The earth goes through its circular motion around the sun, and also it revolves around its axis. This is the everyday science we have learned through our schools and colleges. The resultant of this motion is the day and night we experience on this living planet. While there are a lot of mysteries still waiting to be resolved, the cycle of day and night was well discovered long back. We are also aware that the time zone for day and night is not the same across the globe. While some countries are busy in their daily activities, some countries sleep because it’s night there.
We can only wonder who and how planned and executed these galaxies, but some fantastic things are discovered about a lot of things in this galaxy. Earth is a wonder as it is arguably the only planet with human and animal life. It is pretty appealing to know some interesting facts about the night which we are going to understand here.
Interesting Facts about Night
An average night lasts shorter than a day: – This can be understood by knowing two reasons. Firstly, the sun has an angular diameter of 32 arcminutes (32’) meaning its apparent disk is not a point. Secondly, some sunlight gets refracted when the sun is below the horizon at about 34’, so light reaches the ground. Combining these two factors leads to the reaching of light to the ground when the center of the solar disk is below 50’.
Astronomical Night: – When the sun is between 18 to 90 degrees below the horizon, the time between the astronomical dusk and astronomical dawns is astronomical night. When the sun sets, it is consistently above 18 degrees above the horizon, and hence absolute darkness never occurs. This can be seen from latitudes between 48.56 and 65.73 North or South of the Equator.
Natural Illumination at Night: – A combination of moonlight, starlight, planetary light, gegenschein, zodiacal light, and airglow provides the natural illumination of sunlight. Sometimes lightning, aurorae, and bioluminescence also help the night sky illumination. Count on artificial lighting, and it also provides some amount of lighting on earth though artificial lighting interferes with observational astronomy and ecosystems.
Twilight: – It still illuminates the sky when the sun is below the horizon after sunset or before sunrise. We all have seen both sunset and sunrise at least once in our life, and we can better understand twilight as an ordinary man most experiences it, and it can be easily seen in the sky. Both the moments are considered the most beautiful view of the sky and have equally inspired many artists and poets.
Winter Solstice: – These are the longest nights of the year as the days are with the fewest hours. In the Northern Hemisphere (northern half of the earth), the winter solstice can be witnessed between December 20 and 23, and for the Southern Hemisphere, it occurs between June 20 and June 22.
Summer Solstice: – The days with the shortest night in the year are summer solstice. When the sun is directly over the Tropic of Cancer, the summer solstice can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere between June 20 and June 22. Summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere can be experienced between December 20 and December 23.
Equinox: – This is the period when the Earth’s equator passes through the geometric center of the sun’s disk. Traditionally, in this equinox period, the duration of the day and night are approximately equal across the globe. The word equinox is hence self-explanatory.
Polar Night: – As the name suggests, polar nights occur in Earth’s southernmost and northernmost regions. Polar nights can be seen only inside the polar circles, where nights last more than 24 hours. Similarly, as an exact opposite scenario, polar days occur when the sun remains above the horizon for more than 24 hours. Polar days are longer than polar nights because the atmosphere refutes the sunlight.
Night Sky: – Astronomically, the sky in the night is the best time to study science. More visibility of planets, stars, and the moon give better celestial study. When the sky is below the horizon, the objects are pretty straightforward when all astronomers get to their work.
Nocturnal Animals: – Some creatures cannot do any activity during broad daylight, but they are well active in the night time. Several animals can be seen busy only at night; e.g., rats, moths, or crickets can remain active all night, but as the sun rises, they are seen hiding in their dens. Apart from animals, plants, on the contrary, do their best to cope with the night time for the lack of daylight.
Electric Light: – The invention of artificial light is based on night time. When human beings became more active and were in the revolutionary stage, the need for light at night became essential. This was for study, work, industrial development, and many more. Some activities like hospitals, petrol pumps, police stations, trains, and flights need to be run 24 hours, so electricity is required.
Human Mind: – The adaptation of night time has both positive and negative impacts on the human mind. While students and researchers find it peaceful for study or experiments, thieves make their way through the darkness of night. It is experienced that one can concentrate more at work in a peaceful night than in the noisy daytime. People tend to fear more in the darkness on the darker side as the surrounding atmosphere can sometimes be too scary.
Traveling: – If you are not driving, it is good to travel, but if you are, then it becomes pretty risky to go, especially if you are tired or overworked during the day. Though a person sleeps the whole day, it is natural that he might feel sleepy at night. We might not realize, but most accidents happen during night traveling through the traffic less than day time.
Sleep: – It is pretty impossible not to have a feeling of sleep at night. We can find many interesting facts about sleep also. It might be natural, but all mankind, animals, and birds tend to sleep at night, and this may be because our body needs rest after a particular interval.
The average person sleeps in seven minutes at night: – Due to the night effect, it is estimated that an average person needs not more than 7 minutes to fall asleep. If it does not happen, the person might have had more than sufficient sleep in the daytime or might be suffering some disorder.
Short-sleepers: – In many developed countries, people are habitual in sleeping less than 6 hours for several reasons. It is observed that around 1% to 3% of the population are known as short-sleepers. The Netherlands is the only developed country where people can sleep 8 hours on average.
Women sleep more than men: – Another study revealed that women sleep more than men. The reason behind this is termed their multitasking. Women are often engaged in doing more than single work at a time, and hence their brain takes a longer time to recover from the stress of work.
We all don’t dream in color: – When we mention night, sleep comes automatically, and so do dreams. It is pretty surprising that though we are habitual of all sorts of color, around 12 percent of people dream in black and white.
The day and night cycle is the most natural thing, and some things about them are pretty interesting to know. Some facts are natural, while some are relevant to living creatures, but we all know what we must learn from them. Since we cannot break any natural cycle, it is better to learn to cope with things as some are helpful.
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