Scientific Notation

Just started learning about the scientific notation, and its actually quite easy, but I don't know why im still struggling with it.

For example it says express the following measurements in scientific notation:

5800m

The answer is 5.8 * 10^3

What confuses me is that how do you know where to put the decimal thing. It can't be anywhere in the Zeros? I was also confused on how they got the power to the three thing, but I figured that you have to imagine the decimal being at the end of 5800, then you move 3 decimal places till you reach 5.8. I want to know an easier way to do this, cause I think Im thinking too much.

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  1. For scientific Notation, when expressing the number it cannot be greater then10. You usually put the decimal in the tenths spot such as 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 etc. you would imagine that your decimal is at the end of the number and then move your decimal toward the end. the exponent refers to what direction to express it as a whole number and how many decimals to move. if it was negative that means you move the decimal in the left direction such as... 1.23X10^-3 is really 0.00123 or 1.23X10^3 is 1230.

    hope that helps.

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