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 SoNSKrill on Fri, 26/02/2021 - 14:29

In my opinion, we will reach a point that the humanity will need to colonize other planets to survive. Maybe that sound too far, but will happen.

Submitted by yerurias on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 21:45

I don't think so, i believe humans are just going to live here on earth, probably it is possible to go there, but not to live and make a place crowded of people how here on earth.

Submitted by Cesar Silva Gajardo on Tue, 23/02/2021 - 15:46

Yes, i think we will do. There is a possibility that a suitable technology may be tested and developed. It's a matter of time to happen.

Submitted by Fabiola03 on Wed, 17/02/2021 - 23:54

with this listening y can learning more about mars very interesting.

Submitted by ArtemenkoArtem on Sun, 14/02/2021 - 17:01

It is no doubt, that one day people will be forced to colonize the Red planet. One day it won't be a dream which we want to fulfil. At least a necessity.

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 14:24

I think in one day we might live in Mars due to technology progressing to build settlements on the Red planet, despite there's no chance similar Earth planet in the universe.

Submitted by zohal shuja on Thu, 11/02/2021 - 06:46

yes. In the future people would live on Mars however, its very cold but people would find the way to live there. nothing is impossible

Submitted by German on Wed, 10/02/2021 - 02:09

Yes, I will. I think that the people will live in another planet in the future. For this we are research in another planet and searching life to can live there.

Submitted by Alessandro893 on Wed, 03/02/2021 - 00:37

Maybe in 15 years It could be possible with the new Technology.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Tue, 02/02/2021 - 00:06

The latest technology and science research and experiments maybe able to fulfil this dream This maybe possible, hopefully in the future.

Submitted by safirapw on Sun, 31/01/2021 - 13:23

i'm not so sure, consider about the weather on mars, not all people can live in cold place

Submitted by MattMontana on Wed, 27/01/2021 - 15:32

Yes, for sure. The thing is that people are going to live on mars but as Robots or Androids. The way we are walking is taking us there.

Submitted by Vancanucks27 on Tue, 26/01/2021 - 02:34

Base on Study Tress can grow to mars,just have to compress the atmosphere into a greenhouse and plant them in soil that has been filtered of Mars' perchlorate salt that's toxic to higher life. a) The ground isn't suitable for plants. There aren't enough minerals and there is no water. And if there is liquid water, it's extremely salty.

Submitted by Htet Su Naing on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 16:05

I have no idea. It's probably one day. How can I guess what will happen in he future?

Submitted by Bodo kh on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 22:42

I don't think so . We still ignore many facts about the space .Maybe it will happen in the next centuries .

Submitted by Aroooma on Sun, 24/01/2021 - 01:09

Maybe..we are in the new generation and we see every thing around us are changes and develops.I Think anything that we see impossible become reality in one day .

Submitted by Behnoush1989 on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 18:32

I think it depends on the developing knowlede and technology. In fact, if human could extend his astronomical knowledge in order to reach so high level of technology, it is possible to live in Mars. Otherwise, it will be just a dream.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 20/01/2021 - 15:53

I don't know, but perhaps we will have some answer by a new space mission NASA, which has launched a rocket Atlas 5 the thirtieh of July 2020 from Cape Canaveral. This rocket carries "Perseverance", the fifth Nasa rover, that will looks for tracks of life on the planet.

Submitted by nicofranck4 on Mon, 18/01/2021 - 21:36

Putting science fiction away, I think it will be quite possible in the future. It has been part of our space projects for so long. We are collecting more data about the local environment through high-tech measuring devices and in the next years, we will get our first rock samples. With all that info, it will be a matter if time to send off the first astronauts to explore it.

Submitted by nancyvirginiare on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 20:29

Yes. Technology advances fast. I just read a new about Tesla owner who sold his properties to dedicate to explore Mars.

Submitted by marlio96 on Fri, 08/01/2021 - 02:19

yes, of course, and I think this future is not so far, probably our children will have the opportunity to live on Mars, I hope to see the first man to step on the mars surface before I die.

Submitted by Maria Andrea on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 19:10

I hope does not, becuase, the people is very destructively.

Submitted by lavande1983 on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 16:37

Now there are multi national people, you can imagine in the future, there will be multi planet people. I mean peope live both on Earth and Mars , they can take a spacecraft to fly in outer space and move between planets. I think one day people can live on Mars . Mars is much further away from the sun than the earth so there is a big difference of temperature between mars and earth. The temperature of mars is about -55 degrees but as you know there are places or coutries on Earth, for example in Oymyakon, a village of Sakha, Russia, the average temperature is about -50 degre, in 1972 it reached -72 degres. On other hand, there is water on mars although it is frozen and mars has only 1% as much air as Earth but these ares important conditions for human life. In the future with technology depelopement and increasing of population on Earth, people can live on mars

Submitted by yuyu on Thu, 07/01/2021 - 08:05

Yes,of course. The technology becomes so updated and everything can be.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 06:38

Off course, one day people will live in Mars. Everything is possible. Human is developing rapidly in the Earth. One day that day will come. Many scientists work on this.

