Orders of magnitude (mass)

Last updated on 18 May 2017

To help compare different orders of magnitude, the following lists describe various mass levels between 10−40kg and 1053 kg.

Poids fonte.jpg
Iron weights up to 50 kilograms depicted in Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'épicerie et des industries annexes.

Units of mass

The table below is based on the kilogram (kg), the base unit of mass in the International System of Units (SI). The kilogram is the only standard unit to include an SI prefix (kilo-) as part of its name. The gram (10−3 kg) is an SI derived unit of mass. However, the names of all SI mass units are based on gram, rather than on kilogram; thus 103 kg is a megagram (106 g), not a "kilokilogram".

The tonne (t) is a SI-compatible unit of mass equal to a megagram, or 103 kg. The unit is in common use for masses above about 103 kg and is often used with SI prefixes.

Other units

Other units of mass are also in use. Historical units include the stone, the pound, the carat, and the grain.

For subatomic particles, physicists use the mass equivalent to the energy represented by an electronvolt (eV). At the atomic level, chemists use the mass of one-twelfth of a carbon-12 atom (the dalton). Astronomers use the mass of the sun (M).

Below 10−24 kg

Unlike other physical quantities, mass-energy does not have an a priori expected minimal quantity, as is the case with time or length, or an observed basic quantum as in the case of electric charge. Planck's law allows for the existence of photons with arbitrarily low energies. Consequently, there can only ever be an experimental lower bound on the mass of a supposedly massless particle; in the case of the photon, this confirmed lower bound is of the order of 3×10−27 eV = 10−62 kg.

Factor (kg) Value Item
10−62 1.0×10−62 kg Mass equivalent of the energy of the lightest photon detected
10−40 4.2×10−40 kg Mass equivalent of the energy of a photon at the peak of the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation (0.235 meV/c2)
10−36 1.8×10−36 kg One eV/c2, the mass equivalent of one electronvolt
3.6×10−36 kg Electron neutrino, upper limit on mass (2 eV/c2)
10−31 9.11×10−31 kg Electron (511 keV/c2), the lightest elementary particle with a measured nonzero rest mass
10−30 3.0–5.5×10−30 kg. Up quark (as a current quark) (1.7–3.1 MeV/c2)
10−28 1.9×10−28 kg Muon (106 MeV/c2)
yoctogram (yg)
1.661×10−27 kg Atomic mass unit (u) or dalton (Da)
1.673×10−27 kg Proton (938.3 MeV/c2)
1.674×10−27 kg Hydrogen atom, the lightest atom
1.675×10−27 kg Neutron (939.6 MeV/c2)
10−26 1.2×10−26 kg Lithium atom (6.941 u)
3.0×10−26 kg Water molecule (18.015 u)
8.0×10−26 kg Titanium atom (47.867 u)
10−25 1.1×10−25 kg Copper atom (63.546 u)
1.6×10−25 kg Z boson (91.2 GeV/c2)
3.1×10−25 kg Top quark (173 GeV/c2), the heaviest known elementary particle
3.2×10−25 kg Caffeine molecule (194 u)
3.5×10−25 kg Lead-208 atom, the heaviest stable nuclide known
4.9×10−25 kg Oganesson-294 atom, the heaviest nuclide known

10−24 to 10−19 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
zeptogram (zg)
1.2×10−24 kg Buckyball molecule (720 u)
10−23 1.4×10−23 kg Ubiquitin, a small protein (8.6 kDa)
5.5×10−23 kg A typical protein (median size of roughly 300 amino acids ~= 33 kDa)
10−22 1.1×10−22 kg Haemoglobin A molecule in blood (64.5 kDa)
attogram (ag)
1.65×10−21 kg Double-stranded DNA molecule consisting of 1,578 base pairs (995,000 daltons)
4.3×10−21 kg Prokaryotic ribosome (2.6 MDa)
7.1×10−21 kg Eukaryotic ribosome (4.3 MDa)
7.6×10−21 kg Brome mosaic virus, a small virus (4.6 MDa)
10−20 3×10−20 kg Synaptic vesicle in rats (16.1 ± 3.8 MDa)
6.8×10−20 kg Tobacco mosaic virus (41 MDa)
10−19 1.1×10−19 kg Nuclear pore complex in yeast (66 MDa)
2.5×10−19 kg Human adenovirus (150 MDa)

10−18 to 10−13 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
femtogram (fg)
1×10−18 kg HIV-1 virus
4.7×10−18 kg DNA sequence of length 4.6 Mbp, the length of the E. coli genome
10−17 ~1×10−17 kg Vaccinia virus, a large virus
1.1×10−17 kg Mass equivalent of 1 joule
10−16 3×10−16 kg Prochlorococcus cyanobacteria, the smallest (and possibly most plentiful) photosynthetic organism on Earth
picogram (pg)
1×10−15 kg E. coli bacterium (wet weight)
6×10−15 kg DNA in a typical diploid human cell (approximate)
10−14 2.2×10−14 kg Human sperm cell
6×10−14 kg Yeast cell (quite variable)
10−13 1.5×10−13 kg Dunaliella salina, a green algae (dry weight)

