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A student discussion

Listen to two students comparing Mars and Earth to practise and improve your listening skills.

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Transcripts

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 …

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

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.

Yes I do. People will live on Mars one day. There are many people researching about that. And I think some day they will find the way to live there without oxygen.

I reconk maybe people will live there. A few og humanity, as a kind of experiment, not for being a attepmt to survive because life's condiotion on Earth won't be good.

Yes, I do. In my opinion people will live on Mars one day, because science is in an advanced level, and also astronomy is very development nowadays.

I don't think because we all human needs oxygen to live.Mars has no oxygen whereas it has water.

I don't think people can live in Mars.
Because there is too cold and 1/3 smaller than Earth.
But it can be changed by time to time.
I interested to visit to the Mars, red planet.

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