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.


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 …


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Submitted by Nurten on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 12:27

I think people can not live in Mars.But we can find solutions to live in there because the world is going worse

Submitted by theguest22 on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 09:17

I don't think that, due to God created the earth to live on it, and if that happens it's not be common,because it will be expensive and it would be just for famous human . I think or who has feasible to move there.

Submitted by Wesley54 on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 03:15

Perhaps there could be life on Mars in a long-term future. If the developed countries made from now on more investment in technology, innovation and science, then a life in space would be true.

Submitted by PAMARTIN on Sun, 22/03/2020 - 20:44

I think human will live on mars in a very long future. Astronauts already live in space today, in the ISS international station. Who would have believed about it 50 years ago?

Submitted by nochi1421 on Thu, 12/03/2020 - 21:02

I don´t think so. Seeing the behaviour of the people in this days, i pretty sure that the thing is going to occur fist is the extinction of almost all the humanity because of the wars, new diseases and global warming.

Submitted by Ammaraf on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 13:48

Yes maybe in the future but not in open areas, in settlements which will be protected from the rough climate on Mars planet, in this case I think the planet will be our second home after earth.

Submitted by Mansoori on Mon, 09/03/2020 - 08:51

I think living on the other planets can be feasible,however it needs knowledge and experiment.Maybe the next generation can move on there.