# How long is a meter

### Lengths

You surely know lengths from your daily life in many areas, such as your height in cm (= centimeters).

You can measure lengths. Measuring devices are, for example, a set square, a ruler, a folding rule or a tape measure.

Images: fotolia.com (Jonathan Werner); Druwe & Polastri; iStockphoto.com (rusm);

Michael Fabian

You probably remember that:

- 1 cm = 10 mm
- 1 m = 100 cm
- 1 km = 1000 m

- “Centi” means hundredths, so a centimeter is the hundredth of a meter.
- “Kilo” means 1000, so one kilometer is 1000 meters.
- "Milli" means thousandths.

### Examples of lengths

1 mm: thickness of your set square

5 mm: width of a box in your math notebook

1 cm: Approximate width of a fingernail

4 cm: diameter of a tea light

Image: Panther Media GmbH (Kitch Bain)

10 cm: width of toilet paper

21 cm: width of your notebooks

50 cm: width of a refrigerator

Image: Druwe & Polastri

1 m: height of the green area of blackboards

2 m: height of doors

2.13 m: height of basketball star Dirk Nowitzki

Image: Picture-Alliance GmbH (Sven Simon)

9 m: approximate length of a classroom

60 m: width of a sports field

100 m: length of a soccer field

Image: Andreas Fanroth

828 m: Burj Khalifa (Dubai), the tallest building in the world

Image: iStockphoto.com (dblight)

There are also other length measures, especially in English-speaking countries. There is yard, feet, nautical mile, cubit, spoke, mile, ... but you don't need them.

### Further in kilometers

1 km: You can walk in about 10 minutes

10 km: You can go 100 km / h in a car in 6 minutes

100 km: Of course you can do 100 km / h in one hour

1000 km: Approximate length from Germany, i.e. from Bavaria in the south to Schleswig-Holstein in the north

Image: fotolia.com (moonrun)

40,000 km: Once around the equator of the earth

Image: Markus Berger

384,000 km: once to the moon

149,000,000 km: Once to the sun

Image: NASA

700,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 km: the width of our universe, that's 23 zeros, the number is already very large!

Image: NASA

In astronomy, that is, celestial science, there is still the light year. That is the distance that light travels in one year, that is an unbelievable 9,400,000,000,000 km.

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### Estimating lengths

How far is the route approximately? How high is the room? Sometimes you need an approximate length quickly. Then you guess the lengths.

**Estimate** means you are giving the approximate length of something.

To do this, compare what you are looking for with a length that you know.

Example: the foot monument for Uwe Seeler in Hamburg. “Our Uwe” was one of the greatest German footballers of all time.

How high is the monument roughly?

Image: Picture-Alliance GmbH (dpa)

If you know some of your body lengths, you have many estimates under control:

- Length of your little finger
- Width of your middle finger
- Distance elbow to tip of your middle finger
- Your height

### Solution of the estimation problem

The average man is about six feet tall.

Stack the Uwe on top of each other: The foot is about the size of 2 Uwe's.

So 1.80 + 1.80 = 3.60 m.

The foot monument is about 3.60 m high.

Image: Picture-Alliance GmbH (dpa)

Compare a length that you should estimate with lengths that you roughly know:

- Adults are about 1.80 m tall on average, younger ones a little less.
- Ordinary cars (so not these big ones) are about 4 m long and 1.50 m high.
- A worksheet from school (= A4) is 21 cm wide and 29.7 cm high.

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