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 Wei Yan Min on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 15:30

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Maybe! I hope to visit the space one-day but I don't know it'll happen.

Submitted by yzdxsmx on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 11:09

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I can't tell for sure if Mars is suitable for Earth creatures. Mars is much colder than Earth, and we found no liquid water except ice so far. I wonder how the ice on Mars can be melted into the water for use. But I've read, in the past few weeks, some countries have sent new spacecraft to Mars for further exploration. Meanwhile, scientists are continuing to research whether planets are there in the cosmos that are appropriate for living there. I think some point in the future humans might move into space, but it is not necessary to be on Mars or planets in the solar system. Even if we could move to another planet, we should take good care of the earth.

Submitted by Loda.iQ on Sun, 16/08/2020 - 08:27

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Many years ago, our planet looked different from what it does today. it was fully covered with the sea and with one big continent called Pangaea. Earth has changed, and it's suffering right now one that caused by human beings. It's worth noting that people can adapt to new changes, but I don't think we are able of living in Mars because the planet misses key living factors such as water, clear air and grass.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 13:16

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I heard also, people want to live or move to the moon until 2050. Developed countries would like to build hotels, entertainment on the moon. But, if it is about Mars, I don't know how is possible to be there. We said the mars is colder than the earth.

Submitted by Danbraga on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 18:44

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Despite the new technologies, I think living on Mars will never be possible, because Mars doesn’t have natural resources such as, water, oxygen, good weather conditions; however, new scientific researches about another planet are always welcome.

Submitted by Hussein Alattas on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 14:54

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People are are growing so fast, life is much easier then before and no body cares about the future. Can we life in this plan forever?! Can we make the factories stop throwing their waste everywhere ?! The Ozone whole is going to be bigger then now if we don't find the solution, i think some people will have to live on Mars but not this generation.

Submitted by ikhay on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 15:17

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Yes, I agree. Scientists are trying to approve for that. One day, it will be.

Submitted by Eden alemayehu on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 11:48

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I think so , scientists are doing different studies on mars and I hope one day they will be successful and able to help people to live in mars
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 05:52

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I don't think so, maybe the scientist have more information than I do, but my guess that Mars is a Planet died long time ago, and nowadays it doesn't have anything to offer us.

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 00:10

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Yes, lots of things seemed impossible in the past and they've come true. With all the improvements and breakthroughs of science and technology, I just can't tell for sure whether there exists something unachievable including the possibility of life on Mars. Maybe, the lack of oxygen and extreme cold seem to be the biggest obstacles to the human life there, but no one knows how far can humanity go in the universe...