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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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Good listening, I like the scientific conversations too much.

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

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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

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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

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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.