Difference Between Day and Night (With Table)

A complete day is marked when the earth revolves around the axis. This complete day is further divided into two phases namely day and night. These phases together complete a cycle of 24 hours. Also, the day and night depending on the horizon of the sun. The day and night cycle is dependent on one complete rotation on its axis.

Day vs Night

The main difference between the day and night is that day has direct exposure to sunlight and brightness is present all over. On the other hand, night has lesser exposure to light due to the absence of sunlight and mostly darkness is present all over.

The day is marked when the sunlight directly falls on the surface of the earth. The day is often described as the period between sunrise and sunset. The area of the earth which accepts the sunlight observed the day. The sun is the main source of light.

Night can be described as the time in which sunlight is absent. The night is marked as the period between sunset and sunrise. In the night, the sun lies below the horizon. However, the duration of the night is dependent on the latitude and longitude.

Comparison Table Between Day and Night

Parameters of Comparision



Duration (in summer)

As the sunset is late, hence the time duration of the day is more as compared to the night.

The duration of the night is lesser as compared to the day.

Light Presence

During the daytime, a huge amount of light is present.

During the night, darkness is present all over.

Sun’s Location

The sun is situated above the horizon

The sun is situated below the horizon

Light source

In the daytime, the source of light is the sun.

At night, the source of light is the moon.


In the daytime, the organisms present on the earth’s surface are after such as plants and animals.

At night time, the organisms of the earth are inactive and feel sleepy.

What is Day?

According to astronomical science and physics, the day is defined as the period when the sunlight directly falls on the surface of the earth. The day is also termed as the time from sunrise to sunset. As we know that the complete day is marked by one complete rotation of the earth on its axis.

This duration for the earth is 24 hours. While talking about the other planets, every planet has a different duration of time for rotation. This makes the day duration different for different planets.

For example, the day of Mars is commonly known as Mars Sol. When seen by an observer standing on Mars, Sol is a possible duration between two consecutive returns of the Sun to the same meridian. Also, the solar day can be marked as the time duration taken by the sun to return to its highest point in the sky.

Since one must know that space orbits are not exactly circular in the shape and hence the bodies attain different speeds at different points of the orbit. The solar day may differ in duration throughout the year. Also, the earth revolves in an eccentric orbit and has an inclined axis, hence the solar day may extend up to 7.9 seconds over the fixed duration of 24 hours.

What is Night?

The term night may be defined as the period of complete darkness 24 hours a day. In this condition, the sun usually lies below the horizon. The night may be marked as the time duration from sunset to sunrise.

However, we can not exactly define the time duration of the night as this solely depends upon the location, season, and latitude. Moon is the only source of light at the night. Since the moon does have has its light, the sunlight reflected from Sun glows to the moon and hence moon reflects the light and becomes the source of light at night.

While talking in astronomical terms, the astronomical night may be defined as the period between dusk and dawn. At a given instance of time, one side of the earth experiences sunlight while the other is submerged in complete darkness. This darkness is caused due to the shadow of the earth blocking the sunlight.

The term Umbra is defined as the central region of the earth’s shadow. While on earth the night is slightly shorter than the daytime which depends mainly on two factors. Firstly, due to the atmospheric refraction of sunlight, it reaches the earth’s surface with some delay.

Hence, this natural phenomenon extends the daytime. Secondly, the sun does not have a fixed shape and has a large angular diameter, hence the rays scatter for a long time.

Main Differences Between Day and Night

  • The day is the period between sunrise and sunset whereas the night is the period between sunset and sunrise.
  • The temperature of the day is high and warm whereas the temperature at night is low and cool.
  • In winters, the duration of the day decreases due to early sunset whereas the duration of night is increased due to the late sunrise.
  • On average, the day lasts longer due to atmospheric refraction of light and the large size of the sun whereas the nighttime is comparatively shorter than the daytime.
  • The day is caused due to the sunlight on earth whereas night is a result of the shadow caused by the blocking of sunlight.


Both day and night are the complete cycles of living on the earth. Both totals comprise 24 hours. According to historians, it is believed that day brings a sense of activity and productivity. Meanwhile, the night is assumed to bring sleepiness and a resting stage.

While talking about the plant Kingdom, plants need some light to cook food. Whereas some plants have adapted themselves and built a mechanism to store carbon dioxide and use it to synthesize carbohydrates even during the night. While talking about the animal kingdom, many animals such as owls, cricket, and moths have adapted themselves and remain active in the night.

These types of animals are often termed nocturnal animals. Looking at the cultural aspects, the night is often depicted as evil, threatening and dangerous. Due to the absence of light, the sense of sight is quite low and people assume non-living, nonearthly bodies.

These nonliving bodies are often termed ghosts. In the society of modernization and industrialization have developed bar night club night food restaurants and many other things that are open at the night. This has become possible due to artificial lights which were introduced after the industrial revolution.


  • https://www.ajevonline.org/content/23/2/71.short
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673607615384
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196064494702098
  • https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43966624/PDF