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 Roi Nan on Sun, 13/08/2023 - 12:20


In my point of view, it cannot be possible for human to live on Mar. The reason is that there is no oxygen or air which is essential for human and all the water from there are frozen. For those reason, it may impossible for human to live on Mar.

for now it appears to be not practical, but I guess in the future, as technology is evolving rapidly and humans are getting better apparatus to slave the environment, it may be possible to have synthetical oxygen and water

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Submitted by Hemat Mustafa on Thu, 10/08/2023 - 21:36


I think it is impossible even with the greatest events and discovers that be done every moment in science of space . People need three things to live water, fertil soil,and air.And these 3 things till this moment are not available there.Yes,there is water but it is frozen so how can we irrigate the crops or lands so there will no food.Also there is no air .Mars is dioxide with carbon dioxide and there is no oxygen. Finally, the fertil soil and I am not sure if there is a fertil soil in this cold temperature

Submitted by khloudokiel on Thu, 03/08/2023 - 11:01


Yes i guess we can live on mars one day

Submitted by miss'O on Mon, 31/07/2023 - 23:59


No it’s not possible,even if was possible the chance is low

Submitted by isroil09 on Sun, 30/07/2023 - 07:12


I don't think so. But one day, who knows, there is possibility.

Submitted by Elman_Gahramanov on Fri, 28/07/2023 - 12:49


no i think that we will cant live Mars but i think so we will discover new plantets or new grounds and live there

Submitted by penhucaity on Fri, 28/07/2023 - 08:42


I don't think we will live on Mars in near future. We still have many studies about Mars, how to come to Mars easier. The climate in Mars maybe is not suitable with human.

Submitted by adindalarasa on Thu, 27/07/2023 - 18:25


I don't think so, because we need a lot of research and more data and it takes a lot of time.

Submitted by Samiir mohmutt on Thu, 27/07/2023 - 15:30


I don't thing Mars and earth are because there is huge difference between them