10−12 to 10−7 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
nanogram (ng)
1×10−12 kg Average human cell (1 nanogram)
2–3×10−12 kg HeLa human cell
8×10−12 kg Grain of birch pollen
10−10 2.5×10−10 kg Grain of maize pollen
3.5×10−10 kg Very fine grain of sand (0.063 mm diameter, 350 nanograms)
microgram (µg)
3.6×10−9 kg Human ovum
2.4×10−9 kg US RDA for vitamin B12 for adults
10−8 1.5×10−8 kg US RDA for vitamin D for adults
~2×10−8 kg Uncertainty in the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram (IPK) (±~20 µg)
2.2×10−8 kg Planck mass
~7×10−8 kg One eyelash hair (approximate)
10−7 1.5×10−7 kg US RDA for iodine for adults
2–3×10−7 kg Fruit fly (dry weight)

10×10−6 to 1 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
milligram (mg)
2.5×10−6 kg Mosquitoes, common smaller species (about 2.5 milligrams)
centigram (cg)
1.1×10−5 kg Small granule of quartz (2 mm diameter, 11 milligrams)
2×10−5 kg Adult housefly (Musca domestica, 21.4 milligrams)
decigram (dg)
0.27–2.0×10−4 kg Range of amounts of caffeine in one cup of coffee (27–200 milligrams)
2×10−4 kg Metric carat (200 milligrams)
gram (g)
1×10−3 kg One cubic centimeter of water (1 gram)
1×10−3 kg US dollar bill (1 gram)
~1×10−3 kg Two raisins (approximately 1 gram)
~8×10−3 kg Coins of one Euro (7.5 grams), one U.S. dollar (8.1 grams) and one Canadian Loonie (7 grams [pre-2012], 6.27 grams [2012-])
decagram (dag)
2–4×10−2 kg Adult mouse (Mus musculus, 20–40 grams)
1.37×10−2 kg Amount of ethanol defined as one standard drink in the U.S. (13.7 grams)
2.8×10−2 kg Ounce (avoirdupois) (28.35 grams)
4.7×10−2 kg Mass equivalent of the energy that is called 1 megaton of TNT equivalent
hectogram   (hg)
0.1-0.2 kg An orange (100–200 grams)
0.454 kg Pound (avoirdupois) (454 grams)

1 kg to 105 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
1 kg
kilogram (kg)
1 kg One litre (0.001 m3) of water
1–3 kg Smallest breed of dog (Chihuahua)
1–3 kg Typical laptop computer, 2010
1–3 kg Adult domestic tortoise
2.5–4 kg Newborn human baby
4.0 kg Women's shot
4–5 kg Housecat
7.26 kg Men's shot
101 9–27 kg Medium-sized dog
10–30 kg A CRT computer monitor or television set
50 kg Large dog breed (Great Dane)
70 kg Adult human
102 130–180 kg Mature lion, female (130 kg) and male (180 kg)
200–250 kg Giant tortoise
240–450 kg Grand piano
400–900 kg Dairy cow
500–500,000 kg A teaspoon (5 ml) of white dwarf material (0.5–500 tonnes)
635 kg Heaviest human in history (Jon Brower Minnoch)
907.2 kg 1 short ton (2000 pounds - U.S.)
megagram (Mg)
1000 kg Metric ton/tonne
1000 kg 1 cubic metre of water
1016.05 kg Ton (British) / 1 long ton (2240 pounds - U.S.)
800–1600 kg Typical passenger cars
3000–7000 kg Adult elephant
104 1.1×104 kg Hubble Space Telescope (11 tonnes)
1.2×104 kg Largest elephant on record (12 tonnes)
1.4×104 kg Big Ben (bell) (14 tonnes)
2.7×104 kg ENIAC computer, 1946 (30 tonnes)
4×104 kg Maximum gross mass (truck + load combined) of a semi-trailer truck in the EU (40–44 tonnes)
5×104–6×104 kg Tank; Bulldozer (50–60 tonnes)
6.0×104 kg Largest single-piece meteorite, Hoba West Meteorite (60 tonnes)
7.3×104 kg Largest dinosaur, Argentinosaurus (73 tonnes)
105 1.8×105 kg Largest animal ever, a blue whale (180 tonnes)
4.2×105 kg International Space Station (417 tonnes)
6×105 kg World's heaviest aircraft: Antonov An-225 (maximum take-off mass: 600 tonnes, payload: 250 tonnes)

