# 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 Vitaliy_G on Mon, 28/11/2022 - 10:21

I think that people will be on Mars with scientific expedition and not for life.

Submitted by Eman Samir on Fri, 25/11/2022 - 18:01

Although there are similarities between Earth and Mars and it can support human life but I think there will be no life on Mars one day for reasons like being much colder than Earth.Most of its water may be frozen now. It doesn't have air compared to Earth which is the very main component for living there.One last thing is the gravity which is much less than Earth.

Submitted by YuliaMelenchuk on Wed, 23/11/2022 - 10:27

I strongly belive YES. It become more and more possible these days. I do not know where, but I think one day my grandchildren will go to the Mars

Submitted by rehab _nnnh on Sat, 19/11/2022 - 15:12

Maybe one day the human being can develop ways to live on Mars.For sure it will take a long time to obtain that ,but who can imagine we can fly in the sky and sending messages ,deposit money , buying stuffs online and as we do now self learning with a small a portable devices. The humane inventions have no limit .

Submitted by canadauser on Thu, 17/11/2022 - 04:02

My opinion is that Mars should be alternatives instead of earth. Because I can not imagine , there is only the earth for live.

Submitted by Seany on Fri, 28/10/2022 - 20:34

I could say probably Yes! as I believe in the endless creativity of human beings and in my opinion there's not much things to fix to live on Mars as compared to other planets. There has water though they are frozen that's not bad as there's no water. About not having air is the big one to fix but with the advancement of science and technology, I hope human can make it one day ><

I fully disagree with you for two main reasons which are living indicators on Mars are still unclear and no one could predict these indicators, and secondly, it takes a while to ensure that Mars is a proper place to live.

Submitted by IngLuisBoscan on Mon, 24/10/2022 - 10:32