Orders of magnitude (length)

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Template:Orders of magnitude

To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following list describes various lengths between 1.6Template:E m and 1.3Template:E m.

List of orders of magnitude for length
Factor (m) Multiple Value Item
10−35 1.6Template:E m Planck length; size of a hypothetical string; lengths smaller than this do not make any physical sense, according to current theories of physics
. . .
10−24 1 yoctometre (ym)
10−21 1 zeptometre (zm)
10−18 1 attometre (am) upper limit for the size of quarks and electrons
sensitivity of the LIGO detector for gravitational waves
10−15 1 femtometre (fm) size of a proton
classical electron radius
10−14 10 fm scale of the atomic nucleus
range of the weak force
10−13 100 fm
10−12 1 picometre (pm) distance between atomic nuclei in a white dwarf
wavelength of gamma rays
2.4 pm Compton wavelength of electron
5 pm wavelength of shortest X-rays
10−11 10 pm 25 pm radius of hydrogen atom
31 pm radius of helium atom
53 pm Bohr radius
10−10 100 pm wavelength of X-rays
100 pm 1 Ångström
100 pm (0.1 nm) covalent radius of sulfur atom
126 pm (0.126 nm) covalent radius of ruthenium atom
135 pm (0.135 nm) covalent radius of technetium atom
153 pm (0.153 nm) covalent radius of silver atom
154 pm (0.154 nm) length of a typical covalent bond (C–C).
155 pm (0.155 nm) covalent radius of zirconium atom
175 pm (0.175 nm) covalent radius of thulium atom
225 pm (0.225 nm) covalent radius of caesium atom
500 pm (0.50 nm) width of protein α helix
10−9 1 nanometre (nm) 1 nm diameter of Carbon nanotube
2 nm diameter of DNA helix
2.5 nm Smallest transistor gate oxide thickness microprocessors (as of Jan 2007)
3 nm distance between a hard drive read head and the disk surface
3.4 nm length of a DNA turn (10 bp)
3 × 8 nm size of an albumin protein molecule
6 - 10 nm thickness of cell membrane
10−8 10 nm 10 nm typical diameter of nanowire
10 nm thickness of cell wall in gram-negative bacteria
20 nm thickness of bacterial flagellum
20 - 80 nm thickness of cell wall in gram-positive bacteria
40 nm extreme ultraviolet wavelength
45 nm Smallest feature size of production microprocessors (as of Jan 2007)
90 nm human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (generally, viruses range in size from 20 nm to 450 nm)
10−7 100 nm size of chromosomes
100 nm 90% of particles in wood smoke are smaller than this
120 nm typical penetrating particle size for a ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air) filter (removes up to 99.999% at 0.12 micrometres) and a SULPA (Super ULPA) filter (removes up to 99.9999% at 0.12 micrometres)
121.6 nm wavelength of the lyman-alpha line
280 nm near ultraviolet wavelength
300 nm most-penetrating particle size for a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter (N100 removes up to 99.97% at 0.3 micrometres, N95 removes up to 95% at 0.3 micrometres)
380–430 nm wavelength of violet light—see color and optical spectrum
430–450 nm wavelength of indigo light
450–500 nm wavelength of blue light
500–520 nm wavelength of cyan light
520–565 nm wavelength of green light
565–590 nm wavelength of yellow light
590–625 nm wavelength of orange light
625–740 nm wavelength of red light
10−6 1 micrometre (µm) 1 µm also called 1 micron
1–3 µm particle size that a surgical mask removes at 80-95% efficiency
1–10 µm diameter of typical bacterium
1.55 µm wavelength of light used in optical fibre
3–5 µm size of a human spermatozoon's head (radius by length)
4–5 µm Average width of strand of Spider web major ampullate (dragline) thread from Nephila species [1]
6–8 µm diameter of a human red blood cell
6 µm anthrax spore
7 µm diameter of the nucleus of typical eukariotic cell
10−5 10 µm 10 µm typical size of a fog, mist or cloud water droplet
10 µm width of cotton fibre
