|≈||approximately equal to|
|digits||indicates that digits repeat infinitely (e.g. 8.294 369 corresponds to 8.294 369 369 369 369 …)|
The nanometre (International spelling as used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures; SI symbol: nm) or nanometer (American spelling) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billionth of a metre (0.000000001 m). The name combines the SI prefix nano- (from the Ancient Greek νάνος, nanos, "dwarf") with the parent unit name metre (from Greek μέτρον, metrοn, "unit of measurement"). It can be written in scientific notation as 1×10−9 m, in engineering notation as 1 E−9 m, and is simply 1/1000000000 metres.
The astronomical unit (symbol: au or ua) is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that distance varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum (aphelion) to a minimum (perihelion) and back again once a year. Originally conceived as the average of Earth's aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149 597 870 700 metres (about 150 million kilometres, or 93 million miles). The astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is also a fundamental component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length, the parsec.
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