Orders of magnitude (volume)

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The table lists various objects and units by the order of magnitude of their volume.

Chain structures in meteorite fragment ALH84001
Electron micrograph of icosahedral adenovirus
A scanning electron microscope image of normal circulating human blood showing red blood cells, several knobbly white blood cells including lymphocytes, a monocyte, a neutrophil and many small disc-shaped platelets
California poppy seeds
Mustard seeds
Peas in pods
Measuring spoons of 1 tablespoon and 1, 12 and 14 teaspoon
Copper measuring jugs of 1 and 12 gill
375 ml stubbie of beer
A 12-peck apple bag
A standard 200-litre
(55 US or 44 imp gal) drum
A cubic metre of concrete
A TEU container
An Olympic swimming pool
LZ 129 Hindenburg
Great Pyramid of Giza
The Three Gorges Dam
Sydney Harbour
Solar System bodies with Earth volume or less
The Cat's Eye Nebula on left (about 3×1046 m3) and the dark cloud Barnard 68 at top (about 6×1046 m3) are of comparable volumes; the Stingray Nebula between them is smaller with a similar volume as the small yellow light-month radius sphere, about 2×1045 m3.
The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) at left with about 520 cubic light years (4.4×1050 m3) dwarfs the Dumbbell Nebula's 12 cubic light years (1×1049 m3) (very approximate figures)
The globular cluster Messier 5 at upper left with about 2 million cubic light years (1.7×1054 m3) dwarfs the much smaller Bubble Nebula at lower right.


Volume (m3) Example
4.22419×10−105 The Planck volume
1×10−72 One cubic yoctometre
1×10−63 One cubic zeptometre
1×10−54 One cubic attometre
1×10−45 One cubic femtometre
~2.82×10−45 Volume of a proton
~9.4×10−44 Classical volume of an electron
1×10−36 One cubic picometre
1×10−30 One cubic ångström
7.23×10−30 Volume enclosed by the Van der Waals radius of a hydrogen atom
3.936×10−29 van der Waals volume of a helium atom
1.91×10−29 volume enclosed by the van der Waals radius of a gold atom
3.75×10−29 van der Waals volume of a H
5.29×10−29 van der Waals volume of a O
1×10−27 One cubic nanometre or one yoctolitre
1×10−24 One zeptolitre
5×10−23 Typical volume of structures on the Martian meteorite ALH84001
1×10−21 One attolitre
4×10−21 Volume of hypothesised nanobacteria


Volume (m3) Example
5×10−21 Volume of a typical virus
1×10−18 One cubic micrometre or one femtolitre
9×10−18 Average volume of a platelet
9×10−17 Normal volume of a human red blood cell
2×10−16 Average volume of a lymphocyte
3.3×10−16 Mean volume of a neutrophil granulocyte
4.2×10−16 Volume of an average monocyte
1×10−15 One picolitre
2–9×10−15 One drop from a high resolution colour inkjet printer
1.3×10−13 a very fine grain of sand (0.063 mm diameter, 3 micrograms)
1×10−12 One nanolitre
6.2×10−11 A medium grain of sand (0.5 mm diameter, 1.5 milligrams)
5×10−10 Volume of a poppy seed of 1-millimetre diameter[1]
1×10−9 One cubic millimetre or one microlitre
4×10−9 Volume of a mustard seed of 2-millimetre diameter
2×10−8 Volume of a small grain of rice 2 mm wide by 5 mm long

Human measures[edit]

