Charts, Graphs, & Diagrams > Miscellaneous > Visual Scale of Sizes

An unique display of every size known to science.

- Description and comments
- Short Version
- Inspired by: Paul Falstad's A Sense of Scale

Bottom of long version/top of short version

one fermi 1x10^{-15} | 1x10^{-15} diameter of proton (in the nucleus) |

2.2x10^{-15} classical diameter of neutron | |

3.8x10^{-15} diameter of the nucleus of a helium atom | |

5.635882x10^{-15} classical diameter of an electron | |

7.2x10^{-15} diameter of the nucleus of an aluminum atom | |

1.4x10^{-14} diameter of the nucleus of a gold atom | |

one picometer 1x10^{-12} | |

3.8x10^{-11} diameter of fluorine ion | |

5.29x10^{-11} distance from electron to nucleus in a hydrogen atom | |

7.413x10^{-11} distance between bonded hydrogen atoms | |

one angstrom 1x10^{-10} | |

1.2x10^{-10} Van Der Waals radius of hydrogen atoms | |

2x10^{-10} resolution of a transmission electron microscope | |

3x10^{-10} diameter of water molecule | |

5.309x10^{-10} distance between bonded cesium atoms | |

one nanometer 1x10^{-9} | |

2x10^{-9} diameter of DNA helix | |

6x10^{-9} diameter of a hemoglobin molecule | |

1x10^{-8} thickness of cell wall (gram negative bacteria) | |

7.5x10^{-8} size of typical virus | |

9x10^{-8} length of transistor gate in a Pentium 4 chip | |

1.25x10^{-7} thickness of gold leaf | |

2x10^{-7} resolution of an optical microscope | |

2.6x10^{-7} length of the smallest transistor in a Pentium 3 chip | |

4.1x10^{-7} wavelength of violet light | |

6.8x10^{-7} wavelength of red light | |

one micrometer (micron) 1x10^{-6} | 1x10^{-6} size of typical bacterium |

1.7x10^{-6} diameter of average human cell nucleus | |

2.4x10^{-6} thickness of red blood cell | |

3x10^{-6} length of transistor gate in an Intel 8086 chip | |

4x10^{-6} diameter of capillary | |

7x10^{-6} diameter of a single yeast organism | |

8.4x10^{-6} diameter of red blood cell | |

1x10^{-5} size of a grain of talcum powder | |

1.6x10^{-5} length of the smallest transistor in the first 6502 chips | |

2x10^{-5} length of the smallest transistor in an Intel 4004 | |

2.5x10^{-5} diameter of a human hair | |

8.382x10^{-5} typical thickness of a piece of paper | |

1x10^{-4} minimum size of object the human eye can resolve unaided | |

3x10^{-4} diameter of a period on a typewriter | |

3.7x10^{-4} diameter of the most common type of optical fiber | |

7.5x10^{-4} size of largest known bacterium | |

one millimeter 1x10^{-3} | |

1.7x10^{-3} diameter of the head of the average pin | |

2x10^{-3} diameter of a large grain of sand | |

4.234x10^{-3} height of a line of text in 12-point type | |

one centimeter 1x10^{-2} | |

1.7x10^{-2} wavelength of 20khz note (highest that can be heard) | |

one inch 2.54x10^{-2} | |

8.5x10^{-2} length of largest human chromosome if stretched end-to-end | |

1.22x10^{-1} wavelength of microwaves in a microwave oven | |

one foot 3.0x10^{-1} | |

7.9x10^{-1} wavelength of 440 hertz note (A above middle C) | |

one meter 1x10^{0} | |

1.62x10^{0}Average female height | |

1.75x10^{0}Average male height | |

1.7x10^{1} wavelength of 20 hertz note (lowest that can be heard) | |

3x10^{1} average wavelength of FM radio waves | |

2.997925x10^{2} distance light travels in one microsecond, in a vacuum | |

4.1x10^{2} distance a bullet travels per second, when fired from a .22 | |

one kilometer 1x10^{3} | |

one mile 1.61x10^{3} | |

