Soccearth Source data

Imagine a Soccer Ball Inflated to the Size of the Earth...

Created by - Wyken Seagrave.

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Data Source

The Soccearth Scale

The Earth's rotation causes it to bulge out at the equator. Around the equator, its diameter is 12,756 kilometers (7,926 miles). Around the poles, the diameter is 12,720 km (7,900 miles). In Soccearth we use the equatorial diameter of 12,756 kilometers.

According to the laws of football, a soccer ball should have a circumference of 6870 cm, equivalent to a diameter of 21.64-22.27cm. In Soccearth we take the diameter to be 22cm.

The Soccearth Scale

Therefore, to inflate a soccer ball to the size of the Earth, it must be increased in size 57,981,818 times. This is the Soccearth scale.

This is summarised in the following table.

Object Size in meters
Earth diameter 12756000
Soccerball diameter 0.22
Scale 1 to:      57,981,818

Size of Units

On Soccearth we are looking at some very small objects. When we measure them, we have to use some very small units of length. In the following table we will use the following abbreviations for these units.

Unit Size in meters
angstrom 1E-10
nano nano
micron micron
milli 1.00E-03

Objects on Soccearth

The folling table shows the sizes of some common objects on Soccearth. This is the source of the data which has been used to create the pages on this site. The sizes we have used are technically called the "Van der Waals" diameters.

Object Size (longest) Unit Source of Data Soccearth diameter Units
Proton 0.88 1.00E-15 51 nm
H van der waals diameter 0.24 nano

Pauling 260


14 mm
O van der waals diameter 0.28 nano

Pauling 260


16 mm
N van der waals diameter 0.3 nano

Pauling 260


17 mm
C van der waals diameter 0.32 nano

Pauling 260


19 mm
U van der waals  0.372 1E-09 22 mm
Alanine (amino acid) 0.5 nano Lehninger 29 29 mm
Tryptophan 0.92 nano Discover Studio 53 mm
Diameter DNA 2.13 nano Discover Studio 124 mm
Myoglobin width 4.3 nano Discover Studio 249 mm
Myoglobin depth 4.1 nano Discover Studio 238 mm
Myoglobin height 2.3 nano Discover Studio 133 mm
Hemoglobin 6.8 nano Lehninger 29 394 mm
Cell Membrane 9 nano 522 mm
50S subunit of ribosome 12 nano Discover Studio 696 mm
Ribosome 18 nano 1,044 mm
Cell Wall bacterial 20 nano Lehninger 29 1 m
Cell Wall plant 20 nano Lehninger 29 1 m
HIV 120 nano Wikipedia 7 m
Myosin (large rod-shaped protein) 160 nano Lehninger 29 9 m
T4 Bacteriophage 200 nano 12 m
Tobacco mosaic virus (rod) 300 nano Lehninger 29 17 m
Golgi diameter 1 micron Alberts 355 58 m
Mitochondrion (liver) 1.5 micron Lehninger 29 87 m
E.coli 2 micron Lehninger 29 116 m
Typical Bacterium micron 120 m
Nucleolus human fibroblast 2 micron 116 m
Chloroplast (spinach) 8 micron Lehninger 29 464 m
Vacuole of tobacco 10 micron 580 m
Liver Cell 20 micron Lehninger 29 1,160 m
Average animal cell 50 micron 2,899 m
Soccerball 0.22 meter FIFA Website 12,756,000 m
Length of human DNA 3 meters 173,945,455 m


Molecular Biology of the Cell by Bruce Alberts et al, Garland Science
Discovery Studio
Measurement made within Discovery Studio software
Biochemistry, 2nd Edition, Albert Lehninger, Worth 1975
Nature of the Chemical Bond, Linus Pauling, Cornell University Press, 1960
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