Just How Big Is This Place?

Teacher's Answer Key

diameter of M&M_________________________1 cm (10-5km)
width of door_________________________1 m (10-3km)
depth of Grand Canyon_________________________ 1 km
length of California_________________________1000 km
diameter of Saturn_________________________100,000 km
diameter of Sun_________________________1 million km
Sun/Pluto Distance_________________________10 billion km
distance from Earth to nearest non-solar star_________________________1013km
radius of Milky Way disk_________________________1017km
distanced from Earth to farthest know object_________________________1024km

Additional Resources:

"Powers of Ten" video. It can usually be found in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific's catalog for about $40. Sometimes you can find it on sale! See http://www.aspsky.org/aspcat/video.html

You might have to lead a classroom discussion about the difference between "distance" and "size". Be prepared to give other examples...including very small objects. Here are a few good things to know:

classical radius of proton: 10-18 meters

diameter of water molecule: 10-10 meters

size of typical cell: 10-6 meters

size of a typical dust particle: 10-4 meters