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

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Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Submitted by IKEDA on Fri, 07/08/2020 - 15:50

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That's a hard question. I've heard that the Sun keeps expanding, if so, the human is going not to be able to live on the Earth someday. If I think so, We might need to move to Mars far future.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 19:24

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The more Earth is seriously destroyed by humans, the more they will try to find another planet with alternative life. It may be Mars because many recent NASA kinds of research show that there exists life on this planet. This opens up the prospect of being able to send humans to live on Mars.

Submitted by mariaptis on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 13:16

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I can't say I'm sure that Mars could allow life on itself, but I can say that I would be thrilled to see what kind of life could grow there. I hope they are way better than us as living creatures and actually take care of nature.

Submitted by Andrea Hernandez on Fri, 31/07/2020 - 17:02

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I think in the future it's possible because the scientists study a lot about the possibility people will live on Mars one day. Maybe now there aren’t the possibility, but when the studies are more advance it’s really possible.
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Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 29/07/2020 - 10:43

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According to the "Total Recall" movie, live on Mars is our future. Not the happy one though but, you know, nobody can't predict what it would be like. I think we can live on Mars if our technologies will make some steps forward. Of course, we will have to build stations with oxygen to breathe and warm enough to not no freeze to death. I'm sure we can do it in the future. But! The other question - what for? It obviously will cost a fortune but what will we have instead? Mines? What does Mars have that we can't find here on Earth? Vibranium for Captain America's shield? Probably not. So ... I think we can but I'm not sure we should. p.s. By the way, I've watched ones how one guy grew potatoes on Mars. It was quite creatively but we still can do it on the Earth ))
Humans are looking for another planet to replace Earth when it is destroyed. That is the story of the future.
Thanks for the awesome explanation. In my opinion to do things on mars shows how much human intelligence and technology is growing and it will be one way of competition for the developed world. It may not have unique things but I think it will be part of exploration and may show the wealth of the people who affords to live there .

Submitted by Nubis on Sun, 26/07/2020 - 03:03

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March is a planet that should be more studied.

Submitted by Matveeva Masha on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 18:28

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I think, people will live on Mars one day. Why not??? Mars and earth have got many similarity. Scinsists think that Mars support human life. But i think earth's life and mars life will not same. Because firstly mars is colder than earth, secondly mars's air have not got nitrogen and oxygen, and many other reasons.

Submitted by ArturoBustillos on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 17:52

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Of course they will... but not yet... I think it will take 30 or 40 years to be able to see humans in Mars