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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Submitted by azharbgskr on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 15:49


Yes, I do. Science and technology keep developing until now, and I can't imagine how advanced they are in the future. So, I believe that someday humans can build civilization on Mars.

Submitted by Mostafa Abdelrafea on Sun, 28/11/2021 - 02:58


Maybe, but I think it's not possible, as it takes too much time to reach there even more than a person's age.

Submitted by vuhoap on Sun, 14/11/2021 - 13:06


Yes, I think people will live on Mars one day. Because, Elon Musk is CEO at SpaceX said that Mars is one of Earth's closest habitable neighbors. Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight. It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere. Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.

Submitted by vienngoc2502 on Sun, 07/11/2021 - 02:46


So, as far as I know, the main similarities between Earth and Mars is that they can both support human life. Though Mars is colder than Earh. Its temperature is minus 55 degrees, cause it places further the Sun than Earth. Otherwise, there is less air on this planet and the water was frozen in the past. It's not at all, one more other difference between them is gravity. Mars gravity is much less than on Earth. It says Mars has about 38 percent of earth's gravity. Despite all of these things, I think people will live on Mars due to population explosion and environmental pollution.

Submitted by danielbacelar on Tue, 26/10/2021 - 21:01


It's possible... Our existence is tiny close to the size of the universe

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 06/10/2021 - 08:51


Probably, yes, our future is bright. Scientists are doing hard work to know how to live in mars.

Submitted by Anasziz on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 17:54


with an air of carbon dioxide and frozen water very complex wither no way we can even live for a second
there is no life for humans up in space

Submitted by Rolabaik on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 14:29


No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

Submitted by Rolabaik on Thu, 30/09/2021 - 10:50


No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

Submitted by krigss91350 on Sun, 12/09/2021 - 08:21

According to last researches, Mars lost his water which was blown off from its surface by Sun's winds. Mars doesn't have the magnetic field as Earth has. Early there was a magnetic field upon Mars but due to Mars is a small planet, his core got frozen and ceased producing magnetic field. Left without defence all water and air were blown off from surface. Now Mars's core is frozen. Mars has lost almost whole atmosphere and it's extremely cold there. I don't think that people can live there in nearest future but i suppose that after a while there will live not human but cyborgs.