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Uncommon units – a quick quiz

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Scientists measure all kinds of things, from plants to planets. And sometimes, they invent strange scales to measure things against – as you’ll discover in this quiz!

#1. A sidereal day is the time it takes for stars to appear in the same position in the sky, but how long is it?

A sidereal day is slightly shorter than a regular solar day. Over the course of a year, there are 365 solar days, but there are 366 sidereal days!

#2. The Scoville scale is used to measure food, but what does it tell you?

The Scoville scale is used to measure the spiciness of chillies. It’s based on how much sugar water you need to add to a sample until you can’t taste the spiciness anymore.

#3. What does a galactic year measure?

A galactic year is about 230 million Earth years. That’s how long it takes our solar system to orbit the galaxy!

#4. How long is 100 miles?

One hundred miles is exactly 160,934.4 metres.

#5. Which of the following is about 1.34 parsecs?

Astronomers use parsecs to measure distances between stars. The distance to Alpha Centauri is 1.34 parsecs, or about 40 trillion kilometres.

Results

Congratulations! You are a real science whiz!

Oh dear! Better brush up before the next quiz!

If you’re after more fun science for kids, subscribe to Double Helix magazine!

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