# 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.

### 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 …

### Language level

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 15:53

I don't know, but perhaps we will have some answer by a new space mission NASA, which has launched a rocket Atlas 5 the thirtieh of July 2020 from Cape Canaveral. This rocket carries "Perseverance", the fifth Nasa rover, that will looks for tracks of life on the planet.

Submitted by nicofranck4 on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 21:36

Putting science fiction away, I think it will be quite possible in the future. It has been part of our space projects for so long. We are collecting more data about the local environment through high-tech measuring devices and in the next years, we will get our first rock samples. With all that info, it will be a matter if time to send off the first astronauts to explore it.

Submitted by nancyvirginiare on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 20:29

Yes. Technology advances fast. I just read a new about Tesla owner who sold his properties to dedicate to explore Mars.

Submitted by marlio96 on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 02:19

yes, of course, and I think this future is not so far, probably our children will have the opportunity to live on Mars, I hope to see the first man to step on the mars surface before I die.

Submitted by Maria Andrea on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 19:10

I hope does not, becuase, the people is very destructively.

Submitted by lavande1983 on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 16:37

Now there are multi national people, you can imagine in the future, there will be multi planet people. I mean peope live both on Earth and Mars , they can take a spacecraft to fly in outer space and move between planets. I think one day people can live on Mars . Mars is much further away from the sun than the earth so there is a big difference of temperature between mars and earth. The temperature of mars is about -55 degrees but as you know there are places or coutries on Earth, for example in Oymyakon, a village of Sakha, Russia, the average temperature is about -50 degre, in 1972 it reached -72 degres. On other hand, there is water on mars although it is frozen and mars has only 1% as much air as Earth but these ares important conditions for human life. In the future with technology depelopement and increasing of population on Earth, people can live on mars

Submitted by khine_yu on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 08:05

Yes,of course. The technology becomes so updated and everything can be.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 06:38