A student discussion

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 …


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Average: 4.3 (259 votes)

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Tue, 02/02/2021 - 00:06

The latest technology and science research and experiments maybe able to fulfil this dream This maybe possible, hopefully in the future.

Submitted by safirapw on Sun, 31/01/2021 - 13:23

i'm not so sure, consider about the weather on mars, not all people can live in cold place

Submitted by MattMontana on Wed, 27/01/2021 - 15:32

Yes, for sure. The thing is that people are going to live on mars but as Robots or Androids. The way we are walking is taking us there.

Submitted by Vancanucks27 on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 02:34

Base on Study Tress can grow to mars,just have to compress the atmosphere into a greenhouse and plant them in soil that has been filtered of Mars' perchlorate salt that's toxic to higher life. a) The ground isn't suitable for plants. There aren't enough minerals and there is no water. And if there is liquid water, it's extremely salty.

Submitted by Htet Su Naing on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 16:05

I have no idea. It's probably one day. How can I guess what will happen in he future?

Submitted by Bodo kh on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 22:42

I don't think so . We still ignore many facts about the space .Maybe it will happen in the next centuries .

Submitted by Aroooma on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 01:09

Maybe..we are in the new generation and we see every thing around us are changes and develops.I Think anything that we see impossible become reality in one day .
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Submitted by Behnoush1989 on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 18:32

I think it depends on the developing knowlede and technology. In fact, if human could extend his astronomical knowledge in order to reach so high level of technology, it is possible to live in Mars. Otherwise, it will be just a dream.

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.