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 I.es91 on Thu, 06/04/2023 - 22:09


I think this is impossible based on the above copmparation Mars is not suitable for human living for several reasons such as; weather, water, length of the day and i guess that's enough.

Submitted by Sliang on Thu, 23/03/2023 - 23:34


I believe it is possible for humans to live on Mars one day, but it is not likely to happen anytime soon. We face many challenges and limitations when it comes to the natural conditions on Mars, such as the lack of air, water, and extreme temperatures. In order to make this a reality, we need significant advancements in science and technology to develop ways to deal with these challenges.

On a personal note, I find the topic of astronomy to be quite difficult. I had to listen the audio more than eight times to answer the questions, as I am not familiar with many of the related words such as Mars, Antarctica, Jupiter, nitrogen, astronomical, etc.

Submitted by hasancvs on Wed, 15/03/2023 - 09:10


I think one-day people will go to Mars and it will be easy like changing city. Most businesses like Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos try to build new challenges for going to Mars.

Submitted by NataliaMM on Mon, 06/03/2023 - 23:41


I have no ideia, but i believe that the scientist will discover one way to move to Mars, because the humans are a very determined race.

Submitted by yagmurrelll on Sun, 05/03/2023 - 16:09


ı think , mars is not suitable for the human to live because it has no water , no enough air , and it's weather minus 55 degree. though, maybe scientist will find a way to live on mars .

Submitted by cicelhiti25 on Wed, 01/03/2023 - 06:53


I don't know maybe?! who knows. maybe one day the scientists will discovered the technology for the next generation to live there.

Submitted by hoangnuong2002 on Tue, 28/02/2023 - 00:58


In my opinion, people won't move to Mars in the future. The main reason is that Mars doesn't have water.

Submitted by Trang Luu on Tue, 21/02/2023 - 05:47


I think people cannot live in Mars because it have no water, no air and almost of time get minus 55 degree.

Submitted by Shoon Lae Yee Phyo on Fri, 17/02/2023 - 12:43


May be, I am not sure.

Submitted by farzad515 on Thu, 09/02/2023 - 12:21


If there is oil in Mars, Definitely human can solve all problems, there.