure. In my opinion, the humanity is a long way from it. I think that much more studies will be necessary to stay close to that and many more money will be spent to support the studies. Will the developmental countries give priority to these investments?