Volume (m3) Example
5.92×10−8 One imperial minim
6.16×10−8 One US minim
7×10−8 Volume of a large grain of rice 3 mm wide by 12 mm long
2×10−7 Average volume of a pea
1×10−6 One cubic centimetre or one millilitre
1.18×10−6 One imperial fluid scruple
1.23×10−6 One US fluid scruple
1.80×10−6 one sai
3.55×10−6 One imperial fluid drachm
3.70×10−6 One US fluid dram
3.55–5×10−6 One teaspoon
1.14×10−5 one ligula
1.42–2.0×10−5 One tablespoon
1.639×10−5 One cubic inch
1.80×10−5 one shaku
2.84×10−5 One imperial fluid ounce
2.96×10−5 One US fluid ounce
3.5×10−5 Average amount of blood lost by a woman during menstruation
4.5×10−5 one cyathus
6.8×10−5 one acetabulum
1.18×10−5 One US gill
1.36×10−4 one quartarius
1.42×10−5 One imperial gill
1.80×10−4 One (a common size for serving sake)
2.73×10−4 one Roman hemina or cotyla
3.3–3.75×10−4 Volume of stubby or steinie of beer (Europe–330 ml, Canada–341 ml, Japan–350 ml, US–355 ml, Australia–375 ml)
4×10−4 Rough volume of the human urinary bladder
4.73×10−4 One US liquid pint
5.46×10−4 one sextarius
5.51×10−4 One US dry pint
5.68×10−4 One imperial pint
7.5×10−4 The most common volume for wine and liquor bottles, also the size of an Australian long neck of beer; sometimes called a 'fifth' in the United States for its approximation to the once-common one-fifth-gallon bottle
9.46×10−4 One US liquid quart
1×10−3 One cubic decimetre or one litre
1.000028×10−3 Volume of 1 kilogram of distilled water (at the temperature of maximum density (3.98 °C or 39.16 °F) and standard atmospheric pressure (101.325 kPa))
1.10×10−4 One US dry quart
1.14×10−3 One imperial quart
1.0–8.2×10−3 Typical range of automobile engine displacements
1.4×10−3 Human brain cavity
1.80×10−3 One shō (formerly a common sake-bottle size)
3.8×10−3 One US liquid gallon
4.36×10−3 one semimodius
4.40×10−3 One US dry gallon
4.5×10−3 One imperial gallon
5×10−3 Approximate volume of human blood
6×10−3 Average total volume of the male lungs
8.81×10−3 One US peck
9.09×10−3 One imperial peck
1.31×10−2 one urna
1.80×10−2 one to
1.85–3.6×10−2 one Ancient Greek amphora
2.62×10−2 one Roman amphora
3.4×10−2 one French amphora
2.83×10−2 One cubic foot
3.52×10−2 One US bushel
3.64×10−2 One imperial bushel
3.7–4.2×10−2 One firkin
6.0×10−2 Gasoline fuel tank in a car (Volvo 240)[2]
6.8–6.9×10−2 One rundlet
7.1×10−2 Average volume of an adult human
7.4–8.3×10−2 One kilderkin
9.55×10−2 One US barrel for cranberries
1.16×10−1 One US dry barrel
1.17×10−1 One US beer barrel, 31 US gallons
1.19×10−1 One US fluid barrel (apart from oil or beer), 31.5 US gallons
1.59×10−1 One oil barrel, 42 US gallons, about one tierce (158–160 l)
1.64×10−1 One imperial barrel, 36 imperial gallons
1.80×10−1 one koku
2×10−1 Standard drum size used for shipping bulk cargo
2.2–2.5×10−1 One hogshead
3.1–3.2×10−1 One puncheon or tertian
4.7–4.9×10−1 One butt (an old unit for beer and wine)
5.24×10−1 one culeus
7.65×10−1 One cubic yard
9.5–9.8×10−1 One tun (an old unit for beer and wine)
1×100 One cubic metre, one kilolitre or one stère—volume of a large domestic fridge-freezer (external dimensions)
3.85×101 External volume a standard 20-foot ("TEU") cargo container, which has a capacity of 33.1 cubic metres
7.7×101 External volume a standard 40-foot ("FEU") cargo container, which has a capacity of 67.5 cubic metres