Submitted by MShadow on Sun, 03/01/2021 - 12:38

Well, one of the great ambitions of SpaceX, a company founded by Elon Musk, is to send people to Mars, launch and establish environment and infrastructure in Mars so that human beings can live there in future.

Submitted by Elham Barakat on Thu, 31/12/2020 - 15:59

There are still many arguments around this issue. But I suppose after more and more pollution on the earth and the problem of Global warming. We all will seek to live on another planet. The most probability it will be Mars. Mars is the suitable planet to support Human life after the earth.

Submitted by Djon on Sun, 27/12/2020 - 18:44

As we know, still it was a lot of different discussion about if it possible to live on Mars in future. But, really, as for me i think that it`s almost impossible because the air won`t be expended and it`ll be impossible to live there for alive organism. But we never know , maybe, the science will extend the new area in this direction. We hope for miracle!

Submitted by Shahad2O on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 13:01

I don’t think we can live on Mars, because in our human nature It’s need to air, water and food and these things we can’t find it on mars. But we can used mars for uesful things such as scientific centers and scientific researches to retuned it us to benefit.

Submitted by Saad786 on Sat, 26/12/2020 - 10:01

Yes! that can be possible , if there will be UV radiations coming from the sun to Mars and there will ozone layer to protect the life . More trees means more oxygen. The main problem is not to land on the new planet but to give them necessities of life. For that purpose, there should be enough oxygen, water, natural habitat and residence in order to support life

Submitted by Letícia05040207 on Tue, 22/12/2020 - 02:19

I've been learning about this content (planets from the Solar System) and when I listened to this recording some minutes ago, this immediatelly reminded me the classes from Internet. It is interesting how I even imagined which planets can be a place for we live in a long future

Submitted by Galit Avni on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 13:26

Considering the fact that Mars doesn't really have air, I don't think people will live there one day.

Submitted by marwanN11 on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 09:20

i don't think so. we destroyed our planet, and now want to go to new planet and make it fit for living.

Submitted by Harrison on Mon, 14/12/2020 - 03:01

Well, as far as I know, Mars does not have the air as much as Earth and is only 1 % obtained when compared with the Earth. Whereas, I also wander how the future of university will go on because after many years, Mars will replace the location of the Earth. So, let's see how will be going on in the future. And I also wander how the technology of human will be developing in the future.

Submitted by TalhaÖzkan on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 17:22

Oxygen and other energies must be provided for humans to live on Mars. therefore it looks difficult.

Submitted by DJ Singh on Wed, 25/11/2020 - 08:51

Yes, I am pretty sure we would be on mars one day. Humans have been invested so much time, money, and energy into this project collectively. I want to see in my lifetime the evolution of humans and become a multi-planetary species.

Submitted by Thu Ha Nguyen on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 10:19

It was said in the discussion that Mars´s got just one percent as much air as Earth. I don´t think that humans can survive there. And we should not go there and destroy it. What humans are doing to the Earth, is terrible enough.

Submitted by foch04 on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 14:11

As far as i am concerned I would appreciate to put my feet on mars wouldn't be to see Earth far away, my beautiful blue planet

Submitted by farhad zada on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 05:10

I think somebody will be able to do it but I'm not. Today we have so much welfare on Earth but everibady has not. And this is not unjustice for me just the natural.

Submitted by Vi on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 11:33

Well, I guess we may live there someday, but not in the near future. We have to keep our planet safe and liveable instead of trying to find ways to move on another one!

Submitted by Mr.hanymabrok on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 04:21

Good listening, I like the scientific conversations too much.

Submitted by mahmutkilic0408 on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 07:48

I'm not sure about ıt but ı don't think that human life will be enough to see this

Submitted by daryaaaaa99 on Sun, 01/11/2020 - 13:12

I think that it won't happen soon and I can exactly say that in the beginning flews to the Mars will be very expensive and accessible only for rich people (and also brave). I wish Elon Mask good luck!

Submitted by Yola19 on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 22:09

I think that in current conditions it is practically impossible. However, if equipment is developed to adapt the human body temperature on Tuesday, which is much colder than the earth, and other conditions, it could one day be possible.

Submitted by John A. on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 09:42

I don't really think we could do that one day...except if we really change our way of living and adapt it to Mars characteristics.

Submitted by javibuendi on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 17:29

I dont really think we could live one day in Mars, mainly due to the temperature conditions. Minus 55 degrees is too cold, our body is not ready to bear that kind of conditions. Therefore, we should care about our planet much more than we are doing if we want to preserve our existence.

Submitted by malexol on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 19:49

I believe that's possibly

Submitted by togrul01 on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 19:46

I do not sure about this but I would like to see Mars.

Submitted by mandi on Fri, 16/10/2020 - 21:14

No I don't think because its characteristics are not suitable for human beings to live