10.6 µm wavelength of light emitted by a Carbon dioxide laser
12 µm width of Acrylic fibre
13 µm width of nylon fibre
14 µm width of polyester fibre
15 µm width of silk fibre (double stranded)
17 µm dust mite excreta ¹
20 µm width of wool fibre
25.4 µm 1/1000 inch, commonly referred to as 1 mil
50 µm typical length of Euglena gracilis, a flagellate protist
80 µm average width of human hair (ranges from 18 to 180 µm)
10−4 100 µm 125 µm dust mite
200 µm typical length of Paramecium caudatum, a ciliate protist
300 µm diameter of Thiomargarita namibiensis, the largest bacterium ever discovered
500 µm MEMS micro-engine
500 µm diameter of a human ovum
500 µm typical length of Amoeba proteus, an amoeboid protist
10−3 1 millimetre (mm) 2.54 mm distance between pins in old DIP (dual-inline-package) electronic components
5 mm length of average red ant
7.62 mm common military ammunition size
10−2 1 centimetre (cm) 1.5 cm length of a large mosquito
2.54 cm 1 inch
3.1 cm 1 attoparsec (10−18 parsecs)
4.267 cm diameter of a Golf ball
10−1 1 decimetre (dm) 10 cm wavelength of the highest UHF radio frequency, 3 GHz
10 cm diameter of the cervix upon entering the second stage of labour
10.16 cm 1 hand used in measuring height of horses (4 inches)
12 cm wavelength of the 2.45 GHz ISM radio band
15 cm height of a Lilliputian from Gulliver's Travels
15 cm approximate size of largest beetle species
15 cm length of a Bic pen with cap on
21 cm wavelength of the hydrogen line, a hyperfine transition of the hydrogen atom
22 cm diameter of a typical soccer ball
29.98 cm distance light travels in one nanosecond
30.48 cm 1 foot
31 cm wingspan of largest butterfly species Ornithoptera alexandrae
50-65 cm a pizote's tail
66 cm length of the longest pine cones (produced by the sugar pine)
90 cm average length of a rapier, a fencing sword
91 cm 1 yard
100 1 metre 1 m wavelength of the lowest UHF and highest VHF radio frequency, 300 MHz
1 m approximate height of the top part of a doorknob on a door
1.435 m Standard gauge of railway track
1.7 m (5 feet 7 inches) average height of a human being
2.44 m height of a football goal.
2.45 m highest jump by a human being (Javier Sotomayor)
2.72 m tallest known human being (Robert Wadlow)
2.77 - 3.44 m wavelength of the broadcast radio FM band 87–108 MHz
3.048 m (10 feet) height of the basket in basketball
5.5 m height of tallest animal, the giraffe
8.95 m longest jump by a human being (Mike Powell)
101 1 decametre (dam) 10 m wavelength of the lowest VHF and highest shortwave radio frequency, 30 MHz
18.44 m (60 feet 6 inches) distance between the pitcher's rubber and home plate on a baseball field
20.12 m (22 yards) length of a cricket pitch
21 m height of High Force waterfall in England.
23 m height of the obelisk of the Place de la Concorde, Paris.
25 m wavelength of the broadcast radio shortwave band at 12 MHz
27.43 m (90 feet) distance between bases on a baseball field
30 m length of a blue whale, the largest animal
31 m wavelength of the broadcast radio shortwave band at 9.7 MHz
40 m average depth beneath the seabed of the Channel tunnel
49 m width of an American football field (53 1/3 yards)
49 m wavelength of the broadcast radio shortwave band at 6.1 MHz
52 m height of Niagara Falls
55 m height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
62 m Height of Pyramid of Djoser
70 m width of a typical football field
70 m length of the Bayeux Tapestry
88.40 m wingspan of the Antonov An-225 transport aircraft
91.44 m length of an American football field (100 yards, measured between the goal lines)
93.47 m height of the Statue of Liberty (foundation of pedestal to torch)
102 1 hectometre (hm) 100 m wavelength of the lowest shortwave radio frequency and highest medium wave radio frequency, 3 MHz
105 m length of a typical football field
