Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mnemonic for the AU distance Astronomical unit 149597870 km

The astronomical unit, commonly abbreviated as AU, is the average distance from the Earth to the Sun. The value: 149597870 kilometers. How can we memorize such a large number as the AU?

As commonly used in this number mnemonics blog, let's use the mnemonic major system. All we need to do is find a keyword that matches 149597870, the astronomical unit, which can be quite hard, unless you use a mnemonic generator for numbers.

Let's start from the following word: Pacific Asia, a very large region near to the Western Pacific Ocean. But the UA is not just a large number, the Astronomical Unit is a huge distance, so let's triple this.
Triple Pacific Asia

Yes, we have a perfect match for the Astronomical Unit AU according to the mnemonic major system!

  • T - 1 (1 downstroke)
  • R - 4 (fouR)
  • P - 9 (mirror image of P)
  • L - 5 (L is 50 in Latin)
  • etc...
See mnemonic major system for the full mapping list.

If you like number mnemonics in astronomy you could also check out this mnemonic for the lunar distance and  this mnemonic for the big bang.

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