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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

I’m not sure about a correct answer about if we can l live on the the Mars one day, but I can say: nothing impossible seeing that huge and accelerated scientific progress in various fields.

I dont think its possible, cos there is no air in mars as the student said. So people can't breathe & live there if they dont using oxygen mask.

Nothing is impossible, but I prefer to stay on earth))

I have seen many things that humans have gotten; however it's a few complicated to think that someday people could live on Mars because this planet don't have the enviromental conditions currently to support life, for instance almost all its water is frozen. Therefore, today is impossible to live on Mars whereas looking forward, the science could find out mechanisms for backing life up on Mars.

no , i don't think so but we don't know the future our technology is progressing very quickly

Surely not .becauseMars living conditions are not available

Maybe people will find more appropriate planet to live than Mars.

I can't answer this question clearly because I don't have enough knowledge about this topic. But I don't think that humans will live in any place except Earth.

well, i am not sure maybe with enough supports human can live in mars for one day but it will cost money and efforts

Well, i doubt that we will ever go and live in Mars.It will be always a fantastic dream. Finding oxygen here can take maybe 200 years or more, maybe we cannot live in mars but our grandchildren can.

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