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 Ashar Ahmed on Mon, 21/02/2022 - 16:59


The lack of oxygen and water makes it impossible for humans to exist on Mars.

Submitted by sandar-s-d on Mon, 07/02/2022 - 04:26


In my opinion,I don't think people will live in Mars because there is no water and enough air so we need to prepare a lot to live for life long.Maybe we can visit to Mars and wander in it

Submitted by KATIELLE RAIAN… on Wed, 19/01/2022 - 17:25


Well, in my opinion, in a few days the earth will be uninhabitable. So we humans will have to look for another planet to live on. Who knows, will it be Mars?

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Submitted by danisep on Sat, 15/01/2022 - 14:23


Yes, In the future humankind gonna adapt mars to their necessities, I don't think that life on other planets gonna be like on earth maybe they gonna use colonies and a dome to keep humans under certain conditions and I think that gonna be like a tourist destination.

Submitted by misty on Sat, 08/01/2022 - 18:01


I think with the advancement of our technologies, there is a big possibility that one day people can live in Mars. Furthermore, with the inventions, astronauts are being sent out in the universe to research on planets if there is possibility of human life out in the space.

Submitted by PeterG on Tue, 04/01/2022 - 22:06


Nowadays humans have a lot of advanced technologies so it is probable that in the future we will be able to live in space or we will visit Mars. However, in my opinion, it will be a very expensive journey, and probably it won´t be able for all people, just for some. I hope humans won´t pollute the planet that they will visit as they do with the Earth.

Submitted by ANOUAR on Tue, 28/12/2021 - 12:19


Without water and fresh air, I think we will send robots to live there instead of us, and we can share informations about the different kind of life here and there.

In fact, we have already done that. Nasa has sent many robots to explore and do research on mars, and Elon Musk has a theory that you could colonize mars and make it a new home for humans. This could be a great solution if global warming escalates much further.

Submitted by Shweyee on Tue, 21/12/2021 - 03:22


I don't think so. There is no water, no fresh air and threes can't grow in Mars. But the scientists research this planet and found somethings that can support human life , may be one day people live in Mars with suitable technology.