Free-form entry eg: '125000km', '1.5 million inches', '$67bn', '45000000 AUD', 100years', '123456789', '1 trillion', '1.5e6', '25 million kg'

Getting to Grips with Big

Stop worrying and learn to love big numbers

Numbers Astronomical and Beyond is about extending our number sense. We make comparisons that are (mostly) down-to-earth: populations of people and animals, national budgets, river lengths and so on.

But when we leave behind everyday experience and look at the kind of numbers you find in astronomy and in combinatorics, we come across vastly bigger numbers.

One strategy to grasp these numbers is to break them down into a series of levels, to see them as stupidly big aggregations of things that are themselves stupidly big aggregations of …  Here are some good clips illustrating this:

Landmark Numbers

Prominent and memorable numbers

How much do things weigh?

We like the attitude at

Take a bunch of everyday stuff (not just clothes) and weigh them. Why? Just to see how much they weigh! (and along the way maybe help internalise a sense of relative weights).

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How tall is tall?

Around the world in how long?

Early Infographics

How many tennis balls does it take to fill St Paul’s?

How Heavy was King Kong?

Visualising 1 in a million

Scienceogram: UK Science Spending in Context

How Crowded is the World?

One in a Thousand

Stand on Zanzibar

The Power of a Thousand