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

Download
Worksheet82.41 KB

Language level

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.
Average: 4.2 (18 votes)
Profile picture for user Mohamad-Altaha

Submitted by Mohamad-Altaha on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 18:27

Permalink
I absolutely believe that there will never be life on Mars, but we should save our planet instead of thinking about life on Mars. To make our planet greener

Submitted by muradovkamran on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 17:12

Permalink
Maybe...Elon Musk has already sent a car to there for future's people. But in that theme I can be negative. Because, I suppose not people of Earth are ready to live on Mars. İnstead of planning living on Mars, humans could make better life on Earth! Does anyone agree with my opinion?

Submitted by username123 on Mon, 09/12/2019 - 17:10

Permalink
I suppose that, one day, people will definitly live on Mars This thing will happen when our Earth will be destroyed by future generation...

Submitted by le van son on Mon, 25/11/2019 - 15:07

Permalink
Yes, I think people can live on Mars in the future when Earth destroy by people and Mars will be future.

Submitted by Wahib Al-Ammari on Sat, 23/11/2019 - 07:49

Permalink
In order to live on Mars, or any other planet, we need four basic elements: food, water, air, and warm. It is seem impossible to deliver these thing from the earth to Mars. The shortest period to transport from earth to Mars about 8 months. If we need to create these requirements on Mars itself, then we need a fertilized land to farm food, plants to dissolve frozen water, producing oxygen, and controlling the temperature. All these things need very high cost and technical abilities. May be with the fast evolution in the novel technology, these issues will be addressed. May be our sons will be there, I hope so.
Profile picture for user Sergey Sh

Submitted by Sergey Sh on Thu, 31/10/2019 - 03:22

Permalink
Did anyone hear about 2030s mission to Mars? That’s NASA project, as far as I know, of sending people on Mars to settle. What kind of person you need to be to go living on Mars? There is an official website on this subject where everybody can sign in and apply to become one of discoverers. I happened to read of what people who were involved to the program said. Some of them were really engaged and had their motivation to make big contribution and promotion in humanity and science, it’s ok, but some others came clean they’re tired of living on Earth, a weird notice, as for me, isn’t ? Anyway, that’s going to be interesting to watch about how the program will work by 2030. I really doubt anyone could live on Mars cause of inappropriate living conditions there, but if NASA established the program it looks like they’re sure that it’s possible. There lots of research had been let on this subject to admit it, so I tend to rely and agree that it might be possible to live on Mars.

Submitted by ahmed shaker on Fri, 25/10/2019 - 15:39

Permalink
I have completed the lessons regarding difference between Mars and Earth so, I think it is impossible for human to live on Mars planet due to the extreme conditions for weather , Gravity and air and till now there no research center prove the probability to how can anybody live on Mars

Submitted by César Árraga on Tue, 08/10/2019 - 17:06

Permalink
I consider that as scientific researchs continues to advance, the NASA will evaluate if there are possibilities of living on Mars. Also, according to the listening excercise, we can understand there're more extreme conditions on that planet than the Earth. For instance, the weather(tempeartures are highly variable), air composition(it's mostly carbon dioxide), gravity(it is about one sixth of the Earth), etc.

Submitted by Assel on Thu, 26/09/2019 - 01:21

Permalink
Technological progress does not stand in one place. For the last 100 years scientists all over the world have made up colossal breakthrough in technology area. I believe that in one day travel to Mars will be as easy as getting to the neighbour country. According to the many years research, life in Mars is completely possible.

Submitted by Karimkm on Fri, 20/09/2019 - 01:31

Permalink
I have completed the following lessons of A Student Discussion.The level that I choose was Intermediate B1 Listening