Volume (m3) Example
1.05×102 Volume of a rear-engine Leyland Titan London double-decker bus
1.49×102 Volume of any A Division New York City Subway car
1×10^3 m3 (35,000 cu ft; 1.0×10−6 km3) One cubic decametre or one megalitre
1.233×103 One acre-foot
2.5×103 Volume of an Olympic size swimming pool of minimal depth (50 m × 25 m × 2 m).
3.054×103 Volume of each of the nine spheres of the Atomium in Brussels
1.13×104 Gas volume in the first zeppelin LZ 1
1.1866×104 Amount of concrete in Trbovlje Chimney
1.56×104 Quebec's 2001 output of maple syrup
5.0×104 Typical volume of a large gasometer
8.5–9.9×104 Volume of the Royal Albert Hall auditorium[3]
1.84×105 Volume of gas in the USS Macon (ZRS-5) zeppelin
2.11890×105 Volume of gas in the Hindenburg zeppelin
6.50×105 Volume of crude oil that can be carried aboard the Knock Nevis supertanker
9.66×105 Volume of Taipei 101's gross floor space[4]
1×10^6 m3 (1,300,000 cu yd; 0.0010 km3) One cubic hectometre, one gigalitre or one kilostère
1.4×106 Volume the 1910 Lakeview Gusher oil spilt (the biggest oil gusher in US history)
1.5644×106 Volume of concrete in the Panama Canal Locks
2.6006×106 Volume of stone in the Great Pyramid of Giza
3×106 Approximately amount of mud and clay that slid into the South Nation River valley as a landslide on 20 June 1993
3.33×106 Volume of concrete in Hoover Dam
3.664883×106 Volume of the NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building
8×106 Volume of chalk excavated in the construction of the Channel Tunnel
1×107 Volume of Chagan Lake, artificial lake created by nuclear explosion
1.7×107 Volume of material in the Gatun Dam, completed in 1913
2.8×107 Volume of concrete in the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest concrete structure
4.3×107 Volume of Aswan Dam
9×107 Volume of gas required per day by India in 2005
1.01×108 Volume of the Grimsel reservoir
1.73×108 Volume of Lake Baldegg, Switzerland
2.05×108 Volume of material excavated in the construction of the Panama Canal
2.2×108 Volume of Lac de la Gruyère, Switzerland
2.85×108 Volume of Lake Halwill, Switzerland
3.20–3.35×108 Volume of the Great Wall of China
3–5×108 Volume of all humans alive on the planet (based on an average mass of 40–70 kg per human)
4×108 Predicted volume of natural gas required per day by India in 2025
5×108 One sydharb—volume of Sydney Harbour, Australia[5]
6.93×108 Volume of Lake Murten, Switzerland
1×10^9 m3 (1.3×109 cu yd; 1.0 km3) One cubic kilometre or one teralitre
1.2×109 Approximate volume of rock ejected during the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
1.3×109 volume of Lake Biel, Switzerland
2.5×109 volume of Lake Walen, Switzerland
3.2×109 volume of Lake Zug
3.9×109 Volume of Lake Zürich
4.168×109 One cubic mile
5×109 Volume of crude oil consumed by the world in a year
5.17×109 volume of Lake Brienz
5.2×109 Volume of the artificial Gatun Lake (Panama Canal)
6.5×109 Volume of Lake Thun
6.5×109 volume of Lake Lugano
1×1010 Estimated volume of rock ejected during the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo
1.4×1010 volume of Lake Neuchâtel
1.45×1010 Volume of Lake Lucerne
3.52×1010 Volume of Lake Mead, the reservoir of the Hoover Dam
3.7×1010 Volume of Lago Maggiore
5.5×1010 Volume of Lake Constance
8.89×1010 Volume of Lake Geneva
1×1011 Estimated volume of rock exploded in eruption of Mount Tambora volcano on 12 April 1815
1.44×1011 Volume of Fedchenko Glacier and its tributaries
1.33×1011 Volume of Lake Nasser
2×1011 Estimated volume of the annual net inflow of seawater to the Black Sea (from the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosporus)
2.8×1011 Volume of Lake Onega
~3×1011 Volume of crude oil on Earth
3.2×1011 Estimated volume of the annual inflow of freshwater to the Black Sea
4.84×1011 Volume of Lake Erie
8.37×1011 Volume of Lake Ladoga
1×10^12 m3 (1.3×1012 cu yd; 1,000 km3) One petalitre
1.1×1012 Volume of the Aral Sea in 1960
2.76×1012 Volume of Lake Victoria
2.8×1012 Volume of magma erupted by the Toba supervolcano 74000 years ago
4.918×1012 Volume of Lake Michigan
5×1012 Volume of the Fish Canyon Tuff erupted by the La Garita Caldera
5.5×1012 Volume of the asteroid 433 Eros
1.2232×1013 Volume of Lake Superior
1.84×1013 Volume of Lake Tanganyika
2.36×1013 Volume of Lake Baikal
5.5×1014 Volume of the Black Sea
1×1015 One exalitre
1×10^15 m3 (1.3×1015 cu yd; 1,000,000 km3) Volume of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean, which contains the deepest point on the Earth's surface
2.6×1015 Volume of Greenland ice cap
3.7×1015 Volume of the Mediterranean Sea
3×1017 Volume of the Atlantic Ocean and volume of the Indian Ocean (rough estimates)
4.5×1017 Volume of Ceres
1×1018 One cubic megametre or one zettalitre—volume of the Pacific Ocean (rough estimate)
1.37×1018 Volume of all oceans on Earth


