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 (260 votes)

Submitted by Abdisalad on Sun, 05/07/2020 - 07:01

I think one day people will stay and enjoy living in Mars for several reasons . First, the distance of the both earth and mars to the sun is same so that means live can be possible at mars. Second, scientists have discovered that there is some air in the mars so people can live it. Finally, it is better to try living at new planet in the future.

Submitted by Fadwa Bakri Os… on Sun, 28/06/2020 - 15:12

i think it is impossible living there,no way.
I think that everything is possible. Technology advances very fast and we have the knowledge to do it.

Submitted by Cande Ansy on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 01:37

I think that we could live on Mars in the future because science advances very fast, so if someday we have problems with global warming and the earth becomes a place where we cannot live, you could go to Mars and continue.

Submitted by tchok on Tue, 16/06/2020 - 20:29

From my point of view, people will live on Mars one day. Firstly, many studies are currently available on the possibilities to live on Mars. Secondly, it will be like a discovery form rich people who will organize some trips over there. What's more, due to the rapid pollution of the earth and climate change challenges we should find another place to live on it.

Submitted by Ayoub-XxBuoYaxX on Tue, 16/06/2020 - 19:03

According to the fast that science is developing, we may someday hear of the possibility to live on the Mars. Indeed, a bunch of things that old man couldn't even was thinking about, however it have realised in the present time. For instance, the fly which was in prior days crazy thought but now planes have invented . There various stuff were impossible yesterday become possible today.

Submitted by mohamed Elgendy on Mon, 15/06/2020 - 14:30

I think it is not possible to live in Mars, because of cold weather, Water , Oxygen and the whole environment there isn't convenient for human living. And our god "Allah" says that in the holly book " Quran " that there will not be life in another place rather than Earth. But, In the future , I think it will be easier to travel to Mars due to huge development in transport and space-craft, So, I think there will be travels for entertainment and we may use things on Mars to fulfill our needs and deficit on Earth.

Submitted by sorayajesus on Mon, 15/06/2020 - 10:43

I think that is possible, because the science is developing much quickly. I believe that space station will be built, like the ones in the movies. But, it will be very expensive.