109.73 m total length of an American football field (120 yards, including the end zones)
115.55 m height of the world's tallest tree, a Coast redwood
137 m (147 m) height (present/original) of the Great Pyramid of Giza
139.5 m height of the world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka
187 m shortest wavelength of the broadcast radio AM band, 1600 kHz
299.792 m approximate distance travelled by light in one microsecond
300.65 m height of the Eiffel Tower (roof)
340 m distance sound travels in air in one second; see speed of sound
400–500 m approximate heights of the world's tallest skyscrapers of the past 70 years.
458 m length of the Knock Nevis, the world's largest supertanker
541 m (1776 ft) height of the planned Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site
555 m longest wavelength of the broadcast radio AM band, 540 kHz
637 m present (Apr 2008) height of the Burj Dubai, the world's tallest free-standing land structure which is projected to reach 645 m (818 m including antenna) at completion in 2008
647 m height of the Warsaw radio mast, formerly the tallest man-made structure, collapsed in 1991
979 m height of the Salto Angel, the world's highest free-falling waterfall (Venezuela)
103 1 kilometre (km) 1 km wavelength of the lowest medium wave radio frequency, 300 kHz
1609 m 1 international mile
1852 m 1 nautical mile
1991 m Span of the Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, largest in the world as of June 2006
2309 m Axial length of the Three Gorges Dam, the largest dam in the world
8848 m height of the highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest
104 10 km 10.911 km depth of deepest part of the ocean, Mariana Trench
13 km narrowest width of the Strait of Gibraltar, separating Europe and Africa
25 km height of the highest known mountain of the solar system, Olympus Mons on Mars
30 km length of the longest man made dike enclosed by water on two sides, the Afsluitdijk
31.3 km highest parachute jump (Joseph Kittinger)
33 km narrowest width of the English Channel at the Strait of Dover
34.668 km highest manned balloon flight (Malcolm D. Ross and Victor E. Prather)
38.422 km length of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, as of June 2006, the longest bridge in the world
42.195 km length of the Marathon, the longest mainstream long-distance road running event
53.9 km length of the Seikan Tunnel, as of February 2006, the longest in the world
77.1 km total length of the Panama Canal
90 km width of the Bering Strait
105 100 km 111 km one degree of latitude on Earth
163 km length of the Suez Canal
300 km the approximate distance travelled by light in one millisecond
560 km distance of Bordeaux-Paris, formerly the longest one-day professional cycling race
804.67 km (500 miles) distance of the Indy 500 automobile race
975 km greatest diameter of the largest solar system asteroid,[1] 1 Ceres
106 1,000 km = 1 megametre (Mm) 2,390 km diameter of dwarf planet Pluto, formerly the smallest "planet"[1] of our solar system
3,480 km diameter of the Moon
5,200 km typical distance covered by the winner of the 24 hours of Le Mans automobile endurance race
6,400 km length of the Great Wall of China
6,600 km approximate length of the two longest rivers, the Nile and the Amazon
7,821 km length of the Trans-Canada Highway
9,288 km length of the Trans-Siberian Railway, longest in the world
107 10,000 km 12,756 km equatorial diameter of the Earth
40,075 km length of the Earth's equator
108 100,000 km 142,984 km diameter of Jupiter
299,792.458 km distance travelled by light in one second
384,000 km = 384 Mm Moon's orbital distance from Earth
109 1 million km = 1 gigametre (Gm) 1,390,000 km = 1.39 Gm diameter of the Sun
4,200,000  km = 4.2 Gm greatest mileage ever recorded by a car (A 1966 Volvo P-1800S, still driving)
1010 10 million km 18 million km approximately one light-minute
