# A student discussion

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

### Instructions

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

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Submitted by Santiago22 on Mon, 04/05/2020 - 19:11

Hello everybody, i think Mars is a possibility planet for life, but we don't know how to live here, in the Earth, so we need first know how to live here, in peace with the nature and obviously with other persons, then we can think in live in other planet, maybe in the future we will, but for now we need know the peace.

Submitted by lualopezbe on Sun, 03/05/2020 - 01:49

For me is possible, several cientificts is working in tecnologies that allow us live in Mars one day, on the other hand, nowdays the tecnology is growing exponentially.

For the first time i knew that the Earth is bigger than Mars

Submitted by CRIS2102 on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 04:36

I don't belive humans can live in other planet different to Earth.

Submitted by Tomofumi on Thu, 30/04/2020 - 11:04

I think there are a lot of imcredible resources in Mars. It is definitely helpful for us to find them. Recently, some people have found the ways which get easy accesses to space. I'm really interested in the development of rockets.

Submitted by rerre on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 17:31

It is a good unit to practice comparison. I conclude I should review this grammar point. There are interesting sentences to learn how you have to say in English language ideas of proportion like "It's got about one per cent as much air as Earth". For me, sometimes the structure with as...as is a trick :/

Submitted by Naw Ring on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 04:53

I don't think that we can survial in Mars with such a little water.

Submitted by Aye Nyine San on Tue, 28/04/2020 - 08:00

How can i put the characteristics in the correct group .i mean what keys should i use to drag those characteristcs

Hello Aye Nyine San

When you want to add another sentence to a group, you have to click or press on the small white hand at the side of the words already in the box. If you don't do this, then the new words will stay but the old words will disappear from the box.

It's a little difficult to explain, so please let me know if you'd like me to explain it again.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Masas on Mon, 27/04/2020 - 23:11