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 …

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.


Worksheet82.41 KB

Submitted by Djon on Sun, 27/12/2020 - 18:44

As we know, still it was a lot of different discussion about if it possible to live on Mars in future. But, really, as for me i think that it`s almost impossible because the air won`t be expended and it`ll be impossible to live there for alive organism. But we never know , maybe, the science will extend the new area in this direction. We hope for miracle!

Submitted by Shahad2O on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 13:01

I don’t think we can live on Mars, because in our human nature It’s need to air, water and food and these things we can’t find it on mars. But we can used mars for uesful things such as scientific centers and scientific researches to retuned it us to benefit.

Submitted by Saad786 on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 10:01

Yes! that can be possible , if there will be UV radiations coming from the sun to Mars and there will ozone layer to protect the life . More trees means more oxygen. The main problem is not to land on the new planet but to give them necessities of life. For that purpose, there should be enough oxygen, water, natural habitat and residence in order to support life

Submitted by Letícia05040207 on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 02:19

I've been learning about this content (planets from the Solar System) and when I listened to this recording some minutes ago, this immediatelly reminded me the classes from Internet. It is interesting how I even imagined which planets can be a place for we live in a long future

Submitted by Galit Avni on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 13:26

Considering the fact that Mars doesn't really have air, I don't think people will live there one day.

Submitted by marwanN11 on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 09:20

i don't think so. we destroyed our planet, and now want to go to new planet and make it fit for living.

Submitted by Harrison on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 03:01

Well, as far as I know, Mars does not have the air as much as Earth and is only 1 % obtained when compared with the Earth. Whereas, I also wander how the future of university will go on because after many years, Mars will replace the location of the Earth. So, let's see how will be going on in the future. And I also wander how the technology of human will be developing in the future.

Submitted by TalhaÖzkan on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 17:22

Oxygen and other energies must be provided for humans to live on Mars. therefore it looks difficult.
Profile picture for user DJ Singh

Submitted by DJ Singh on Wed, 25/11/2020 - 08:51

Yes, I am pretty sure we would be on mars one day. Humans have been invested so much time, money, and energy into this project collectively. I want to see in my lifetime the evolution of humans and become a multi-planetary species.

Submitted by Thu Ha Nguyen on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 10:19

It was said in the discussion that Mars´s got just one percent as much air as Earth. I don´t think that humans can survive there. And we should not go there and destroy it. What humans are doing to the Earth, is terrible enough.

Submitted by foch04 on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 14:11

As far as i am concerned I would appreciate to put my feet on mars wouldn't be to see Earth far away, my beautiful blue planet

Submitted by farhad zada on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 05:10

I think somebody will be able to do it but I'm not. Today we have so much welfare on Earth but everibady has not. And this is not unjustice for me just the natural.

Submitted by Vi on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:33

Well, I guess we may live there someday, but not in the near future. We have to keep our planet safe and liveable instead of trying to find ways to move on another one!
Profile picture for user Mr.hanymabrok

Submitted by Mr.hanymabrok on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 04:21

Good listening, I like the scientific conversations too much.

Submitted by mahmutkilic0408 on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 07:48

I'm not sure about ıt but ı don't think that human life will be enough to see this

Submitted by daryaaaaa99 on Sun, 01/11/2020 - 13:12

I think that it won't happen soon and I can exactly say that in the beginning flews to the Mars will be very expensive and accessible only for rich people (and also brave). I wish Elon Mask good luck!

Submitted by Yola19 on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 22:09

I think that in current conditions it is practically impossible. However, if equipment is developed to adapt the human body temperature on Tuesday, which is much colder than the earth, and other conditions, it could one day be possible.

Submitted by John A. on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 09:42

I don't really think we could do that one day...except if we really change our way of living and adapt it to Mars characteristics.
Profile picture for user javibuendi

Submitted by javibuendi on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 17:29

I dont really think we could live one day in Mars, mainly due to the temperature conditions. Minus 55 degrees is too cold, our body is not ready to bear that kind of conditions. Therefore, we should care about our planet much more than we are doing if we want to preserve our existence.

