# Why do astronomers use scientific notation to describe sizes and distances?

Oct 11, 2014

Because astronomers deal with very large values, it is very tedious to write the values in the usual decimal form. It is also hard to write out computations

It is also hard to determine the reported value when reading and verifying someone else's report. Imagine reading

$123000000000000000000000$ meters

Aside from dealing with very large values, scientists also use scientific notation when dealing with very small values. Imagine
finding a

$0.00000000045$ kg life form