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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Submitted by AlejoPB on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 17:16

I think that could be possible, the humans every day are looking for new technological advances and ways to create an artificial environment, for this, I believe that possibly shortly to live in mars, however in not good and comfortable conditions.

Submitted by Olumy20 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 19:15

Possibly but not without challenges, it will take alot of conditioning for human to survive in Mars. But never say never

Submitted by Albert Marambio on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:52

I was thinking to get to mars, but it will take a long time that happens,as I do not beleive people get to the moon,so ,in my opinion isn't easy...

Submitted by Ben2008 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 02:50

I don't think people will live one day on March because the climate on that planet is very likely to remain as it is i.e. lacking oxygen. Human beings can't just live in an atmosphere which lacks oxygen.

Submitted by Rehaf on Tue, 12/05/2020 - 00:16

they can but not like how we live here i think it well be a lots of condition to make that be

Submitted by Bhre Satriavi on Sun, 10/05/2020 - 17:18

i would rather save out earth than move to new planet like mars. what we should do is plant more trees and reduce a development infrastructure in several place because there are a place should be used as lungs of the world like amazon forest and Kalimantan island with it's tropical forest.

Submitted by mgalezzo on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 02:12

I think, that people can live on Mars one day if they have special clothes to protect them of cold. Beside they should use mask with oxygen and nitrogen.

Submitted by AMOUGOU Abega … on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 04:41

Is quite difficult nowdays, because if mars is as colder as antarctic it'll very tricky to live there. Nowdays scientists can't change climate conditions in the antarctic, but if with futher researches they finally change climat condition and allow people to live there, i think the same changement could be done on march

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.