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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.

Transcripts

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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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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