Q:

Why does the planet have day and night?

A:

Quick Answer

The Earth's rotation means that the sun is visible during certain times and blocked during other times. When the sun is visible, it is daytime; when it is blocked, night has come.

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Full Answer

In ancient times, people thought that the Earth remained still. To them, the sun appeared to rise and set on a regular but varying basis. Later, astronomers discovered that the Earth orbits the sun and that the Earth rotates in approximately 24 hours. However, the Earth's axis is tilted, which causes days to become longer during parts of the year and shorter during other parts of the year. These fluctuations are fairly small, but they are enough to cause significant temperature variations. These variations create the different seasons.

Day and night also vary based on how close an area is to the equator. Regions close to the equator have only slight variations during the year, so their longest and shortest days are similar in length. Regions far to the north and south of the equator, on the other hand, experience significant variations, and there may be times of the year when the sun never sets or never rises. These variations can cause extreme weather scenarios in these parts of the world.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What causes day and night to happen?

    A:

    The Earth goes through a constant cycle of day and night because it rotates on an axis. At any point in time, only about half of the Earth is facing the sun, while the other side is facing away from it. The side that is facing the sun is illuminated (day) while the side facing away from the sun remains dark (night).

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  • Q:

    What is the circle of illumination?

    A:

    The circle of illumination is the line that separates the Earth to create equal parts of day and night. It passes through the poles and allows the entire Earth to have an equal amount of time spent during the daylight and nighttime hours.

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  • Q:

    Why do we have day and night on earth?

    A:

    Day and night on Earth are caused by the planet's rotation around its axis and its position relative to the Sun. The Earth rotates from west to east, so places further east experience daybreak and nightfall sooner. One hemisphere of Earth is in daylight at any given time.

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  • Q:

    How long is a day on Earth?

    A:

    According to Universe Today, the duration of a day on Earth is the time it takes for the planet to complete a rotation around its axis. The Earth’s rotation takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 seconds.

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