A student discussion

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

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

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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Average: 4.2 (18 votes)

Submitted by eshbekov on Tue, 10/01/2023 - 08:11

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I think it is too early to make such decision. Because humanity doesn't have enought knowlage about Mars.

Submitted by Huiyan Chen on Sat, 07/01/2023 - 12:31

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No, I don't think so. Because the environmental conditions on Mars are not completely suitable for human. First of all, the temperature is extremely low here most of the time. Secondly, Mars doesn't have air. Humans can't breathe here.

Submitted by MFC23 on Fri, 06/01/2023 - 00:23

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Hi, I can complete the preparation exercise cause it doesn't save the answers.

Hello MFC23,

When you want to add another word or phrase to a group, you have to click or press on the small white hand at the side of the words already in the box. If you don't do this, then the new words will stay but the old words will disappear from the box.

It's a little difficult to explain, so please let me know if you'd like me to explain it again.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by malejaquintero93 on Thu, 05/01/2023 - 02:52

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I think it's possible because human technology has made great strides like building a hotel on Mars, Elon will innovate with an interplanetary cell phone, so everything is possible.

Submitted by Aboodkh on Sun, 01/01/2023 - 01:13

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No, I don't think that because I believe in Islam and Quran that our God made Earth for human to live in and build it .

Submitted by Abu23 on Wed, 28/12/2022 - 14:15

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no, i dont think that human live in mars in future.

Submitted by telhawi on Tue, 27/12/2022 - 14:56

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there is no planet like the earth, that humans may protect it if they want to continue enjoy it

Submitted by HAMEDFAYAD on Mon, 26/12/2022 - 20:57

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No, I do not Think because i can not Imagine if someone can leave the earth forever, It's hard to leave your country for working or tourist or business, what about leaving earth forever.

Submitted by iambored on Fri, 23/12/2022 - 20:41

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I think humans will be able to live on Mars sooner or later. However, the life on Mars can never be as good as the life on Earth because Earth has a more livable and human-supporting environment than Mars.