# 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.

### 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 …

### 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.

Submitted by Sam Suki on Sun, 11/08/2024 - 17:37

Maybe, but that is a far away theory, 'cause in the actuality there's not enough evidence. I think the destiny of the humanity is to dead, just like the series "Love, Death & Robots".

Submitted by Abdelrahmannnnnnn on Sat, 03/08/2024 - 19:23

maybe it will happen if we could somehow overcome water , air and gravity obstacles

Submitted by Edwin_2024 on Thu, 18/07/2024 - 15:41

I think if some day humans can colonize Mars, the life will no be the same as an earth. Life is comfortable here, enjoy while as you can !!!

Submitted by Eash on Sun, 07/07/2024 - 17:54

Hello Eash,

If you right-click on the play icon (the triangle) you should be given the option to download the audio file.

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by ubaid332 on Wed, 29/05/2024 - 08:56

Do you think people will live on Mars one day?

I think not because there is no oxygen on Mars and also the cold is very high which is not suitable for people to live there. The earth has many facilities for human life like water, oxygen, and proper seasons which are important factors for human life.

Submitted by mai.gamal.elshamy on Thu, 16/05/2024 - 12:26