About how many times larger is the diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy than the diameter of Saturn’s rings? (Data: Saturn’s rings are about 270,000 km in diameter; the Milky Way is 100,000 light-years in diameter.)

## About how many times larger is the diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy than the diameter of Saturn’s rings? (Data: Saturn’s rings are about 270,000 km in diameter;

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# 4 Answers

Josh,

This is an example of unit conversion problem, whereby you alternate the units of numerators and denominators to convert from one unit of measurement to another. This is more easily done when you convert the values into scientific notation.

The S.I. measurement for a lightyear is 9.461×10

^{15}m.Now, using the numerator-denominator method of conversion and scientific notation:

1.0x10

^{5}ly × 9.461×10^{15}m × 1km = 9.461x10^{17}km 1ly 1.0x10

^{3}mDividing:

9.461x10

^{17}km =**3.5x10**^{12}times larger2.7x10

^{5}kmNote that with scientific notation, the number of significant figures is the least amount of significant figures of all given values, with in this case, because of 2.7x10

^{5}, is 2. Thus the answer is rounded to 3.5x10^{12}.Please let me know if you need me to clarify any of these concepts further.

Dear Josh,

(100,000 light years)*(9,454,254,955,500,000 meters/light year) =

(10

^{5}light years)*(9.454254955 x 10^{12 }meters/light year) = 9.454254955 x 10^{17}metersor 9.454254955 x 10

^{14}kilometersRatio = Milky Way = 9.454254955 x 10

^{14}kilometers =**3.50158 x 10**^{9} _________ __________________________

Saturn's Rings 2.7 x 10

^{5}kilometers(9.4605284(10^15) m / light-year) (100,000 light-years) = 9.4605284(10^20) m

9.4605284(10^20) m / 270,000,000 m = (9.4605284/2.7)(10^12)

= 3,503,899,407,407

about 3.5 trillion times

I'm no astronomer, but this is basically a math question. Here are the steps you should take to get the answer.

1) Find out how many kilometers are in a light year (hint: a lot)

2) Multiple the number of light years in a km by 100,000 (diameter of the Milky Way)

3) Divide the number you get from line 2 by 270,000 km (diameter of Saturn's rings).

That's your answer. It will be big.

formula:

(100,000 light yrs x number of kilometers in a light year)/270,000 kilometers