1011 100 million km 150 million km = 150 Gm 1 astronomical unit (AU); mean distance between Earth and Sun.
~ 900 Gm optical diameter of Betelgeuse (~600 x Sun)
1012 1000 million km = 1 terametre (Tm) 1.4 Template:E km orbital distance of Saturn from Sun
~ 3 Template:E km estimated optical diameter of VY Canis Majoris, as of 2007 the largest known star (~2000 x Sun)
5.9 Template:E km = 5.9 Tm orbital distance of Pluto from Sun
~ 7.5 Template:E km = 7.5 Tm outer boundary of the Kuiper belt, inner boundary of the Oort cloud (~ 50 AU)
1013 10 Tm 15.91Template:E km = 15.91 Tm distance of the Voyager 1 spacecraft from sun (as of May 2008), the farthest man-made object so far [2]
1014 100 Tm
1015 1 petametre (Pm) ~ 7.5 Template:E km = 7.5 Pm supposed outer boundary of the Oort cloud (~ 50,000 AU)
9.46Template:E km = 9.46 Pm
= 1 light year
distance travelled by light in one year; at its current speed, Voyager 1 would need 17,500 years to travel this distance
1016 10 Pm 3.2616 light-years
(3.08568Template:E m = 30.8568 Pm)
1 parsec
4.22 light-years = 39.9 Pm distance to nearest star (Proxima Centauri)
10.4 light-years = 98.4 Pm as of September 2007, distance to nearest discovered extrasolar planet (Epsilon Eridani b)
1017 100 Pm 20.4 light-years = 193 Pm as of September 2007, distance to nearest discovered extrasolar planet with potential to support life as we know it (Gliese 581 c)
6.15Template:E m = 615 Pm = 65 light-years approximate radius of humanity's radio bubble, caused by high-power TV broadcasts leaking through the atmosphere into outer space
1018 1 exametre (Em) 200 light-years = 1.9 Em as of October 2007, distance to nearest discovered solar twin (HIP 56948), a star with properties virtually identical to our Sun [2]
1019 10 Em
1020 100 Em 10,000 light-years
1021 1 zettametre (Zm) 100,000 light-years diameter of galactic disk of Milky Way Galaxy
50 kiloparsecs distance to SN 1987A, the most recent naked eye supernova
52 kiloparsecs = 1.6Template:E m = 1.6 Zm distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud (a dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way)
54 kiloparsecs = 1.66 Zm distance to the Small Magellanic Cloud (another dwarf galaxy orbiting the Milky Way)
1022 10 Zm 22.3 Zm = 2.36 million light-years
= 725 kiloparsecs
distance to Andromeda Galaxy
50 Zm (1.6 Mpc) diameter of Local Group of galaxies
1023 100 Zm 300–600 Zm = 10–20 megaparsecs distance to Virgo cluster of galaxies
1024 1 yottametre (Ym) 200 million light-years
= 2 Ym = 60 megaparsecs
diameter of the Local Supercluster
500 million light-years
= 5 Ym = 150 megaparsecs
1025 10 Ym
1026 100 Ym 1Template:E light-years
= 1026 m = 100 Ym
estimated light travel distance to certain quasars
92Template:E light years
= 9.2Template:E m = 920 Ym
approx. diameter (comoving distance) of the visible universe
1053 1Template:E Ym 1Template:E light years approx. size of the entire (non-visible) universe / according to cosmic inflation theory.

See also

  • Powers of Ten, a 1977 short documentary film which depicts the relative scale of the Universe in factors of ten.


  1. 1.0 1.1 The exact category (asteroid/dwarf planet/planet) to which particular solar system objects belong, has been subject to some revision since the discovery of extrasolar planets and trans-Neptunian objects
  2. Shiga, David. "Sun's 'twin' an ideal hunting ground for alien life". New Scientist. Retrieved 2007-10-03.

External links

  • Secret Worlds: The Universe Within, a Java animation which presents the notion of scale from the galaxy (10 millions light years, 1023 m) to the quark (100 attometres, 10−16 m); Molecular Expressions, State University of Florida
  • Powers of Ten Travel across the Universe. Altering perspective by changing scale by just a few powers of ten (interactive)

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