View Full Version : Gignormus & Gazillion?

2007-Apr-18, 11:19 AM
I think this demonstrates how many times I have listend to Astronomy Cast episodes over and over again on my mp3 player.

The other day I was in discussion with a friend. I was trying to describe something that was extremely large when I found myself using the term Gignormus. I have never used this word before but it seems to have become part of my vocabulary thanks to Dr Pamela. We then began discussing how this word could be referenced to other terms describing size, and it's position in such hierarchies.

Also discussed was the term Gazillion. Obviously a numerical term larger than 'billion', but by how much? I have not used this term but fear it's only a matter of time until it falls from my lips. I guess it's always good to learn new words.

Dr Pamela, can you clarify? What is the nature of these words?

2007-Apr-18, 05:31 PM
They're large numbers. Incomprehensibly large numbers that baffle the mind to contemplate. Obviously they're not real numbers, but it's a good way to show that something is large without actually pegging it to an accurate number. If we know the number, we try to actually give it, like the trillion, trillion, trillion neutrinos produced by the Sun.