4.47x10^{3} greatest measured thickness of antarctic ice cap | |

8.85x10^{3} height of Mount Everest | |

2.978x10^{4} distance the earth travels per second in its orbit | |

6x10^{4} thickness of ozone layer | |

8x10^{4} height of ionosphere (ionized region which reflects radio waves) | |

100 miles 1.61x10^{5} | |

2.997925x10^{5} distance light travels in one millisecond, in a vacuum | |

3.54x10^{5} average altitude of International Space Station | |

6.4x10^{5} height of lowest point of inner Van Allen belt | |

1x10^{6} thickness of earth | |

1x10^{6} | 1.414x10^{6} altitude of Globalstar satellites (LEO) |

2.274x10^{6} diameter of Pluto at its equator | |

3.4748x10^{6} diameter of moon | |

4.8794x10^{6} diameter of Mercury at its equator | |

6.7944x10^{6} diameter of Mars at its equator | |

9.38x10^{6} mean distance from Phobos to Mars | |

1.27562x10^{7} diameter of Earth at its equator | |

2.02x10^{7} altitude of GPS satellites | |

2.346x10^{7} mean distance from Deimos to Mars | |

3.58x10^{7} height of satellite in geostationary orbit | |

4.9492x10^{7} diameter of Neptune at its equator | |

1.2053x10^{8} diameter of Saturn at its equator | |

1.4298x10^{8} diameter of Jupiter at its equator | |

2.997925x10^{8} distance light travels in one second, in a vacuum | |

3.844x10^{8} mean distance from earth to moon | |

8.68912x10^{8} max initial altitude of Geotail satellite (VHO) | |

1x10^{9} | 1.07x10^{9} mean distance from Jupiter to Ganymede |

1.39x10^{9} diameter of sun at its equator | |

1.798755x10^{10} distance light travels in one minute, in a vacuum | |

5.791x10^{10} mean distance of Mercury from the sun | |

1.082x10^{11} mean distance of Venus from the sun | |

one astronomical unit 1.50x10^{11} | |

2.2794x10^{11} mean distance of Mars from the sun | |

4.139x10^{11} mean distance of the asteroid Ceres from the sun | |

7.7833x10^{11} mean distance of Jupiter from the sun | |

1x10^{12} | 1.079253x10^{12} distance light travels in one hour, in a vacuum |

1.4294x10^{12} mean distance of Saturn from the sun | |

2.87099x10^{12} mean distance of Uranus from the sun | |

4.5043x10^{12} mean distance of Neptune from the sun | |

5.91352x10^{12} mean distance of Pluto from the sun | |

9.323x10^{12} current distance of Voyager 2 from sun (as of 10/27/00) | |

1.1837x10^{13} current distance of Voyager 1 from sun (as of 10/27/00) | |

2.0x10^{13} heliopause (outer edge of Sun's magnetic field) | |

2.590207x10^{13} distance light travels in one day, in a vacuum | |

5.56x10^{13} maximum distance of comet Hale-Bopp from the sun | |

1.813145x10^{14} distance light travels in one week, in a vacuum | |

1x10^{15} | |

3.7x10^{15} possible distance of Sol B from Sun | |

one light year 9.5x10^{15} | |

1.4x10^{16} possible edge of Oort cloud | |

one parsec 3.1x10^{16} | |

3.99x10^{16} distance to Proxima Centauri (nearest star other than sun) | |

8.1x10^{16} distance to the star Sirius | |

2.39x10^{17} distance to the star Vega | |

3.2x10^{17} distance to the star Pollux | |

4.9x10^{17} distance to the star Castor | |

7.3x10^{17} distance to the star Regulus | |

1x10^{18} | |

2x10^{18} thickness of Milky Way Galaxy | |

4.0x10^{18} distance to the star Polaris | |

1.5x10^{19} distance to Horsehead Nebula | |

2.6x10^{20} distance to center of Milky Way Galaxy | |

4.2x10^{20} diameter of M33 galaxy | |

1x10^{21} | 1x10^{21} distance to Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy |

