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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Worksheet82.41 KB

No ,I think we can't, because if that possible Allah (God) wouldn't created us on earth

I had never heard some differences that they commented, was pretty interesting heard that

I think with minus 55 degrees it is so hard to maintain life there, because our bodies are not capable of withstanding this low temperature, but also I believe of capabilities of humans, we can solve this problem, for millions of years we found a solution for the trillions of problems so coldness can not stop us.

people can everything as far as god's (Allah) let. Our mission is hardworking loking for solution to solve our problem. even if we have not succesfull result we can get experience for another try

In my point of view, it seems impossible because Mars doesn't have water and the weather is much colder than Earth. Therefore, it is hard for humans to live there. However, it might be possible but depends on future advanced technologies. Maybe one day scientists may find some way to live on Mars or other planets.

I suppose that human will live on Mars in the future because nowadays science and technology are developing rapidly but the environment in Earth is being destroyed seriously. So, in my opinion, people will use technological achievements in the future to adapt to the conditions in Mars.

It depends, I think that on the future the people will be able to live in Mars because the technology is more avance, but the condition of Mars is complicate for the life because Mars doesn´t have water.

in my opinion i think people can not able to lives on mars ever coz if that possible god would not selected to us the earth

I think it will be possible on a future. Currently exist companies that are planning travels to others planets and In my opinion I believe that companies are thinking how can introduce air for the people who expect go to live there.

in my opinion, I do not deem mar is suitable for human life because has many demerits, and there are disparities in human genes that totally different. according to our scientists and astronomers see live is possible regardless of many deprivations and livelihoods in mars

I believe the -55 degree is to cold to have a human in the plant Mars. can anybody tell us about the minimum temperature degree can the human manage . also i think the the reason that Mars has such degree because it is far from the sun by 225 million km .

Much appreciated to British council.
I'm trying to help myself with these materials to improve my English.

I don’t know that, it’s difficult to imagine the future on mars planet, but I think that with the humans evolution and with the most frequently changing on heart, humans will be obligated to found another place for living theyr life, and mars is probabily one of the most ospitality planet that there are on our galaxy

Well... everything is possible. Although all the researches are more focused on finding life or proving that we can live on Mars, I strongly believe aliens will invade us and maybe show us more options in this massive universe. Maybe a warmer planet than Mars.

yes of course, human is progressing in all field of science. he produce new tools. he use new tools and experience of humans before him. beside, I think humans is genetically progressing. he has communication with other people by the internet. Summary, the things are impossible for us, will be done by future generations.

I think we should find another planets where human can live.Because the world was gradually destroyed by people.

Maybe one day, if the technology improves, to the level at which we will be able to use it to live there.

i think , we can live in marth, but no in this moment, we dont have a good tecnology, to go for other planet.

I'm sure that People cannot live in Mars and never live there . Because:
- First, there's no water currently. People cannot live without water.
- Second, The temperature is about minus 55 degrees, it's so cold towards people. Maybe i's not true in the future with technology.
- Third, Mars don't have Air, especially Oxygen. It's indispensable for People
In the Future, it's probably need a lot of money and technology to Help People can live in Mars

I think it would be impossible to live in other planet than earth, I know technology gets bigger and wider day by day but that doesn't mean they can create the sources of life that god have made, I could imagine people visiting Mars but not live on it obviously.

Yes, I think technology has improve, so maybe one day someone will be there, because I think Mars has a similar conditions than Earth, however Mars hasn't enough water to survive, so it could be a problem.

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

I do think in a nearest future people will colonize and live in other planets apart than Earth but I don't think we would be able to see it in this life, but maybe we should focus on taking care the planet we actually live in rather than spent loads valuable resources trying to adapt our life to other planets.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Hello! Well, i do think that the Earth is the only planet created for support the human life. I said that the bible says about that, our God created this planet called Earth to reproduse life.

I guess, that due developping new technologies day by days, once upon a time people can at least partially live on Mars. We have minimum chance, but we have. So we can do our best for this discovery with little step. I believe that one day with the huge cooperation of best scientists, inventors, investors and world's authorities people could settle down on Mars.

It’s difficult to say . It depends on the new expeditions and the nieuw studies on the possibility of the life on Mars.

Yes, I do. Science and technology keep developing until now, and I can't imagine how advanced they are in the future. So, I believe that someday humans can build civilization on Mars.

Maybe, but I think it's not possible, as it takes too much time to reach there even more than a person's age.

Yes, I think people will live on Mars one day. Because, Elon Musk is CEO at SpaceX said that Mars is one of Earth's closest habitable neighbors. Mars is about half again as far from the Sun as Earth is, so it still has decent sunlight. It is a little cold, but we can warm it up. Its atmosphere is primarily CO2 with some nitrogen and argon and a few other trace elements, which means that we can grow plants on Mars just by compressing the atmosphere. Furthermore, the day is remarkably close to that of Earth.

So, as far as I know, the main similarities between Earth and Mars is that they can both support human life. Though Mars is colder than Earh. Its temperature is minus 55 degrees, cause it places further the Sun than Earth. Otherwise, there is less air on this planet and the water was frozen in the past. It's not at all, one more other difference between them is gravity. Mars gravity is much less than on Earth. It says Mars has about 38 percent of earth's gravity. Despite all of these things, I think people will live on Mars due to population explosion and environmental pollution.

Probably, yes, our future is bright. Scientists are doing hard work to know how to live in mars.

with an air of carbon dioxide and frozen water very complex wither no way we can even live for a second
there is no life for humans up in space

No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

No, I don't think that and I can't imagine if humans can live on other planets instead of the earth.

According to last researches, Mars lost his water which was blown off from its surface by Sun's winds. Mars doesn't have the magnetic field as Earth has. Early there was a magnetic field upon Mars but due to Mars is a small planet, his core got frozen and ceased producing magnetic field. Left without defence all water and air were blown off from surface. Now Mars's core is frozen. Mars has lost almost whole atmosphere and it's extremely cold there. I don't think that people can live there in nearest future but i suppose that after a while there will live not human but cyborgs.
No, I don't think so. People can't live on Mars due to it's temperature and air. I think people can't stand minus 55 degrees and can't live without having oxygen. Besides, water in Mars is frozen. It is difficult either to grow plants or to survive animals and humans. Because of these reasons, Mars may be hostile environment for human beings. So, I suppose people can't live on Mars.
In 21.century a lot of people, a lot of scientist are discussing about "where can we live another planet or solar system form the Earth." But none of us don't try to make the world more livable place. We still built more factories, buy more cars, built more huge buildings etc. Whereas day to day we cut more forest and we make dirty our environment, seas, lakes and rivers. Actually we're not doing anything to save the Earth.
Yes I think so. Or at least I think we will be forced to attempt it in a near future. Since we humans are depleting all of our natural resources.
I don't think people should do that. Because life on Earth is difficult enough, imagine on another planet.