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

Download
Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

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.
Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 14:24

Permalink
I think in one day we might live in Mars due to technology progressing to build settlements on the Red planet, despite there's no chance similar Earth planet in the universe.

Submitted by zohal shuja on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 06:46

Permalink
yes. In the future people would live on Mars however, its very cold but people would find the way to live there. nothing is impossible

Submitted by German on Wed, 10/02/2021 - 02:09

Permalink
Yes, I will. I think that the people will live in another planet in the future. For this we are research in another planet and searching life to can live there.

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

Permalink
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

Permalink
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

Permalink
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

Permalink
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

Permalink
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

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