Photo by Argonne National Laboratory on Flickr.com
Both ends received two new unit prefixes. Thus, our Earth now weighs 6 ronnagrams, and the sun weighs 1,000 quettagrams. We require extremely large units to properly understand our massive universe. In response to this need, the organization that established our units quickly added the prefixes ronna and quetta for objects that are too huge to be easily measured in yottas. However, the prefixes ronto and quecto can now be used to talk about microscopic details.
The International System of Units (SI) units were developed in 1960 with a starting range of atto to tera, although having roots in the French Revolution (10 to the minus 18 and 10 to the 18th). In 1964 and 1991, more prefixes were added as our knowledge of the cosmos expanded.
Seven fundamental units are designated by these prefixes: second, meter, (kilo)gram, ampere, kelvin, mole, and candela. However, other organizations that were not under the General Conference’s command also adopted the language. One of the driving forces behind the increase was the fact that the world is currently producing a huge amount of information and that one yottabyte (1,000 000 000 000 000 000 000 bytes) will soon not be enough to explain it.