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: 4.3 (21 votes)

Submitted by Ugulhan on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 13:16

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I heard also, people want to live or move to the moon until 2050. Developed countries would like to build hotels, entertainment on the moon. But, if it is about Mars, I don't know how is possible to be there. We said the mars is colder than the earth.

Submitted by Danbraga on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 18:44

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Despite the new technologies, I think living on Mars will never be possible, because Mars doesn’t have natural resources such as, water, oxygen, good weather conditions; however, new scientific researches about another planet are always welcome.

Submitted by Hussein Alattas on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 14:54

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People are are growing so fast, life is much easier then before and no body cares about the future. Can we life in this plan forever?! Can we make the factories stop throwing their waste everywhere ?! The Ozone whole is going to be bigger then now if we don't find the solution, i think some people will have to live on Mars but not this generation.

Submitted by ikhay on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 15:17

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Yes, I agree. Scientists are trying to approve for that. One day, it will be.

Submitted by Eden alemayehu on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 11:48

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I think so , scientists are doing different studies on mars and I hope one day they will be successful and able to help people to live in mars
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Submitted by Ivanox76 on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 05:52

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I don't think so, maybe the scientist have more information than I do, but my guess that Mars is a Planet died long time ago, and nowadays it doesn't have anything to offer us.

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 00:10

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Yes, lots of things seemed impossible in the past and they've come true. With all the improvements and breakthroughs of science and technology, I just can't tell for sure whether there exists something unachievable including the possibility of life on Mars. Maybe, the lack of oxygen and extreme cold seem to be the biggest obstacles to the human life there, but no one knows how far can humanity go in the universe...

Submitted by IKEDA on Fri, 07/08/2020 - 15:50

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That's a hard question. I've heard that the Sun keeps expanding, if so, the human is going not to be able to live on the Earth someday. If I think so, We might need to move to Mars far future.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 19:24

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The more Earth is seriously destroyed by humans, the more they will try to find another planet with alternative life. It may be Mars because many recent NASA kinds of research show that there exists life on this planet. This opens up the prospect of being able to send humans to live on Mars.

Submitted by mariaptis on Sat, 01/08/2020 - 13:16

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I can't say I'm sure that Mars could allow life on itself, but I can say that I would be thrilled to see what kind of life could grow there. I hope they are way better than us as living creatures and actually take care of nature.