Does the sun go to sleep at night?

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You’ve probably noticed that when you go to sleep at night, the sun appears to no longer be in the sky! Where has it gone? Is it off to bed, just like you?

The reason you don’t see the sun at night is because the Earth is constantly rotating, or turning around in circles. When the place where you are on Earth is facing the sun, you have daytime. Throughout the day, the Earth gradually turns on its axis. Eventually, that same place where you are on Earth is no longer facing the sun, and so you have nighttime

Do you think that sounds cool? Here’s something even cooler! – When the Earth has turned around so that it’s nighttime where you live, that means it’s now daytime in another part of the world, where they are now facing the sun! So at night when you no longer see the sun in the sky, it’s just because your part of Earth has turned away from its light. The sun hasn’t gone to bed; instead, it’s giving daytime to people in other parts of the world.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    In addition to rotating, the Earth is also constantly orbiting the sun, which means it’s not only spinning itself around, but it’s also making a big loop around all the sides of the sun. It sounds like this might be kind of dizzying, but the amazing part is that we aren’t able to feel any of the spinning and circling at all!

  • Exploration

    Sleepy Sun: A poem

    When night arrives the moon comes out -- the sun has gone away
    Then you wake up and the sun is back to light the brand-new day.
    So it's natural to think the sun is sleeping just like you
    But actually this isn't quite what she gets to do!

    Our planet, Earth, is constantly in orbit of the sun
    When we turn from her bright light the nighttime comes and day is done
    So when it's dark in your backyard the sun still shines in outer-space
    And since we've only turned around, that means it's light instead off in some other place!

  • Sources & links

    Cain, Fraser. “Earth, Sun, and Moon.” 2009. Universe Today. 23 Nov. 2009 Nebel, Bernard J. Ph.D. “Chapter Six ”“ Geography, Climates, and the Heavens Above.” Nebel’s Elementary Education. Maryland: Nebel’s Press for Learning, 2001. 109-111.
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