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 (264 votes)
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Submitted by samirakeepitsimple on Sun, 25/06/2023 - 10:15


i don't think that we could live in mars or in anthor planet rather then the earth cause of many reason the gravity , the percent of water , the type of the air etc.....so we hope that our planet be protcted

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Submitted by elifkglx on Tue, 20/06/2023 - 12:03


I dont think we can live on Mars in these day according to the datas i learned from this listening exercise. But i believe, in the future we can live on Mars considering technologies improvement

Submitted by mroma on Sat, 17/06/2023 - 21:12


I don't think we can currently live on Mars, but perhaps in the future there will be technologies that enable us to make Mars more habitable for humans

Submitted by Phyo Sandar on Mon, 12/06/2023 - 15:18


Probably not, both have totally different conditions for human being. But in later, it may be because the science is developing day by day.

Submitted by kbshaik on Sun, 11/06/2023 - 15:44


completed successfully

Submitted by Guilhermehhsja… on Fri, 09/06/2023 - 16:16


No. Recently Mars was considered a inhabitable planet for human life. There are some ideas to make Mars a planet like Earth, with good air and water, but this isn't possible in a short period of time. So, I guess humans can't work with each to do this.

Submitted by maya85000 on Tue, 06/06/2023 - 09:04


not in a near future, but I think one day we will be able to do it. We don't have the technology yet to sustain human life (gavity, oxygen and water) but we can send robots able to navigate on mars surface, take samples and analyse the data for future research.
I wish engineers would put their effort on saving planet earth. We were made for leave on it. We should treasure instead of looking for planet B

Submitted by ghzamar on Tue, 30/05/2023 - 22:33


That is possible because we have the technology and it is going to develop but in my opinion isn't necessary. We have the best and grateful planet here. We should be care and safe it!