Submitted by malexol on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 19:49

I believe that's possibly

Submitted by togrul01 on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 19:46

I do not sure about this but I would like to see Mars.

Submitted by mandi on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 21:14

No I don't think because its characteristics are not suitable for human beings to live

Submitted by tittoo11 on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 09:19

I’m not sure about a correct answer about if we can l live on the the Mars one day, but I can say: nothing impossible seeing that huge and accelerated scientific progress in various fields.

Submitted by Akram Bashir on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 20:34

I dont think its possible, cos there is no air in mars as the student said. So people can't breathe & live there if they dont using oxygen mask.

Submitted by nialataria on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 13:03

Nothing is impossible, but I prefer to stay on earth))

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 23:53

I have seen many things that humans have gotten; however it's a few complicated to think that someday people could live on Mars because this planet don't have the enviromental conditions currently to support life, for instance almost all its water is frozen. Therefore, today is impossible to live on Mars whereas looking forward, the science could find out mechanisms for backing life up on Mars.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 10:03

no , i don't think so but we don't know the future our technology is progressing very quickly
Profile picture for user kate050186

Submitted by kate050186 on Sun, 04/10/2020 - 18:45

Maybe people will find more appropriate planet to live than Mars.

Submitted by Sara Ali on Thu, 01/10/2020 - 03:23

I can't answer this question clearly because I don't have enough knowledge about this topic. But I don't think that humans will live in any place except Earth.

Submitted by Bashaier on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 05:00

well, i am not sure maybe with enough supports human can live in mars for one day but it will cost money and efforts

Submitted by Yel on Thu, 24/09/2020 - 08:50

Well, i doubt that we will ever go and live in Mars.It will be always a fantastic dream. Finding oxygen here can take maybe 200 years or more, maybe we cannot live in mars but our grandchildren can.

Submitted by PL on Sat, 19/09/2020 - 19:52

I truly believe that we are capable of in technological point of view but, probably it will be highly expensive for some countries - the developed ones, of course - and it's going to be far away from the reality of the present generations. So it's hard to know.

Submitted by ErnestoV on Sat, 19/09/2020 - 05:29

I think we need first learn how to live in peace on earth before look for living in other planet.

Submitted by Mattia Ciccarelli on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 16:02

I think one day we can live on Mars for the development of technology and for the obligation to search a new planet

Submitted by katyatorres on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 02:33

I'm not pretty sure but I think that It's going to be impossible because there is lots changes that it'll need to happens to support and create life.

Submitted by pilargarciach on Sun, 30/08/2020 - 10:26

No. I don't believe it. The people need to feed protein, and Mars conditions are not allowed by animal life.

Submitted by Agniesiafrompoland on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 12:45

I think one day living in Mars will be possible. It will be very difficult and cost a lot of work and money.

Submitted by Sai Minn on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 09:17

To be honest, I am not sure people living on Mars one day.

Submitted by esi on Sat, 22/08/2020 - 15:19

I think humans will go to Mars such as they have gone to antarectic. they will build only scientific base because earth is best place for life.

Submitted by Rinaa on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 20:54

Yes, I think the March support human life. I have seen a documentary about life in March. As far as I know, there is water in March and that means March can be a habitat for animals and plants. But for what kind of creature? we already don’t know. We are destroying our Earth every day, and soon there won't be able to live there, so maybe our new house will be in March. First, we should investigate if the march is suitable for Earth creatures. If March will provide us key living factors as water, air, and a good climate, we will move there with pleasure.

Submitted by tuannam on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 13:44

Maybe one day but it's not for tomorrow.

Submitted by Daniela Zapata on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 23:49

I think Mars will support human life in many years. We need a lot of researchs to find how to deal with the facts like it has less gravity than the Earth, It´s almost a frozen planet and it doesn´t have air. In this moments scientists are doing a lot of investigations about this and I hope humans can live on Mars one day, but definitely won´t be this generation.

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

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

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

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.