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# Metric Length

 Measuring how long things are, how tall they are, or how far apart they might be are all examples of length measurements.

These are the most common measurements::

 Millimeters Centimeters Meters Kilometers
 The smallest units of length are called millimeters. A millimeter is about the thickness of a plastic id card (or credit card). Or about the thickness of 10 sheets of paper on top of each other. This is a very small measurement!

### Centimeters

When you have something that is 10 millimeters, it can be said that it is 1 centimeter.

1 centimeter = 10 millimeters

A fingernail is about one centimeter wide.

You might use centimeters to measure how tall you are, or how wide a table is, but you would not use it to measure the length of football field. In order to do that, you would switch to meters.

### Meters

 A meter is equal to 100 centimeters. 1 meter = 100 centimeters The length of this guitar is about 1 meter Meters might be used to measure the length of a house, or the size of a playground.

### Kilometers

 When you need to get from one place to another, you measure that distance using kilometers. A kilometer is equal to 1,000 meters. The distance from one city to another or how far a plane travels would be measured using kilometers.

1 centimeter = 10 millimeters

1 meter = 100 centimeters

1 kilometer = 1000 meters

## From Very Small to Very Large

Here is an illustration of smallest sizes to largest sizes, using metric numbers like milli- and kilo- (just add the word "meter" after them, so you get "millimeter", "kilometer", etc).

Interesting facts:

• Quarks are very very small
• Molecules are around the billionths of a meter in size. That is 0.000000001 meters. Some molecules are smaller and some bigger, though.
• People are a little over a meter tall,
• Mountains are kilometers in size.
• The Earth is megameters in size (a megameter is a thousand kilometers, and the Earth's Diameter is actually 12,000 km)
• A Light Year is about 10 petameters in size (a petameter is 1,000,000,000,000,000 meters, which is a 1 followed by 15 zeros)
• The Milky Way is about 1 zetameter across (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters, which is a 1 followed by 21 zeros)
• The Universe is very very big

The numbers use scientific notation to show how big the value is.

Example: 106 is 10 used in a multiplication 6 times, which is a 1 followed by 6 zeros: 1,000,000.

It is also called a million.

The prefix is mega, so a megameter is a million meters.

Example: 10-9 is a 1 moved nine places the other side of the decimal: 0.000 000 001

It is also called a billionth.

The prefix is nano, so a nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

You can also use Metric Numbers with other measures like seconds, grams and so on.

## More Examples

• about as long as a staple
• the width of a highlighter
• the diameter of a belly button
• the width of 5 CD's stacked on top of each other
• the thickness of a notepad.
• the radius (half the diameter) of a US penny

• a little more than a yard (1 yard is exactly 0.9144 meters)
• the width of a doorway (most doorwaya are about 0.8 to 0.9 m)
• half the length of a bed
• the width of a large fridge
• the height of a countertop
• four rungs up a ladder
• five steps up a staircase
• the depth of the shallow end of a swimming pool
• the width of a dining table
• the height of a 5 year old
• shoulder to opposite wrist of an adult
• outstreched arms of a child
• waist high on an adult
• a long stride