Glossary term: Density

Description: Density is a physical characteristic of a substance or object that expresses the relationship of its volume to its mass. The higher the density, the greater the mass per unit volume. Therefore, it is the mass of a unit volume of matter. The density of an object is its total mass divided by its total volume. Its unit is kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³). Large variations in density are found in the Universe, ranging from about 10⁻²⁰ kg/m³ for interstellar gas to more than 10¹⁷ kg/m³ for neutron stars. The average density of matter in the Universe is of the order of 10⁻²⁷ kg/m³.

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The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".