Volume (m3) Example
3×1018 Estimated volume of Europa's oceans
6.4×1018 Volume of Pluto
2.2×1019 Volume of the Moon
6.1×1019 Volume of planet Mercury
1.6×1020 Volume of planet Mars
9.28×1020 Volume of planet Venus
1×1021 One yottalitre
1.08×1021 Volume of planet Earth
2.25×1021 Volume of all the rocky planets in the solar system
6.38×1022 Volume of planet Neptune
7.02×1022 Volume of planet Uranus
9.23×1023 Volume of planet Saturn
1.53×1024 Volume of planet Jupiter
2.59×1024 Total volume of all the planets in the solar system
1×1027 One cubic gigametre
1.41×1027 Volume of the Sun
~1×1030 volume of Alcyone, brightest star in the Pleiades[6]
~1.7×1031 Volume of Arcturus, brightest star in Boötes[7]
3.4×1032 Volume of Rigel, the brightest star in Orion[8]
~5×1032 Volume of a red giant the same mass as the Sun
1.4×1033 Volume of γ Crucis, a red giant in Crux[9][10]
~1×1034 Volume of Deneb, a white supergiant in Cygnus[11]
6.4×1034 Volume of η Carinae, a white supergiant in Cygnus[11]
1.3×1035 Estimated volume of S Orionis[12]
1.5×1035 Volume of Antares, a Mira variable in Orion[13]
~2.75×1035 Volume of Betelgeuse
1×1036 One cubic terametre
4×1036 Possible volume of µ Cephei (estimates vary)
8×1036 Estimated volume of VY Canis Majoris, a red hypergiant star[14]
3.9×1038 volume of a sphere which would enclose the orbit of Neptune
6–10×1039 Possible volume of the Heliosphere inside the termination shock
1.1×1041 Daily increase in volume of the Cat's Eye Nebula[15]
4×1043 Annual increase in volume of the Cat's Eye Nebula[15][16]
1×1045 One cubic petametre
~1.7×1045 Approximate volume of the Stingray Nebula[17]
~2.7×1046 Volume of the bright inner nebula of the Cat's Eye Nebula[15]
5.5×1046 The volume of a Bok globule like Barnard 68[18][19]
4.4×1047 The volume of a Bok globule one light year across[18][19]
8.47×1047 One cubic light-year
~1.7×1048 Volume of the Oort Cloud, assuming a radius of 50000 AU
~1.6×1049 Volume of the Dumbbell Nebula
2.94×1049 One cubic parsec
4.4×1050 Approximate volume of the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) (assuming a radius of 5 light years, sources differ)[20][21][22]
1×1054 One cubic exametre
3×1055 Estimated volume of a small dwarf galaxy like NGC 1705
3.3×1055 Estimated volume of the Local Bubble, assuming a radius of 100 parsecs (~39 million cubic light years)
3×1058 Estimated volume of a dwarf galaxy like the Large Magellanic Cloud
2.94×1058 One cubic kiloparsec
~3.3×1061 Volume of a galaxy like the Milky Way
1×1063 One cubic zettametre—approximate volume of whole Milky Way including Globes
~5×1068 Volume of the Local Group
6.7×1071 Volume of the Gemini Void
1×1072 One cubic yottametre
1.2×1072 Volume of the Local Void (about 1.4×1024 cubic light years)[23]
3.5×1072 Volume of the Virgo Supercluster[24]
1×1073 Volume of the Sculptor Void (about 1.1×1025 cubic light years)[23]
2×1073 Least volume of the Southern Local Supervoid (about 2.2×1025 cubic light years)[25]
3.4×1080 Volume of the Observable Universe
7.1×1081 Lower bound on the volume of the universe based on analysis of WMAP[26]
6.7×1083 Lower bound on the volume of the entire universe
~1×10113 rough upper bound on the physical size of the present universe, a result of the maximum number of Hubble volumes.[27]