1.54x10^{21} diameter of Milky Way Galaxy | |

2x10^{21} distance to Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy | |

2.0x10^{22} distance to Andromeda galaxy | |

3x10^{22} distance to IC 10 galaxy | |

4x10^{22} distance to Pegasus galaxy | |

1.0x10^{23} distance to the M81 galaxy cluster | |

1.4x10^{23} distance to the M83 galaxy | |

2.5x10^{23} distance to the M101 galaxy | |

3.5x10^{23} distance to the M51 galaxy cluster | |

5x10^{23} distance to the Virgo galaxy cluster | |

1x10^{24} | |

3.2x10^{24} distance to the Coma galaxy cluster | |

1x10^{25} distance to brightest quasar (3C 273) | |

3x10^{25} distance to quasar 3C 48 | |

2.4x10^{26} distance to farthest known object (quasar SDSS_1044_0125) |

Top of page Top of long version

one fermi 1x10^{-15} | 1x10^{-15} diameter of proton (in the nucleus) |

2.2x10^{-15} classical diameter of neutron | |

3.8x10^{-15} diameter of the nucleus of a helium atom | |

5.635882x10^{-15} classical diameter of an electron | |

one picometer 1x10^{-12} | |

5.29x10^{-11} distance from electron to nucleus in a hydrogen atom | |

one angstrom 1x10^{-10} | |

3x10^{-10} diameter of water molecule | |

one nanometer 1x10^{-9} | |

2x10^{-9} diameter of DNA helix | |

2x10^{-7} resolution of an optical microscope | |

6.8x10^{-7} wavelength of red light | |

one micrometer (micron) 1x10^{-6} | 1x10^{-6} size of typical bacterium |

1.7x10^{-6} diameter of average human cell nucleus | |

2.5x10^{-5} diameter of a human hair | |

1x10^{-4} minimum size of object the human eye can resolve unaided | |

one millimeter 1x10^{-3} | |

one centimeter 1x10^{-2} | |

one foot 3.0x10^{-1} | |

7.9x10^{-1} wavelength of 440 hertz note (A above middle C) | |

one meter 1x10^{0} | |

1.62x10^{0}Average female height | |

1.7x10^{1} wavelength of 20 hertz note (lowest that can be heard) | |

2.997925x10^{2} distance light travels in one microsecond, in a vacuum | |

one kilometer 1x10^{3} | |

one mile 1.61x10^{3} | |

2.978x10^{4} distance the earth travels per second in its orbit | |

2.997925x10^{5} distance light travels in one millisecond, in a vacuum | |

1x10^{6} | 1.414x10^{6} altitude of Globalstar satellites (LEO) |

1.27562x10^{7} diameter of Earth at its equator | |

3.58x10^{7} height of satellite in geostationary orbit | |

3.844x10^{8} mean distance from earth to moon | |

1x10^{9} | 1.07x10^{9} mean distance from Jupiter to Ganymede |

5.791x10^{10} mean distance of Mercury from the sun | |

one astronomical unit 1.50x10^{11} | |

2.2794x10^{11} mean distance of Mars from the sun | |

1x10^{12} | 1.079253x10^{12} distance light travels in one hour, in a vacuum |

1.4294x10^{12} mean distance of Saturn from the sun | |

1.1837x10^{13} current distance of Voyager 1 from sun (as of 10/27/00) | |

5.56x10^{13} maximum distance of comet Hale-Bopp from the sun | |

1x10^{15} | |

one light year 9.5x10^{15} | |

1.4x10^{16} possible edge of Oort cloud | |

3.99x10^{16} distance to Proxima Centauri (nearest star other than sun) | |

1x10^{18} | |

4.0x10^{18} distance to the star Polaris | |

2.6x10^{20} distance to center of Milky Way Galaxy | |

4.2x10^{20} diameter of M33 galaxy | |

1x10^{21} | 1x10^{21} distance to Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy |

1.54x10^{21} diameter of Milky Way Galaxy | |

2.0x10^{22} distance to Andromeda galaxy | |

5x10^{23} distance to the Virgo galaxy cluster | |

1x10^{24} | |

1x10^{25} distance to brightest quasar (3C 273) | |

2.4x10^{26} distance to farthest known object (quasar SDSS_1044_0125) |

The scale is logarithmic in meters. Units are on the left, sizes and distances on the right.

The first version of this was created with CSS absolute positioning, but I was unhappy with that and this version is done with tables, which is less precise but much more robust.

The precision of positioning is limited by the spacing of the table cells. In a few cases, I have adjusted the tick marks to indicate a more precise position than is possible for the text.

The short version is necessarily less accurate than the long version.

In any case, use of these charts for either intergalactic navigation or brain surgery is discouraged.

Corrections, comments, questions, or suggestions for new items? Please email me.

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Charts, Graphs, & Diagrams > Miscellaneous > Visual Scale of Sizes

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