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 …

Discussion

Download
Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.
Average: 4.7 (6 votes)

Submitted by Havan saberi on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 21:13

Permalink
Despite the very low temperature on Mars, the little amount of air is the problem. I think if we will solve this issue by plantation for instance, we could live on Marc one day.

Submitted by Tu Le on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 04:56

Permalink
I think we can live in Mars in the far future, because there’s no more air and water for people life

Submitted by Julia19 on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 11:40

Permalink
People have dreaming about life on Marce for a long time. Many books were written about invasion this planet. But I think that people never will live there as on earth. The conditions are rather distinguish so the supporting life needs a lot of cost. In my opionion, we can only spend research works in this place but not live as a human society.

Submitted by wido on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 22:27

Permalink
I think not , because of two reasons,one is air, the second is water. the mars is caller than earth they can't live in this circumstances.

Submitted by Massimo on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 08:04

Permalink
No, I don’t think so at all! The mankind needs blu sky, blu oceans, green forests and many other things there aren’t on Mars.

Submitted by mouna99 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 13:47

Permalink
with the evolution of sciences I can say maybe one day people will live on Mars
Profile picture for user Codjoah

Submitted by Codjoah on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 22:53

Permalink
Hi, According to me and it's even impossible in the future for humains to live on Mars because of the weather conditions: Mars is more colder than the earth, its gravity is 38% of the earth, not much more air for life, no water and so one.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 16:43

Permalink
I think people will live on Mars, but it is not near future. Of course, there are a lot of people on Earth now, but the population of some country such japan is decreasing now. So, people should not live on Mars yet.

Submitted by Nagato on Thu, 21/05/2020 - 11:43

Permalink
I think that the life in mars is impossible even we use a special clothes for protection also no matter how science progresses, we cannot challenge nature
Profile picture for user Vinh

Submitted by Vinh on Wed, 20/05/2020 - 16:08

Permalink
Ithink people no longer will life on the mars