106 to 1011 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
gigagram (Gg)
1×106 kg Trunk of the giant sequoia tree named General Sherman, largest living tree by trunk volume (1121 tonnes)
2.0×106 kg Launch mass of the Space Shuttle (2041 tonnes)
6×106 kg Largest clonal colony, the quaking aspen named Pando (largest living organism) (6000 tonnes)
7.8×106 kg Virginia-class nuclear submarine (submerged weight)
107 1×107 kg Annual production of Darjeeling tea
5.2×107 kg RMS Titanic when fully loaded (52,000 tonnes)
9.97×107 kg Heaviest train ever: Australia's BHP Iron Ore, 2001 record (99,700 tonnes)
108 6.6×108 kg Largest ship and largest mobile man-made object, Seawise Giant, when fully loaded (660,000 tonnes)
7×108 kg Heaviest (non-pyramid) building, Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania
teragram (Tg)
4.3×109 kg Amount of matter converted into energy by the Sun each second
6×109 kg Great Pyramid of Giza
6×1010 kg Amount of concrete in the Three Gorges Dam, the world's largest concrete structure
1011 ~1×1011 kg The mass of a primordial black hole with an evaporation time equal to the age of the universe
2×1011 kg Amount of water stored in London storage reservoirs (0.2 km3)
4×1011 kg Total mass of the world's human population
5×1011 kg Total biomass of Antarctic krill, probably the most plentiful animal species on the planet

1012 to 1017 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
petagram (Pg)
0.8–2.1×1012 kg Global biomass of fish
4×1012 kg Global annual human food production
4×1012 kg World crude oil production in 2009 (3,843 Mt)
5.5×1012 kg A teaspoon (5 ml) of neutron star material (5000 million tonnes)
1013 1×1013 kg Mass of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko
4×1013 kg Global annual human carbon dioxide emission
1014 1.05×1014 kg Global net primary production – the total mass of carbon fixed in organic compounds by photosynthesis each year on Earth
7.2×1014 kg Total carbon stored in Earth's atmosphere
exagram (Eg)
2.0×1015 kg Total carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere
3.5×1015 kg Total carbon stored in coal deposits worldwide
1016 1×1016 kg 951 Gaspra, the first asteroid ever to be closely approached by a spacecraft (rough estimate)
1×1016 kg Rough estimate of the total carbon content of all organisms on Earth.
3×1016 kg Rough estimate of everything produced by the human species.
3.8×1016 kg Total carbon stored in the oceans.
1017 1.6×1017 kg Prometheus, a shepherd satellite for the inner edge of Saturn's F Ring

1018 to 1023 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
zettagram (Zg)
5.1×1018 kg Earth's atmosphere
5.6×1018 kg Hyperion, a moon of Saturn
1019 3×1019 kg 3 Juno, one of the larger asteroids in the asteroid belt
3×1019 kg The rings of Saturn
1020 9.4×1020 kg Ceres, dwarf planet within the asteroid belt
yottagram (Yg)
1.4×1021 kg Earth's oceans
1.5×1021 kg Charon, the largest moon of Pluto
2.9–3.7×1021 kg The asteroid belt
1022 1.3×1022 kg Pluto
2.1×1022 kg Triton, largest moon of Neptune
7.3×1022 kg Earth's Moon
1023 1.3×1023 kg Titan, largest moon of Saturn
1.5×1023 kg Ganymede, largest moon of Jupiter
3.3×1023 kg Mercury
6.4×1023 kg Mars

1024 to 1029 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
1024 4.9×1024 kg Venus
6.0×1024 kg Earth
1025 3×1025 kg Oort cloud
8.7×1025 kg Uranus
1026 1.0×1026 kg Neptune
5.7×1026 kg Saturn
1027 1.9×1027 kg Jupiter
1028 2–14×1028 kg Brown dwarfs (approximate)
1029 3×1029 kg Barnard's Star, a nearby red dwarf

1030 to 1035 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
1030 2×1030 kg The Sun (one solar mass or M = 1.989×1030 kg)
2.8×1030 kg Chandrasekhar limit (1.4 M)
1031 4×1031 kg Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star (20 M)
1032 4–7×1032 kg R136a1, the most massive of known stars (230 to 345 M)
6–8×1032 kg Hyades star cluster (300 to 400 M)
1033 1.6×1033 kg Pleiades star cluster (800 M)
1035 ~1035 kg Typical globular cluster in the Milky Way (overall range: 3×103 to 3×106 M)
2×1035 kg Low end of mass range for giant molecular clouds (1×105 to 1×107 M)
7.3×1035 kg Jeans mass of a giant molecular cloud at 100K and density 30 atoms per cc;
possible example: Orion Molecular Cloud Complex

1036 to 1041 kg

Factor (kg) Value Item
1036 1.79×1036 kg The entire Carina complex.
2.4×1036 kg The Gould Belt of stars, including the Sun (1.2×106 M)
7–8×1036 kg The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, associated with the radio source Sagittarius A* (3.7±0.2×106 M)
1040 4.17×1040 kg NGC 4889, the largest measured supermassive black hole, weighing 21 billion solar masses (2.1×1010 M)
1041 4×1041 kg Visible mass of the Milky Way galaxy

1042 kg and greater

Factor (kg) Value Item
1042 1.2×1042 kg Milky Way galaxy (5.8×1011 M)
2–3×1042 kg Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way (1.29±0.14×1012 M)
1045 1–2×1045 kg Local or Virgo Supercluster of galaxies, including the Local Group (1×1015 M)
1052 4.4506×1052 kg Mass of the observable universe as estimated by NASA
1052 6×1052 kg Mass of the observable universe as estimated by the National Solar Observatory

This series on orders of magnitude does not have a range of larger masses

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