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Distance Unit Conversions |
This handy conversion calculator includes most common (and uncommon) distance/length terms, including those not found on MSDS's. The definition of each term can be found below under Additional Information.
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Unit | Equivalent measurements, comments |
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Inch (in, U.S.) | There are 12 inches in a foot and 36 inches in a yard. 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters. |
Foot (ft, U.S.) | There are 12 inches in a foot and 3 feet in a yard. One foot = 30.48 centimeters = 0.3048 meters. |
Yard (yd, U.S.) | There are 3 feet = 36 inches in a yard. A yard is roughly equivalent to a meter: one yard = 0.9144 meters. |
Fathom (fath, U.S.) | There are 6 feet = 2 yards in a fathom. Used almost exclusively as a nautical term for ocean depth at the average lowest tide. |
Rod (rd, U.S.) | Generally obsolete. A unit of length equal to 16.5 feet. |
Furlong (fur., U.S.) | Traditionally used only in horse racing. A unit of length equal to 660 feet = 201.168 meters. There are 8 furlongs in a mile. |
Mile (mi, U.S.) | There are 5,280 feet in a mile, also called a statute, survey, international or land mile. One mile = 1.609344 kilometers = 1,609.344 meters. Caution: The nautical mile is 1.151 statute miles = 1.852 kilometers. |
Nautical Mile (naut mi) | Also called the international nautical mile; do not confuse with international mile. There are 6,076.1155 feet in a nautical mile. 1 nautical mile = 1.15078 statute miles = 1.852 kilometers = 1,852 meters. |
League (U.S.) | Generally obsolete. There are 3 statute miles in one league, however there are many different definitions that vary from ~2.4 to 4.6 miles per league depending on the period in history and country. A marine league is 3 nautical miles. |
Picometer (pm, metric) | The prefix "pico" means 1 x 10^{-12}, so one picometer = 0.000000000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000,000,000 picometers. The bond distances between atoms are generally in the range of 100 to 300 pm. |
Angstrom (Å, metric) | An Angstrom = 1 x 10^{-10} meters. 1 Angstrom = 100 pm = 0.1 nm. The bond distances between atoms are generally in the range of 1 to 3 Angstroms. |
Nanometer (nm, metric) | The prefix "nano" means 1 x 10^{-9}, so one nanometer = 0.000000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000,000 nanometers. Visible light contains wavelengths from roughly 300 to 800 nm. To convert this wavelength to energy, see the energy unit conversion page. |
Micrometer (μm, metric) | Also known a micron. The prefix "micro" means 1 x 10^{-6}, so one micrometer = 0.000001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1,000,000 micrometers. 1 micrometer = 10,000 Angstroms = 0.001 millimeters = 0.0000394 inches. Human hair is roughly 50 microns in diameter. |
Millimeter (mm, metric) | The prefix "milli" means 1/1000, so one millimeter = 0.001 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 1000 millimeters. 1 millimeter = 0.1 cm = 0.0394 inches. |
Centimeter (cm, metric) | The prefix "centi" means 1/100, so one centimeter = 0.01 meters. Alternatively, 1 meter contains 100 cm. 1 cm = 10 mm = 0.3937 inches. |
Meter (m, metric) | Currently defined as the length of 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of the orange-red radiation of ^{86}Kr in a vacuum, one meter contains 100 cm = 1000 mm. There are 1000 m in a kilometer. One meter = 39.37 inches = 3.28 feet = 1.09 yards. |
Kilometer (km, metric) | The prefix "kilo" means 1000, so one kilometer = 1,000 meters. 1 kilometer = 3,280.84 feet = 1,093.6 yards = 0.6214 miles. |
Astronomical Unit (au) | An astronomical unit is defined as the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun. 1 au = 149,597,870 kilometers = approximately 92.95 million miles. |
Light Year (ly) | A unit of distance that would be traversed in a period of one year by an object moving at the speed of light in a vacuum (300,000,000 meters per second). One light year = 63,239.7 astronomical units = 0.3066 parsecs = 5.88 x 10^{12} miles. The nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, is 4.3 light years from ours. |
Parsec (par) | A unit of distance equal to the distance from the sun to a point having a heliocentric (sun-centered) parallax of one second (second as an angle, not a time unit). 1 parsec = 3.26164 light years. If you find this term on an MSDS, you really aren't from around here, are you? |
Convert 4 miles to kilometers:
Convert 0.25 inches to picometers:
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