Orders of magnitude (one cubic gigametre and greater)

The following is a table of objects with volumes or capacities of one cubic gigametre or greater.

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
1×1027 one cubic gigametre
1.41×1027 volume of the Sun
~1×1030 volume of Alcyone, brightest star in the Pleiades[1]
~1.7×1031 volume of Arcturus, brightest star in Boötes[2]
3.4×1032 volume of Rigel the brightest star in Orion[3]
~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[4]
~1×1034 volume of Deneb, a white supergiant in Cygnus[5]
6.4×1034 volume of η Carinae, a luminous blue variable in Carina[6]
1.3×1035 estimated volume of Antares[7]
1.5×1035 volume of S Orionis, a Mira variable in Orion[8]
~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[9]
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[10]
4×1043 annual increase in volume of the Cat's Eye Nebula[10][11]
1×1045 one cubic petametre
~1.7×1045 approximate volume of the Stingray Nebula[12]
~2.7×1046 volume of the bright inner nebula of the Cat's Eye Nebula[10]
5.5×1046 the volume of a Bok globule like Barnard 68[13][14]
4.4×1047 the volume of a Bok globule one light year across[13][14]
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)[15][16][17]
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
1×1027 one cubic yottametre
1.2×1072 volume of the Local Void (about 1.4×1024 cubic light years)[18]
3.5×1072 volume of the Virgo Supercluster[19]
1×1073 volume of the Sculptor Void (about 1.1×1025 cubic light years)[18]
2×1073 least volume of the Southern Local Supervoid (about 2.2×1025 cubic light years)[20]
3.4×1080 volume of the Observable Universe
7.1×1081 lower bound on the volume of the universe based on analysis of WMAP[21]
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.[22]
← one cubic megametre to one cubic gigametre


  1. Kaler, Jim, Alcyone, retrieved 18 November 2008: "radius nearly 10 solar"
  2. 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)
  3. Its radius is 70 times the Sun's
  4. Its radius is 113 times the Sun's.
  5. Its radius is 203 times the Sun's.
  6. Its radius is about 240 times the Sun's.
  7. VizeR page for Antares, retrieved 18 November 2009: "5.1e+02 solRad"
  8. VizeR page for S Orionis, retrieved 18 November 2009: "5.3e+02 solRad"
  9. 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⊙"
  10. 1 2 3 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)
  11. 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.
  12. r = 0.08 light years; 43πr3 = 1.86×1045 m3
  13. 1 2 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
  14. 1 2 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
  15. APOD 2006
  16. Hubble Site, 2000. An Expanding Bubble in Space. "diameter of 6 light-years".
  17. Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (18 October 2006). "NGC 7635: The Bubble". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA.
  18. 1 2 An Atlas of the Universe. The Nearest Superclusters. Retrieved 19 November 2008
  19. assuming it is a sphere of 100 million light year radius
  20. 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
  21. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0605709v2 How Many Universes Do There Need To Be?
  22. http://arxiv.org/pdf/1208.2924v1.pdf "On Cosmological Implications of Holographic Entropy Bound" p.4
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