  1. ^ Gerald H. Ristow (2000). Pattern Formation in Granular Materials. Springer. p. 193. ISBN 3-540-66701-6. Retrieved 3 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Volvo 240 Fuel Tank - Free Shipping - Replacement, Spectra, Dorman". Retrieved 2016-04-18. Specifications: * 16 gallons/60 liters * 18 x 38 x 16 in. * Without lock ring, seals, and filler neck 
  3. ^ Atwood, Robert (2006). Bears Can't Run Downhill, and 200 Dubious Pub Facts Explained. Ebury Press. p. 124. ISBN 0-09-191255-5. 
  4. ^ 198000 square metres floor space from Structurae multiplied by the "Slab to Slab Height" of 4.20 metres from taipei-101.com.tw gives 831600 cubic metres. Floors one to eight can be approximated as 4300 square metres (from [1]) times 8 times 4.2 metres, or an additional 134400 cubic metres, giving an estimated 966000 cubic metres.
  5. ^ "Australian Conventional Units of Measurement in Water" (PDF). Australian Water Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2005. Retrieved 10 March 2006. 
  6. ^ Kaler, Jim, Alcyone, retrieved 18 November 2008: "radius nearly 10 solar"
  7. ^ Mozurkewich, David; Armstrong, J. Thomas; Hindsley, Robert B.; Quirrenbach, Andreas; Hummel, Christian A.; Hutter, Donald J.; Johnston, Kenneth J.; Hajian, Arsen R.; Elias II, Nicholas M.; Buscher, David F.; and Simon, Richard S.; Angular diameters of stars from the Mark III optical interferometer, Astronomical Journal, 126, 2502-2520 (2003)
  8. ^ Its radius is 70 times the Sun's
  9. ^ Its radius is 113 times the Sun's.
  10. ^ = 11488.213 * 9.4605284 × 10(power of 15) X 1000000000 meters long (appr)
  11. ^ a b Its radius is estimated to be 200 to 300 times the Sun's
  12. ^ VizeR page for Antares, retrieved 18 November 2009: "5.1e+02 solRad"
  13. ^ VizeR page for S Orionis, retrieved 18 November 2009: "5.3e+02 solRad"
  14. ^ Humphreys, Roberta M.; VY Canis Majoris: The Astrophysical Basis of its Luminosity, arxiv.org, 13 October 2006, page 3, retrieved 18 November 2009: "1800 to 2100 R⊙"
  15. ^ a b c 43πr3; core radius r = distance times sin(12 angular diameter) = 0.2 light year.Distance = 3.3 ± 0.9 kly; angular diameter = 20 arcseconds; expands 10 milliarcseconds per year.(Reed et al. 1999)
  16. ^ Reed, Darren S.; Balick, Bruce; Hajian, Arsen R.; Klayton, Tracy L.; Giovanardi, Stefano; Casertano, Stefano; Panagia, Nino; Terzian, Yervant (1999). "Hubble Space Telescope Measurements of the Expansion of NGC 6543: Parallax Distance and Nebular Evolution". Astronomical Journal. 118 (5): 2430–2441. arXiv:astro-ph/9907313Freely accessible. Bibcode:1999AJ....118.2430R. doi:10.1086/301091. 
  17. ^ r = 0.08 light years; 43πr3 = 1.86×1045 m3
  18. ^ a b Michael Szpir (May–June 2001). "Bart Bok's Black Blobs". American Scientist. Archived from the original on 29 June 2003. Retrieved 19 November 2008. Bok globules such as Barnard 68 are only about half a light-year across and weigh in at about two solar masses 
  19. ^ a b their size varies: a globule one quarter light year in radius has 5.5×1046 m3, one a half light year in radius has 4.4×1047 m3, one a light year in radius has 3.5×1048 m3
  20. ^ APOD 2006
  21. ^ Hubble Site, 2000. An Expanding Bubble in Space. "diameter of 6 light-years".
  22. ^ Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (18 October 2006). "NGC 7635: The Bubble". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. 
  23. ^ a b An Atlas of the Universe. The Nearest Superclusters. Retrieved 19 November 2008
  24. ^ assuming it is a sphere of 100 million light year radius
  25. ^ Einasto, M (1994-07-15), "The Structure of the Universe Traced by Rich Clusters of Galaxies", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 269: 301–322, Bibcode:1994MNRAS.269..301E, doi:10.1093/mnras/269.2.301 
  26. ^ http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0605709v2 How Many Universes Do There Need To Be?
  27. ^ http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.2924v1.pdf "On Cosmological Implications of Holographic Entropy Bound" p.4