Science Teaching Series

Sourcebook Contents

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Powers of Ten Poster



Table 8.5  Items to illustrate when making Powers of Ten posters


Comparison (approximate)

Increasing size  ®


Comparison (approximate)

100  m

Distance from floor to door knob

1026  m

Radius of observable universe

10-1  m

Width of hand

1025  m

Distance to the 3C273, brightest quasar

10-2  m

Width of fingernail on smallest finger

1024  m

Distance to the nearest large supercluster

10-3  m

Thickness of a U.S. dime

1023  m

Distance to galaxies beyond our local group

10-4  m

Length of a dust mite

1022  m

Distance to Andromeda Galaxy

10-5  m

Diameter of human red blood cells

1021  m

Diameter of the disc of the Milky Way

10-6  m

Diameter of small bacteria

1020  m

Diameter of the Small Magellanic Cloud

10-7  m

Length of a virus

1019  m

Approximate thickness of the Milky Way

10-8  m

Thickness of bacteria flagellum

1018  m

Diameter of a typical globular cluster

10-9  m

Width of DNA helix

1017  m

Distance from Earth to Vega

10-10 m

Width of ice or quartz cell

1016  m

Inner radius of Oort cloud

10-11 m

Radius of a hydrogen atom

1015  m

100 ´ diameter of the Solar System

10-12 m

Wavelength of X-rays

1014  m

10 ´ diameter of the Solar System

10-13 m

Wavelength of an electron

1013  m

Diameter of Solar System

10-14 m

Diameter of a nucleus

1012  m

Distance from Sun to Saturn

10-15 m

Diameter of a proton

1011  m

Distance from Sun to Venus

10-16 m

One tenth the diameter of a proton

1010  m

One half the distance light travels in a minute

10-17 m

One hundredth the diameter of a proton

109  m

Diameter of the Sun

10-18 m

Radius of an electron

108  m

Diameter of Saturn



107  m

North Pole to equator



106  m

length of California (north to south)



105  m

Length of Connecticut (north to south)



104  m

Depth of Mariana Trench, deepest point



103  m

One kilometer; 2.5 times around a track



102  m

One side of a running track



101  m

Distance for a first down in football



100  m

Distance from floor to door knob